Ithaca College student interns with NBC at the 2022 Winter Olympics

Junior Rachel Paskowitz, station manager for Ithaca College Television, had the opportunity to intern at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. Paskowitz, who is majoring in television-radio with minors in journalism and sports studies, work at the NBC Sports Group headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut, as a production intern from January 30 to February 20. NBC typically runs a college internship program, but did not do so this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, prompting Paskowitz to apply directly with NBC..

Paskowitz has been heavily involved with the college’s student-run television station since the Fall of 2019, her first semester at Ithaca College. Since then, she has held many positions that gave her the skills and experience she needed for this internship.

Contributing writer Liam Shields spoke with Paskowitz about what the internship was like, what she learned and how ICTV prepared her.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Liam’s Shields: What are some of the positions you have held at ICTV?

Rachel Paskowitz: When I started, I worked as a cameraman and I also worked in the management, whether it’s chyron or Scheckout store. I really found that I was more interested in the technical realization and the directing… also the engineering aspect of everything. During my second year, I began to hold several of these positions. I think that’s really where I found my calling in television. After that, I applied to be part of the management staff for the main control. From there, I started working more heavily in the athletic department. Now I’m a station chief and I work as an engineering student.

LS: How did you your time at ICTV helps you in this internship?

PR: I learned new terminology and learned the signal flow of everything. You just need to understand how a production works from start to finish. It’s obviously nowhere near what NBC does, but just having that foundation really helped me apply it there. … I was very nervous at first because I didn’t know what I didn’t know, but when I arrived I felt much better and it’s very similar to what we have here [at ICTV].

LS: What did you enjoy the most about your work at the Olympics?

PR: I would just say the people and the product we were bringing to market. It was just so cool to see how it all came together after hours of tireless work… I liked the team I worked with, which made the long hours better.

LS: What were some of your responsibilities?

PR: I was a production intern for curling. I would say my internship was a bit more unique compared to most interns. I was originally tasked with doing hockey journaling, but things changed due to COVID-19 and I was later transferred to curling. I had no experience and had no prior knowledge of it. I came in just ready to learn. I feel like most of the interns were either runners or assigned to logging. With mine, it was just very open. It was more just what the producers wanted me to do, so it was more of a production assistant [job]. It really depended on the day. Most of the time I inserted graphics. I was also doing timecodes, so you can send segments to prime time television, so they know when things are happening in games and if they want to incorporate them into their show. Very tedious tasks, but very important for the overall production. It was a very cool experience.

LS: What did you learn working at the Olympics?

PR: I learned many networking skills. I was very nervous at first because I didn’t want to disturb people. Just understanding interpersonal relationships at work and how to navigate it and not bother people. I would also say technical skills because I think every big company has their own software and systems that they use. Same general principles, just different software. Learning that was a challenge, but I think I overcame that.

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