Meet Betsy Lugo, aspiring television and film professional
As an aspiring actress at her Plainfield, Ill. high school, DePaul junior Betsy Lugo always planned to be center stage. But her experience in community theater and auditioning for commercials opened her eyes to the other side of the house - the behind-the-scenes jobs in theater and television.
Well on her way to making her new professional ambitions a reality, this quarter she is working as a development intern for a producer at 20th Century Fox in Los Angeles.
"This internship is an amazing opportunity that I would have regretted not pursuing," says Lugo, who found the internship posted on the Career Center's job board, Handshake. "With the help of peer career advisors in the Career Center, I polished up my resume and sent it in. The rest is history."
When Lugo first started to explore degree options, she noticed that the College of Communication offered a media and cinema studies major with classes in television and digital cinema production and editing - perfect preparation for behind-the-scenes work.
"I declared as a media and cinema studies major and haven't looked back - and I have loved every minute of it," Lugo says. She also has minors in hospitality leadership and Latin American/Latino studies.
Media literacy and media representation quickly became interests of hers.
"People need to be able to evaluate and be critical of the media they are consuming," Lugo says. Young people, she adds, especially need to be aware of product placement, targeted advertising and how different groups and identities are represented.
"Did you buy those shoes because you needed them, or was it targeted and pervasive advertising that convinced you that you had to have them?" Lugo asks. "How people are represented in media, often repeatedly, affects how we perceive ourselves and others, in good and bad ways."
Lugo also has been involved in a number of student leadership activities. During her sophomore year, she was a Chicago Quarter mentor, and as a junior she served as the Chicago Quarter coordinator in the Office of New Student and Family Engagement. As the coordinator she trained, hired and oversaw the Chicago Quarter mentors, as well as placed them in their teaching teams. Lugo also has worked as a student employee in the Career Center.
In her current internship at 20th Century Fox, Lugo is reviewing scripts that writers submit or the studio has obtained, and analyzing their potential as movies. While completing her internship, she is taking online courses at DePaul to make sure her plans to graduate next year stay on track. She hopes the connections she makes in Los Angeles become the foundation of a long and successful career in television and film.
"This is my first opportunity to really delve into the entertainment industry," she says. "I am enjoying getting to know the field beyond the classroom and through hands-on experience. Balancing online classes with my internship and work can be challenging, but I am focused on making this a successful quarter. Working hard is an inevitable requirement for this experience."