During Spring of 2021, three students at University of Las Vegas, Nevada got the opportunity to remotely intern at a podcast production company. Each brought their own personal skills and built upon them during their time at Positivecasts. With the semester coming to a close, so does their internship. Before they pass their batons to the next set of interns, all three of them would like to share the journey’s they had at this company.

Krystal Alvarado

Journalism major, Krystal Alvarado, became the marketing intern for Positivecasts. Krystal is one of the hosts for Las Brujas, a spooky story/true crime podcast that can be found on most podcast hosting platforms.

How did you come Across this Internship?

“I was informed through Dr. Nourse, our internship coordinator. He had a posting, I think it was, a spreadsheet. He had a bunch of different companies on there that were looking for interns and that’s how I found it.”

What are your Tasks at Positivecasts?

“So, I have a few rolls. I do marketing. The company has clients that want to go on different shows as guests, so I market for those clients. I reach out to different podcasts depending on, obviously, who they want to talk to. We worked with business type people, we work with some holistic type people so, those are the kind of two genres that I was looking in when I was searching for podcasts. “

“I also create LinkedIn content, which is pretty much Instagram type content. I get a photo, I write a caption, I put it on this website called Buffer so it’s all scheduled. I do about ten at a time. So, they’re scheduled at least ten at time.”

“Then I also do content pack emails. I know we all kind of do content pack stuff, but I just email the guests. So, say we work with THE Dad Bod Pod, he has a guest on there. On the day that the show airs for that particular guest I will go in, like, the back end into the Calendly, find the guest email and make sure that we send an email saying, “Hey, your podcast is live today! Here’s where you can find them [Spotify, Apple, Google Podcast, etc]”. Oh, and then I started editing a podcast toward the end of the semester. So, I was editing Fork in the Road.”

What Personal Skills were you able to Incorporate into your Internship?

“So, having my own podcast, that was completely self taught by myself when I launched mine. I learned how to edit and listen to have the kind of ear for podcasting ‘cause it’s very different from, obviously, a visual. But,  I did learn a lot while I was editing for Positivecasts. I brought those skills over, editing, listening for things, a little bit of audio technical stuff.”

“I think the marketing was kind of, like, I used to work in retail and stuff like that. I mean, I guess marketing/customer service you got to talk to different people, you’ve never met them before. Reaching out and you’re like “Hello. Can I please be booked on your show?”. Y’know, follow ups and stuff like that. So, I guess working in retail or any customer service industry beforehand will always help in that field.”

“Then, I think, for creating content it’s just personal skills, You know we all have like either Instagram or Facebook or whatever you have. So, I just have those personal skills for posting for the LinkedIn client.”

What came Easiest for you at this Internship?

“I think the easiest for me was the LinkedIn client just because of personal social media use.”

“The collaborative things that we do together in the company came easy only because, being in college, there’s a lot of collaborative work. Your always doing group work, especially in the journalism field. That was pretty easy for me, to get on a call with you guys and not expect anything weird I was just like “Okay. It’s just like school. We’re going to collaborate on a project.” We bounce off each other really well.”

Were There any Hurdles you had to go Through During this Internship?

“I think the only hurdle was making sure I was organized and stayed on top of things because we were pretty much on our own. We had deadlines but it was important because this is a real company that we’re working for. We need to represent it in the best way we possibly can. It’s not like me cramming the night before to get a paper done and it’s just a reflection of me and my grade. So, I had to make sure that I was always doing things at a certain time so that I was putting out the best content.”

“With college experience you kind of do things on your own but I think just the mentality of doing it for a company was a little bit of a hurdle. In the beginning it kinda felt like a lot. I felt like it was very overwhelming. I was like, “Wow, I have a lot to do and I don’t know how I’m gonna get it done on time and to the best of my ability”, but eventually you just have to do it. I think I got a good work flow by the end of it.”

“Having a full-time job during college it’s “just a job”, you know? But an internship that’s in the field that you want to be in and then balancing college on top. Like, you’re trying to do your best at both.”

What did you learn During your time at this Internship?

“Definitely not to leave things to the last minute. To use all of the tools that are available to me. I created so many spreadsheets this semester that I have never done before. I think before I would just, like, write notes or try to remember things and this time I was like, “No I need to make sure it’s professional. I need spreadsheets,” and it did come in handy. I would accumulate posts for her [Dez] and I was like, “I already have a  spreadsheet with content on it.” So yeah, organizing, having a good workflow, like, keeping a good schedule.”

“I learned, like, it’s okay to reach out to your team members and ask for help or ask for input. Everyone’s available to help you. Don’t be worried that you’re bothering somebody because you guys are all in it together. The mentality of working in a team on a project in class you kinda feel like you’re  bothering someone. “Hey, did you do this part for your project?,” and either you don’t get a response or you get it last minute, or whatever. When it’s a job environment you kinda need to talk to people. You need to communicate and make sure you get things done. We’re all pretty quick on Slack to respond to things because we have to.”

