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Read all about it: Hometown girl follows journalistic dream, finds niche during internship
Carolina Sanchez always knew she wanted to be a journalist. In the sixth grade, a teacher at Ted Polk Middle School suggested she write for the school newspaper. After her first interview, she was immediately hooked.
From there, she made her way to print, in college she jumped into web-based journalism and eventually focused on broadcast journalism during her final two years at New York University.
Sanchez graduated from NYU in 2010, and in addition to working at the university's TV station, she interned at "Good Morning America" and "CBS Sunday Morning." She also studied abroad in the Czech Republic, where she developed skills in travel and international reporting.
After graduation, she began working at Fox News Edge as a production assistant-that's when things got interesting.
The Ailes Apprentice Program, a competitive Fox News internship program, aims to find and develop top diversity candidates - and Sanchez was one of those candidates. The one-year program, complete with a full-time job, includes competitive salary and full benefits.
"Honestly, I didn't apply," Sanchez said. "I got an email from Brigette Boyle, [human resources executive at Fox News] asking me to go up to her office and meet with her. At the time, I didn't know who she was, and I was swamped with work, so I told her that I'd go up a little later. My boss, who was [carbon copied] on the email, stood up in the middle of the newsroom and told me I had to go right then."
Sanchez spoke with Boyle, who informed her about the Ailes Apprentice Program, named after Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes.
"I was immediately interested," Sanchez said. "I had a couple interviews, and then I was invited to last year's graduation. There it was announced that I was the upcoming class and I was more than thrilled and excited for what was to come."
What came included monthly meetings with a mentor to discuss performance and career goals, as well as a private lunch with Ailes. Development meetings with FOX News Channel and FOX Business Network executives, on-air talent to network, meetings and special online seminars with Ailes Apprentice Program Patrons were all parts of the process as well.
The program aims to help build connections and present different aspects of media, politics and the business world to those in training. Extra opportunities-such as job shadows and invitations to networking events-are available as is a special graduation program during which apprentices are presented with a bonus and commemorative gift, according to its website.
"The program has really helped me move forward by exposing me to people I normally wouldn't get a chance to interact with, providing me with a mentor who helped me keep track of and achieve my goals, and sending me to workshops to improve my skills in writing, presenting, reporting," Sanchez said.
Sanchez soared during the program and was promoted twice within her department within the last year, including her current position as a writer.
"I have my eyes on being a field producer, and I'm currently working on ways to go out there on my own time," she said. "It will make the move more natural with some experience under my belt paired with a reputation of hard work. During this experience I was able to discover my true niche in this industry - which is to be in the field. And now, I have a great community of people I can turn to for advice, help, and who I can give back to."