I’m living in Burbank, CA and I am currently working as the Social Media Coordinator for PBS SoCal, the Los Angeles and Orange counties full service PBS station. Living in Los Angeles has always been a dream of mine so I was fortunate enough to find a job in the area and for a company I really care about.
What do you like most about what you’re doing?
I really like that my job keeps me on my toes. Social media is always changing, there are things that work one day and then the next day they don’t, then all of a sudden Facebook decides to change its algorithm and now you have to change your entire strategy. I also happen to really love the company I work for. PBS SoCal is not just a television station, it’s also a non-profit that puts a lot of effort into their educational, community and social initiatives. It combines things that are very near and dear to my heart. Another perk of working here is that there are a lot of women in executive positions and I really like observing them work and learning from them. I’m hopeful that I’ll someday be like them.
What are some projects/jobs that you’ve worked on since graduating?
Months after graduating from CMI, I started working for KCOS-TV, the local PBS station as part of their production crew. A year later I was chosen to do a community outreach program for them about the documentary film “The Address” by Ken Burns. I partnered up with Latinitas and Girl Scouts to teach local troops about film and helped them produce their own Gettysburg Address recital videos. Then in 2015, because of my experience with KCOS-TV, I got hired as the Video Production Intern with the El Paso Chihuahuas. I created graphics, animations and videos for the video board and even organized an entire Star Wars themed night. I was then hired on as the Social Media & Graphics Specialist and did that for two seasons and in 2017 we were named the number one social media community in all of Minor League Baseball. Aside from my social media duties like creating funny videos, posting highlights, going live during batting practice, I am also the CG operator during games. We broadcast our games online and it’s my job to operate our Xpression software. I make sure all graphics, lower thirds, videos and logos come up throughout the game. With all this experience I thought now would be a good time to try and follow my dreams in the city of angels. That’s when I found a social media coordinator position with PBS SoCal that I was very fortunate to get. I packed my bags and moved here in November 2017.
What classes and learning experiences at CMI were the most valuable in building towards your current job?
Screenwriting, producing and editing. Screenwriting because there was no limit to what we could create, as writers we have that freedom. Amy was always so accepting of our ideas no matter how crazy or personal they were. In my job, I have to figure out creative ways to entertain our social media fans and the crazier the idea it is, the more attention we get from our followers. In producing we learned time and budget management, an essential thing when working in marketing. Finally, learning Final Cut in editing really helped me with using all the different programs I use now like Premiere, After Effects, Illustrator and Photoshop.
What are you doing when you aren’t working?
As an Angeleno, when I’m not working, I’m sitting in traffic. I really like true crime so I spend that precious time listening to a true crime audio book or listening to my favorite podcast, My Favorite Murder. I do a lot of writing at my new job and I need to keep developing that skill so I have these conversations with myself on paper that usually happen late at night, it keeps me sane. Finally, I don’t do this enough, but I really enjoy going to archery ranges and shooting my bow.
What’s some advice you would give a CMI student (or maybe potential CMI student) about their time at CMI?
Be as involved as possible when you’re in school, whether it’s a student film, an internship or volunteering. It’s going to give you the experience that you need after you graduate when you’re trying to find a job. Take your classes seriously and always strive to learn more than what’s on the syllabus. Never ever ever ever stop learning. I feel like everyone who chooses to go to film school has big dreams and are very hopeful, but we are not guaranteed jobs after college. I would just like to say that things may seem difficult at times but you have to keep dreaming and stay hopeful and work constantly, no matter how big or small the job is, good things will happen.
Where can people see your work?
People can see my work on PBS SoCal’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat accounts (@pbssocal). My job is to post promotional assets across all accounts to get people to tune into our channel, go to our events, and highlight what we do in the community.
What’s next for you?
My next move is to try and get into a film or television producing grad program here in LA. I want to climb the ladder within PBS SoCal and another degree might help with that.
Thank you, Maribel, for sharing your experiences and advice!