While the Republican National Convention may have caused disturbances for some people because of traffic congestion and the influx of conventioneers and protesters, many Temple students saw the event as an opportunity.
With 15,000 members of the media in town requiring assistance from local volunteers coupled with the plea from the RNC host committee Philadelphia 2000 for more than 10,000 volunteers, anyone with the desire to participate found a job.
As many Temple students discovered, there was a lot of work to be done. Seeing the convention as a chance to make contacts and build on their resumes, students found a wealth of opportunities.
One of those students was Sarah Korytowski, a senior Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising major. She worked for local station KYW-TV 3 at the convention. Her job entailed helping pre-interview Philadelphia residents who were later interviewed by the station.
She recollects some of the highlights as a learning experience.
“I actually saw George W., Laura, and Barbara Bush speak at a benefit,” said Korytowski, who also helped set up TV equipment for a benefit. “It was basically a Republican pep rally. Being a staunch liberal, it was interesting to sit in such an intimate setting and listen to what they had to say.”
Andrew Ostroff, a junior Broadcast, Telecommunications and Mass Media (BTMM) student found the time he spent working at the convention to be interesting and educational. Ostroff was able to experience first-hand how the journalism industry operates while working for KNBC, an NBC owned and operated TV station from Los Angeles.
“I watched a lot of editing of tape and a lot of tracking of pieces being put together for newscasts,” Ostroff said. “It was amazing to see how big and busy the whole operation is and how so many people could put everything together for a story.”
Michelle DiVeterano was also able to benefit from a career-enhancing opportunity at the convention. DiVeterano, who worked for the FOX News Channel, helped coordinate transportation for the on-air talent, production crew, staff, and other assistants during FOX’s news coverage of the convention.
“I had the opportunity to make a lot of impressions with people in high places at thenetwork,” DiVeterano said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
Angela Daniels-Vanzino, a senior BTMM student, also came away with good feelings about her experience at the convention. Daniels-Vanzino worked for all five of NBC’s owned and operated stations that were at the convention.
“I was there for two weeks,” Daniels-Vanzino said. “It was a great experience.”
Among Daniels-Vanzino’s duties were coordinating both runners and the use of convention floor press passes for the NBC reporters and assisting the executive producer.
Like Ostroff, Daniels-Vanzino was amazed at the complexity of the entire project.
“I was impressed with the size and amount of money spent on a event that happened so quick,” she said.
Valuable work experience wasn’t the only benefit of working at the convention.
“It was a great experience I enjoyed a lot,” Ostroff explained. “Plus, they paid us.”
DiVeterano also received money for her work. “It was truly amazing,” she said. “The bonus was that I got paid.”
While students were happy to be paid for work they enjoyed, the long hours often made the job difficult.
“My hours were from 1 to 9 p.m.,” Ostroff said. “I did a lot of sweating because of the heat.”
DiVeterano worked 14 hour days during the convention and sometimes up to 18 hours a day in the weeks leading up to the convention.
Although for some Temple students the convention disrupted their daily routines, for many other students it was an opportunity to gain valuable work experience.