“Also, podcasting is a lot more than just putting out an audio show of yourself talking. It’s way more than that. You do need skills. To be a good host you need to have certain skills. I learned a lot from Dez, watching her and listening to her podcast.”

“As far as, like, the content packs, I never thought about creating things like that. I’ve seen it on social media, didn’t think that important until interning here when it was, like, “No, you need to do everything,” or, like, the sending the content pack emails for your guest that you had on. That customer service to the max! You’re always keeping up with people.”

“As far as podcasting, as a whole, I learned a lot. Book somebody, they get on the show and then, you follow up with “Hey, your show’s live and we created these really cool content pieces that you can post on your social media if you want.” Then they remember you, and then they tell other people. So, yeah, I learned a lot.”

Any Advice that you want to give to Future Interns at Positivecasts?

“I would say, to try to do a little bit of everything when you can so you can have that opportunity to learn from everything. I feel like, I kind of, you know, dipped my toes into everything Dez does for the company and I learned a lot. You know, the marketing, the emailing.”

“I’ve never been on Calendly before, I know how to use that. I’ve never been on Buffer before, I know how to use that.”

“Editing podcasts, creating the content packs, I felt like I got a little bit of everything and that’s gonna look great for future employers for my resume and for myself personally.”

“So, it’s always best, I guess, in any job or internship you get to try to, at least, do a little bit of everything the company has to experience.”

“We have a direct connection to the CEO, to Dez. We meet with her, like every week. Well, twice a week. One personal meeting, one group meeting. If you get to have one-on-one with any owner of a company, always use that time the best you can. Pick their brain, ask questions, any questions. They’re going to be the ones that know how to run a business. How a company runs, all the hardships they go through and all of the successes they have. It’s always good that if you have the opportunity to sit with somebody  like that, ask as many questions as you can.”

Jag Govan

Marketing major and Las Vegas musician, Jag Govan landed the position of being the primary audio producer of Positivecasts. Him and his music can be found through the username @jag_gatz.

How did you come Across this Internship?

“I came across this internship at Positivecast from our coordinator, Professor Dave Nourse. He had a spreadsheet of all the possible internship opportunities. So, as I was going through the description of Positivecasts, kinda matched up with a lot of things I wanted to get out of the internship. Then after I saw that I saw Dez’s name, I clicked on the link and I kind of went through everything that we do what the agency and I was like “this would be a pretty good place to learn.” I put my application with Dez and she hit me back right away. We set up our interview and I got the internship afterwards.”

What are your Tasks at Positivecasts?

“So, what I’ve done since, like, the beginning of the internship is I make the podcast. We have about 3-4 podcasts that we usually focus on at our agency. Usually I listen to them, I edit all the audio for them, and then I go through and search for, like, the most important bits. We usually need an intro clip, we need something like an audio gram, a video Gram, and a quote.” 

“I have to do the show descriptions. We have, like, three main podcasts. We have one about health, one about business and one about spirituality, which I’ve really worked on a lot. I usually have to listen to those podcasts, come up with the titles, come up with the show notes. I try to understand the guest and try to come up with some social media content. I’ve done about, like, 2-3 podcasts a week since then. Somewhere around 25-30 so far across the 3 podcasts. So, that’s really what my internship entails and that’s what  I’ve tried to get better at.”

“Usually Dez has these GarageBand templates. So, really, you just have to take a file, either it will be from Zoom, and then you’ll have to extract audio from it.”

“A couple of podcasts will do it for me. They’ll just kinda give me the audio file and then I put it in. We usually have intro music, and so we have to make sure everything lines up and sounds, like, organic. Then on some of them, like, “My Company Story” and “Positive AF” start with intro clips, so, you really want like 12 attention grabbing seconds. You have to make sure that it sounds right. Then they’ll have a little outro music, outro description. I have to make sure all those sound correct and, a couple times, I tried messing with some plug-ins and stuff. Maybe get some ground noise out or some humming. You know anything else to make the vocals sound clear. That’s really why the equipment used so far.”

What Personal skills were you able to Incorporate into your Internship?

“I have a major in marketing and my minor is in music technology. So, that’s where a lot of my audio editing skills came from so that was kind of something I was looking for in the internship and something where I can do both the marketing and the sound engineering. Luckily I found the right work place that allowed me to do both.”

What came Easiest to you at this Internship?

