The Patient Media Programs Division of the Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy Department offers an internship training program for college students.
Patient Media Programs Internship
Desiree Zimmer: I didn't even know really what Seacrest Studios was, but I knew the name Children's Hospital and I was a patient a long time ago there, so as soon as I saw it, I kind of had that connection to it.
Tyler Harper: I was always curious as to how I would handle kids, given like every kid has a different situation and you don't know how you're gonna to handle that kind of situation until you're put in to it.
Tess Decker: I think it would be very rewarding to not only learn more about something that I'm very interested in, but learn in an aspect where I can help the kids.
Andrea Dillard: My name is Andrea Dillard.
Eric Newby: My name is Eric Newby.
Tyler Harper: Tyler Harper.
Desiree Zimmer: Desiree Zimmer.
Matthew Rotella: Matthew Rotella.
Tess Decker: Hey. I'm Tess.
Caitlin Pajus: And I’m Caitlin.
Tess Decker: We're both brand new interns and we have no idea what to expect today.
Eric Newby: Day one of my internship, I felt overwhelmed. You come in and it's this renowned hospital, you know, they threw you out of a helicopter and you landed in the jungle.
Andrea Dillard: I had never worked with kids before. So it was one of those things where I didn't know how I was gonna balance the two, because I wanted that experience with this equipment, but didn't know how I would interact with bringing the kids into it as well.
Caitlin Pajus: Yesterday we sat in a room all day and I thought it was gonna be a little more like that. And before we started this interview, I kind of told Tess over here, I was like, I wonder what everyone else is doing. They're probably still sitting in that room.
When you're learning something at school, like you're at school. So you're like, if I mess up, like we have our station manager, she'll fix it. It's fine. But here it's like, no, like we're producing content and people are actually watching it. Children are watching it. They're relying on us.
Desiree Zimmer: I had a fear of being on camera and I remember during the interview, you're like, oh, are you, are you okay to be on camera? And I was like, no, no. But I said, yes, even though, but inside, I was like, no, I'm not. I'm very scared of being in front of a camera. Now a year and a half later, it's something I'm more comfortable with.
Parent: My daughter, Arianna has been coming to Children's Hospital all of her life. I remember the first day when she came here, I thought this isn't something that's gonna work for her. She isn't going to really like it, but we'll try it anyway. So she came in and very timid. She didn't even want to sing. She just watched other kids singing, but the staff people were so encouraging and she did one song and I thought, okay, that's it. We're done. We're not gonna come back because she's, she's hearing impaired and she's autistic as well as having down syndrome, so we didn't think anything like this would work for her. So we come in the next day, and I wasn't even gonna mention the studio and she goes "Karaoke today? Have to sing karaoke today. You want to do karaoke today?" And I said, "Okay, we'll try it again." And now it's, every time we come here, we have to plan around karaoke time.
And the staff people are absolutely wonderful because everyone's different. Everyone has a different personality. They sing with her, they dance with her. They encourage her. It's a DJ M and M, it's DJ Spaghetti. It's more like a friendship kind of thing. And it's not just with my daughter, Arianna. It's with all the kids. They kind of pull out of the kids the best and encourage them to just have fun. And I think that's really, really important.
Tess Decker: We have very official shirts now. Officially part of Seacrest Studios.
Matthew Rotella: I was a patient at Children's Hospital when I was younger and I definitely would like give back in a way. I also came up with a number of programs to, I thought they'd be fun for the kids and whatnot. The most popular one that I do -- at least with me and apparently with the children as well – is Drawing With Spaghetti where I tend to do tutorials for the most part. So like for here, I was doing a tutorial on how to draw some cartoon dogs. Then I also get requests like today where patients come in and they draw with me. So it's like, I have some drawings with the patients and like, that's just always fun.
And you get to interact with the kids – great stuff.
Desiree Zimmer: I kind of liked having the variety of what you can do here. Learning different tasks that like audio, I had no idea how to do anything with audio before this, and now I can edit songs and import songs to the system.
Eric Newby: It is important nowadays to kind of learn everything and to be, not just an editor and not just someone who can host the show and not someone who can just run a camera, but to really go through the motions of every single thing that could happen
Andrea Dillard: Making sure that our levels, audio levels, are correct for any of our microphones, making sure that we're white balancing the camera, something as simple as that, anyone being on air, teach them about any content that's not appropriate and any topics that we definitely need to avoid.
Making sure we have enough head room, making sure we don't have too much head room. Any of those little things, we're definitely looking to enhance those type of skills, coming in to the program.
Parent: You have to have a special kind of personality to be able to work in this field. And not everybody can, not everybody can work with kids that are sick. Not everybody can work with parents who are distraught. But the people that we've seen coming through this program, have all been really well equipped for that job
Matthew Rotella: A child will request something quite normal, like a dog or what have you, and what I try to do is then make it a little more strange and fun by putting it in some odd scenario. For example, even just from this morning, it's like draw a bear. It's like behold bear. But what if it was in the Chick-fil-A parking lot? Eating itself some Chick-fil-A chicken balls.
Patient: He actually made me, help me, learn how to draw better. It actually did help. I don't want to have any offense on any one in here, but he's my favorite person in here. He's the only person just like me.
Tyler Harper: Some of the best days here are the days without any celebrities or special guests or anything like that. Some of the most fun days are us just goofing off with kids playing bingo or talking about Star Wars. That's the stuff that I really take away. That kind of experience you really can't get anywhere else. At other internships I don't put on a blue tutu and a sombrero to make a kid laugh. But here, not only is that the norm, but that's encouraged.
Eric Newby: You’re on your toes. You're really trying to go from point A, maybe skipping over a few points to D and then backtracking to catch everything that you missed. And it's very, not chaotic, but it's very energetic. It’s very creative too.
Caitlin Pajus: Be open to new ideas and expect the unexpected.
Tess Decker: Definitely true.
Desiree Zimmer: I kind of thought when I saw Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, I thought I'd just be working with kids, but it's actually their entire families. And you know, the other interns that come in and volunteers that come in.
Tyler Harper: We all know what the main goal is. It's to make kids happy. Like the fact that we make new friends out of this, it's really just an added bonus.
Parent: From day one that they come into the time that they leave, they go from maybe not even know where the turn on button is to now they're professional, in my opinion. They’re not only professional with equipment, they’re professional with the kids.
Caitlin Pajus: We just finished our first day. And I think we are both exhausted.
Tess Decker: It's been a whirlwind. It's felt like five days in one, but it's been nonstop excitement. I am definitely ready to deal with this for an entire semester.
Caitlin Pajus: Yeah, definitely.
Andrea Dillard: These kids teach you something new every day. So that's definitely the reason why I stuck around -- for my passion for broadcasting, but it also transitioned into my passion for working with kids.
Matthew Rotella: It's nice to see people like moving up the ladder and like wanting to commit more to the hospital.
Desiree Zimmer: I love kids, but you know, I didn't really think I wanted to do children's programming. And now I think I do.
Eric Newby: The fact that our studio is almost entirely run by interns is a good testament to, this is good for them, this is good for the next level. It's kind of preparing you, giving you all these skills that you can go beyond.
Related Centers and Programs: Child Life, Education and Creative Arts Therapy