Liberty University senior Courtney Hogan had the opportunity of a lifetime this semester – interning at the Academy Award-winning The Dr.Oz Show and ZoCo Productions in New York City.
“When I had the opportunity to do this internship, I had to take it, because I’d always wanted to live in New York and work on a show. I knew it would be a great connection and a great place to learn,” said Hogan, who is originally from Montana. She will be graduating on Saturday with a major in Broadcasting and a minor in Journalism.
Hogan is one of the many Liberty students who take advantage of the internship opportunities Liberty offers each semester. This spring, students interned across the country at museums, the National Archives in Washington, D.C., political offices and, like Hogan, national media companies.
“My internship really helped put what I had learned into practice and made it come alive,” Hogan said. “Things I had learned in class, once I got here I was able to see them happening in front of me. It really helped me to have a much better understanding.”
Hogan said she wanted to make the most of her internship, so she worked five days a week and completed more than 700 hours. Although she met the hourly requirements to receive credit for her internship, she will be returning to The Dr. Oz Show after graduation to work on production for the end of the season.
“I made some great relationships with a lot of the staff members … now they really want to help me excel and get to the next steps in my career. I was able to do a lot of jobs that a lot of interns don’t get to do because I was around so much,” Hogan said.
The Dr. Oz Show, one of daytime television’s most popular talk shows that focuses on health and wellness topics, tapes two shows per day, three days a week. Guests on the show during Hogan’s internship included TV chef Rachael Ray, TV host Jimmy Falon, Sesame Street’s Elmo and popular chef Rocco DiSpirito.
On the days when the show isn’t being taped, the cast and crew prepare for upcoming shows, Hogan said. Her typical workday on the set varied, but usually included helping with rehearsal by standing in for the guests, making sure the guests fill out the proper paperwork when they arrive, helping the audience get seated and helping production assistants make cue cards.
She also helped producers and production assistants research material for upcoming shows, choosing graphics and music for segments, and selecting wardrobe or props for host Mehmet Cengiz Oz, better known as “Dr. Oz.”
“He’s the nicest man ever,” Hogan said. “He comes across nice on TV, but he’s just as nice in person and you can tell he really cares about the staff and is appreciative of all the hard work they put in.”
Jaclyn Barth, Production Coordinator for The Dr. Oz Show, said Hogan "has been a true pleasure to work with this semester. She is intelligent, outgoing, hard working, and everything we look for in an Intern."
Following graduation, Hogan plans to pursue a career in broadcast journalism. She said she has always wanted to work as a news reporter or anchor, but her internship has made her more interested in the production side of television.
Hogan encourages Liberty students to do an internship and to go above and beyond their job descriptions to get the most out of the experience.
“Definitely do an internship,” she said. “If I hadn’t I still wouldn’t understand the television industry as much as I do now.”