“Digital Media Design,” she told me. To my technologically impaired brain, these three words sound nice together, like “honey baked ham” or “three day weekend”. Do I actually have a strong conceptual grasp of what it means, though? No, so I ask Chloe what a major in Digital Media Design at the University of Pennsylvania entails. A hearty cocktail of computer graphics, communications, and art, the major, Chloe says, is an ideal pathway for someone who wants to get into animation. Makes sense—she’s interning in Children’s Programming.
From Westwood, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston, Chloe is a self-proclaimed PBS Kid. Last summer, she worked at WGBH in Boston as a production intern for Arthur, giving her a relatively good idea of what interning at PBS would be like. Here at PBS, though, Chloe works on an array of children’s programming shows, from newer shows like Peg + Cat to more seasoned shows like Wild Kratts. Working on both new program developments as well as returning series, Chloe has enjoyed discovering the nuanced differences between working at a station and PBS headquarters. She’s also been pleasantly surprised to find herself being treated as an equal member of the team whose opinions and contributions are valued. Her responsibilities are vast: she reviews proposals and drafts the inevitable rejection letters; she provides notes on scripts for shows and animatics; she attends meetings that cover everything from strategy for scheduling to the PBS KIDS brand; and she conducts, in her own words, “some research.”
Chloe reminds me that there are some challenges, too. For her, the toughest aspect of her internship arises in the rejection process, during which she must deftly conceive constructive criticism that doesn’t strip away the creators’ creative integrity, voicing concerns without telling those creators what to do and leaving the solutions up to them. From where I’m standing, Chloe’s experience at PBS seems invaluable to her future in animation.
Kelly Cook | General Audience Programming Intern