“Probably the easiest that came was the audio editing. I’m actually taking some audio editing classes right now, so it all kind, like, worked out. It was a little bit, you know, fun to play with trying to make sure everything sounds good and make sure, hopefully, the guest is happy and Dez is happy and whoever the speakers are. Trying to get their audio sounding right. Especially for a podcast that’s kind of, like, one of  the most crucial points because that’s what people our listening to. So you want to have a pleasant listening experience. After that it was pretty easy for me.”

Were there any Hurdles you had to go Through During this Internship?

“Definitely, the graphic design. I think that kinda gets a little bit tedious sometimes. A lot of times I had to do pictures of the guest. So, I have to make sure the pictures were good quality and that the pictures kinda fit the size. A couple times I, either, couldn’t find a good picture or, you know, the quality was getting messed up. That would get frustrating sometimes.”

“Sometimes the guest didn’t put in the right information in terms of, like, if they were describing their business or what they are doing. Sometimes it takes a little time to connect who’s who. Sometimes they [Hosts and Guests] have the same name so, as a podcast, you don’t know who’s who.”

“So, I guess, that became tedious but I think over time a lot of the technical difficulties were fixed. We use different programs for podcasts, Transistor and Headliner. Those kinda help you create the social media content and also distribute the podcasts. When you are not completely familiar with it gets a little bit difficult to maneuver, but I think, over time, you just kinda get used to it and like troubleshoot yourself.”

“When I first had the interview with Dez, I was thinking graphic design was a lot more difficult, like, advanced photoshop and stuff but she kind of broke it down for me. Like, how you can use Canva and you really just want to focus on the brand. It became a little easier to me that way.”

What did you Learn During your time at this Internship?

“I definitely learned a lot more about independent business. That’s what I’m really proud of everything Dez does. It’s like, you know, something I hopefully will be able to do some time. Kind of building something and having a mission of, you know, she just wants to streamline other peoples podcasts which helps other people achieve their goals and their dreams and everything they want to do. Just making it easier for everybody while still providing value, using your knowledge, any of your skills to help out other people. That’s something that’s really important that I learned.”

“Kind of improving your skills set, because I don’t think any specific skills are probably what I would need for my career path, but they all help. They’re all different. They’re just all expanding, you know, all the possibilities of what I could do. I never thought I would have a hand in graphic design but, you know, I deal with graphs design a lot so, it’s good to have that knowledge. It’s good to have that practice and kind of build up that portfolio of my work. I’m really proud of that and all those experiences I was able to gain I think I worked on.”

“I’m proud of what I’ve learned. That was a great side outcome of it. You know, you listen to health, listen to business, listen to spiritually and you just kinda pick up on it. All the little gems that, maybe, I wouldn’t have had time to listen to podcasts in any other situation.”

“I think overall it was definitely a fruitful experience. I got more than I thought I was gonna get out of an internship and, hopefully, I have been equipped with some major skills to wherever my current path goes.”

Any Advice that you want to give to Future Interns at Positivecasts?

“For me, I say, kind of make the internship what you want to be. I think it’s a very flexible internship in terms of, what the roles you play and the capacity you can fulfill. So, I would say, kinda understand the whole business and understand what we do at the agency and then try to focus on what you can offer.”

“Also, know the places where you can learn from. I probably would not have been too inclined to doing something, like, graphic designers or something like social media posting and distributing. Just ‘cause that’s not where my mind was at but I’m really glad I had to because now I have to land through the hurdles and learn through what works best and what doesn’t. Kind of troubleshooting.”

“I think, really focusing on what you want out of it, what you’re good at, what possible outcomes you could end up with. I think it would be a really great opportunity for you to be able to improve your skill set. Whatever you choose to do afterwards there’s a lot you could take from it.”

Sofia J. Serrato

Self-claimed multimedia experimenter, Sofia J. Serrato, became the copywriter of Positivecasts. She is a journalism major with a concentration in media studies. She will be graduating from UNLV with a Bachelor’s degree in May.

How did you come Across this Internship?

“While I was looking for internships during the 2020 winter break, Dr. David Nourse, the internship coordinator, sent a mass email with a spreadsheet of internship opportunities. I was searching for something different from my previous internship, studio production at Vegas PBS. Ideally, I wanted a writing position to diversify my skills.”

“I noticed that the Positivecasts opportunity offered a writing job, but was less strict about it. I mean, it was open to a variety of opportunities, including podcasting, which I had no experience in. I’ve listened to podcasts but I’ve never produced one. What better opportunity to expose myself to a podcasting environment than through an internship? I submitted my resume to the company email and within a week I was asked to schedule a remote interview with Dez. A week or so after the interview, I was told that I’d be the copywriter for the company at the start of the semester.”

What are your Tasks at Positivecasts?

