Olivia Bailey is not afraid to dream big. In making plans for her last summer as an Emory & Henry College student, the Chilhowie, Va. mass communications major set her goals high.
Bailey spent much of February 2013 filling out application after application for summer internships.
At one point her dreams nearly came true as she was named a finalist for a highly competitive fellowship offered by the International Radio and Television Society (IRTS).
The fellowship is awarded to only 25 college students nationwide and offers an expense-paid summer work experience in New York City at the most recognizable media corporations, including CNN, ESPN, ABC, CBS and NBC.
Bailey did not make the final cut, but she refused to take no for an answer.
“You have to dream big, and this was an opportunity for me to show myself that you can do anything you set your mind too,” said Bailey.
Moving forward, Bailey was selected for not one, but two summer internships in two major cities in the United States. Bailey was scheduled to spend the first part of her summer in Nashville, Tenn. working with the non-profit groups Mending Hearts and Thistle Farms, where she would work with women who have survived prostitution, addiction, and emotional or mental disorders.
The second portion of her summer would take her to New York City, where she would serve a Bonners Fellowship at New York Cares, helping to schedule volunteers for the city’s largest volunteer organization.
Just weeks before Bailey was scheduled to head to the “Music City,” her summer song hit a different note.
“I got a phone call from a representative of CNN towards the end of May,” recalled Bailey. “To be honest, I had almost completely forgotton I applied there, and I couldn’t believe they were still looking for people.”
Bailey recalls checking several boxes on what type of internship opportunity she was interested in. From working in the newsroom to giving tours of the facility, Bailey was primarily interested in gaining a glimpse into life at a major national news operation.
CNN representatives were impressed by her diverse resume, which includes a mix of both professional and service related experiences.
Bailey has previously completed an internship with WCYB-TV 5 in Bristol, Va. where she gained experiences working as a videographer for both the news and sports departments.
At the CNN headquarters in Atlanta, Ga., Bailey will obtain significant hands-on experience in all aspects of producing content for close to 900 CNN affiliates. She will have the opportunity to help with package writing and producing, live event programming, coordinating reporter coverage, supporting the CNN Wire service and social media.
The internship runs from June 17 to Aug. 23. Following her time at CNN, she will have little time to rest.
Bailey will be spending the fall semester in Dublin, Ireland at the Dublin City University as part of the Emory & Henry College Semester Abroad community service program where she will have the opportunity to study Irish heritage and culture while exploring specific connections between Ireland, Southwest Virginia, and other areas of Appalachia.