Spotlight on PBS Interns: Karen Shibuya

Editor's Note: As summer nears its end, we 'd like to share a few stories about some of the talented young people who spent their summer with us here at the PBS national office. Earlier this summer, The SPI Team matched a pair of interns to have a conversation about their experience at PBS. The intention? To reveal a candid perspective of their time working in the building, what they learned and how they plan to move on in the future.

All you need to feel empowered about strengthening the role of public media in today’s society is 30 minutes with Karen Shibuya. A Government and Film student at Cornell University, this Los Angeles native has braved the frozen tundra of Ithaca, New York for three years and could not be more excited to spend the fourth and final winter of her life learning about how the media shapes a culture and influences policy. Rightfully so, Karen is spending the summer as PBS’ Corporate Communications Intern and is complementing her academic interests through her plethora of responsibilities. To name a few, Karen writes, designs, and curates content for official PBS flagship social media platforms, maintains PBS’ Tumblr and LinkedIn accounts, gathers engagement data and writes scripts for online promotional clips featuring talent.

A true example of a “people person,” Karen not only enjoys the innate social nature of her work, but she also values the relationships and friendships she has developed at PBS. Working under PBS’ Directors of Social Media Kevin Dando and Natalie Benson, Karen truly appreciates the conversations she has with the experts about all of their incredible adventures in sharing PBS’ message with the world. “Their jobs are just so cool,” she says as she gushes about their recent experiences capturing historic moments at NYC’s Pride Parade and immersing themselves in the fandom community at Comic-Con.

While she is really enjoying her PBS experience, Karen does recognize that the intern title comes with some challenges. She empathizes with the idea that for some interns, it might be hard to promote initiatives or content that you do not have a role in creating. However, Karen sees this as an opportunity to grow rather than as an obstacle. As someone who is incredibly passionate about the role of public media in her life and the lives of her fellow Millennials, Karen is hoping to potentially build a career in the non-commercial industry. If you ask Karen where she sees herself in 10 years, she will laugh at the unpredictable nature of the question and then say that she would be so excited to work for an independent production company or a local PBS station. Then she will smile and tell you she still hasn’t given up on her secret dream of directing music videos.

Samantha Sterling | Marketing and Communications Intern for PBS KIDS

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