From communications graduate to intern for ‘The Emmys’

August 13, 2021
Mayron Ayenew

By Nate Galvan |

Growing up in Southern California, Mayron Ayenew was never far from the country’s television heartbeat. Back then, television was an escape, a way to transport herself into plotlines and settings that differed from her own. She didn’t know that watching hours of T.V. in her childhood home would lead to a deep and sustaining passion for the medium. 

“Television was an escape from my reality,” Ayenew said. “It allowed me to live vicariously through the larger-than-life personas, characters, or stories on the screen.”

Fast forward years later, and the 2021 Sonoma State University communications graduate is now channeling that passion into a career. Ayenew, who also minored in film studies, is now interning with the Television Academy, the foremost name in the industry and the organization responsible for the most recognizable award show in television – the Emmys.

One of 50 students selected for the prestigious Television Academy Foundation Internship program, which works with renowned media companies like HBO, Hulu, and Warner Bros. to host the program’s interns, Ayenew is currently interning with 51 Minds Entertainment in the unscripted television development department.  

“I am so thankful for this opportunity,” she said. “Being selected for this program has motivated me to work hard and strive for greatness in this industry. I am so excited to learn and grow with this experience.”

As a new and thrilling career takes shape, Ayenew feels grateful for her time at Sonoma State, and for the educational experience that helped her realize her academic goals in the field of communications and her passion for visual storytelling could, together, lead to exciting professional opportunities. She pays special credit to assistant professor and film studies coordinator Talena Sanders, who supported Ayenew in her academic and professional pursuits.

“I anticipate that this is just the first of many big opportunities that Mayron will pursue and excel in,” Sanders said. “She distinguished herself immediately in my classes as an ambitious creative with a vision. I look forward to seeing how she will help shape the future of storytelling in the television industry.”

While still in the early stages of the internship, Ayenew has already learned more than she imagined possible. At the onset of the internship, she was presented with a plethora of creative and educational opportunities. For example, she has already helped to brainstorm ideas for new shows and has observed the inner workings of talent searches and production teams. These myriad experiences are allowing Ayenew to explore what a future career in television might hold for her, and prepare her for whatever comes next. With some development experience now under her belt, she said the creative side of the business would be an ideal next step, especially in a position where she can tell the stories of marginalized and underrepresented people.

“I’ve learned that you can help people through storytelling,” she said. 

According to the Television Academy, the internship program includes virtual professional development panel discussions with leaders in the television industry and customized seminars covering personal brand building and navigating the job market. Interns also become life-long members of the Foundation’s alumni family, giving them access to events and networking opportunities to build careers in the industry. 

For more information on SSU’s Film Studies, visit the Communications and Media Studies website.   

Media Contact

Julia Gonzalez