By Nicole Gennarelli and Catherine Zheng
Roland, an electronic media production major in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC), is a DJ and a fan of Pioneer, a leader in the manufacturing of DJ equipment. He regularly visits Pioneer’s user forums where he found an announcement that Pioneer was accepting applications for video production interns at its East London DJ lab in England.
“I saw it as the perfect opportunity to combine my career path with my passion for DJing,” Roland said. “After encouragement from family and friends, I decided to submit an application. The application consisted of filming and editing a short presentation and performance on Pioneer Equipment. So, with the help of a fellow JMC student, I shot the video in an afternoon. Then I edited it in an evening and submitted it a few days later. Within an hour of submitting the video, I was contacted by Pioneer’s product support specialist. Later in the day, I had an online interview set up and was offered the position.”
During his time abroad, Roland did not take other courses while working at his internship so he could adjust to his new environment and enjoy new experiences in London. Now that he has completed the internship, he has decided to stay and work full time for Pioneer to gain a few more months of real-world experience. Roland will be returning to the United States to finish his degree and plans to graduate in spring 2014.
“Moving and living abroad has always been one of my dreams,” Roland said. “I am very lucky to have been given various opportunities in my life to take steps toward making this dream a reality. This internship has been a major test for me, and I think I have proven beyond a doubt that I am capable of achieving this goal.”
Roland has had many successful moments at his internship such as completing a video campaign from start to finish which included building the studio, writing the scripts, doing lighting and makeup, filming, editing and post production. Other than the successful professional experiences he’s had in London, Roland has enjoyed living in the city and experiencing the culture.
“For years I have been an avid fan of all things English, so the entire experience has been a surreal and humbling opportunity to see it all first hand,” he said. “If I had to specifically point out my favorites, they would be, Broadway Market, Regent’s Canal, the West Indies culture that is engrained in London, English breakfast, the lovely and numerous public parks, and the London electronic music scene.”
Roland has encountered some obstacles on this trip. When he came to London, he was responsible for finding his own housing. He stayed with a family friend for the first two weeks until he found a flat in East London.
“Every single day has presented countless unique challenges, some big and some small,” he said. “For example, a server crashing with weeks of video footage was a big obstacle. A small one has been regularly dealing with the British teasing me about my “Yank” vocabulary.”
Roland’s advice to anyone wanting to work or study abroad would be to study the culture, laws, language and geography of their desired destination. This will make interacting with people much easier and in turn make life much easier, he said.
“Pay close attention to the industry and company that you want to work for,” he said. “It gives you a major advantage over other people who might be applying with the same skills that you have. If you know the market and know the products, you’ll stand out and hopefully get the gig.”
Roland is the son of SLIS Assistant Professor Dan Roland, Ph.D.
Photo: Roland (far left) stands with his fellow interns in the London office of Pioneer.