“Like I mentioned, I’m the copywriter for the company. I primarily wrote the articles for the resources page. When I was first hired, there was only one published article. Dez wanted to build up the resources page and that’s all I had to work with. She thought I was right for the company goal. I first started by writing weekly articles, including making the article banners on Canva, finding the graphics for the article and cross-posting onto the company Facebook page. Then, Dez asked me to write Positive AF Episode articles. I had to make banners for those as well but the contents of the article were from the Transistor account. I just had to format it.”

“On occasion I wrote show notes for podcasts. Mostly Fork in The Road.” 

“Once or twice I helped with design layouts for the content of emails with Krystal.”

What Personal Skills were you able to Incorporate into your Internship?

“Even though my writing skills were more akin to long fictional narratives, analysis essays and script writing, I had the adaptability to cater my skills to article writing. I mean, sure, I had public relations writing and mock article assignments in journalism classes, but I never wrote anything for a company.”

“Also, I’ve been getting into design the past year. I had a journalism design class that sparked that interest. I was becoming more considerate of how design layouts affect viewers perceptions of a product, even the smallest details.”

“In general, I’ve always had an interest in various forms of media and the power of experimenting with it. Drawing, media editing, mixed media/multimedia, and so on. I’m always up to try new things.”

What came Easiest to you at this Internship?

“The easiest had to be the Positive AF episode articles. I had to rely on the information that was provided through Transistor. I basically just had to copy and paste the description and the title. I then had to format the text, make and add a feature image, backlog it to the episode’s original publication date and publish it.”

“Second easiest had to be doing the show notes. It gave me a chance to be one of the first people to listen to unpublished podcast episodes. I just had to listen to and pick up on important topics, plugs and people and add it to the preformatted Google Doc. Admittedly there were times I would get lost in the episode or my phone would crash and I’d have to listen to certain parts again to make sure I got the information right.”

Were there any Hurdles you had to go through During this Internship?

“Undoubtedly juggling my college life, personal life and internship. During my time here I had 4 other classes. It was also my last semester, so I was prepping for a lot of things.”

“Then I live with family and we were taking care of each other, especially since we were living through a global pandemic. I mean, everyone goes through a juggling act, but, at the same time, I don’t want to discredit myself or my stresses. There were times I didn’t know how I was going to meet deadlines.”

“Luckily the Positivecast crew is very understanding and helpful, especially with constructive criticisms and helping with providing resources.” 

“I think there was only one instance where I had to push the publication of an article to Wednesday instead of Monday. I’m also adaptable and I kicked myself in the butt to maintain realistic goals and a reasonable schedule.”

What did you Learn During your time at this Internship?

“I learned how certain programs actually work. I actually have a basic understanding of how to make posts for WordPress. I know how to cross-post on Facebook. I never really had the opportunity or reason to learn things like that before.”

“I also learned how to adapt my writing into an article writing style. I have to be more straight to the point, informational yet still have a personality. I can’t be writing flowery narratives. I mean I can, in my free time, just not in a professional setting. I basically became more considerate and aware of more professional writing styles.”

“Also, your work place should be a supporter of your work, not your enemy. I’ve had so many instances where I would be discouraged in my what I was doing yet the work place wouldn’t offer any input when I asked “what actually needs to be done?”. Kind of shooting themselves in the foot, in my opinion. If you refuse to offer assistance or encouragement towards your workers, how is your business going to last? The Positivecasts crew was actually considerate and encouraging of what everyone had to do and offer.”

Any Advice that you want to give to Future Interns at Positivecasts?

“Even if it’s a variant of what you’re already doing, try it. Like I mentioned, I write but I wasn’t very experienced in article writing. So, my whole internship was a trial of a variant of something I know how to do.”

“When possible take initiative in offering to help your co-workers. Even if it’s to give input on whatever they are working on. Allow your co-workers to help you as well. If you stay too much into your own bubble, your work won’t improve. You sometimes need a fresh pair of eyes to catch a mistake you would have never noticed or collective expertise to make the best products possible.”

“Take little breaks! Especially if you’re working at a screen for hours at a time. Rest your eyes, go outside, stretch, spend time on a hobby, do something to take care of yourself. Mind you, my optometrist gave me similar advice during my last eye exam, but it’s good advice nonetheless. As long as you meet your deadlines, small breaks will do you wonders.”

As you can tell by these three interns, all of them came out with more skills than they did when they were first hired. Positivecasts caters to different skill sets and encourages whatever skills you have to offer. The company is an adaptive, open, and flexible place to be.

Want to Learn More About Krystal Alvarado?

Listen to how she Learned to Love Herself to Become the Best Parent on Positive AF with Dez DeCosta.

Want to Learn More About Jag Gatz?

Listen to his journey of Becoming His Highest Self Through Music on Positive AF with Dez DeCosta.

Want to Learn More About Sofia J. Serrato?

Listen to how she manages her negativities with Self-Therapy Through Artistic Expression on Positive AF with Dez DeCosta.