Just outside Hilltop Circle, a small building is nestled in between several parking lots. This building — the UMBC Alumni House — is home to the Office of Institutional Advancement, a department devoted to fundraising, engaging alumni and promoting UMBC. The latter of the three is the area on which senior Andrew Grabowski, an intern for the OIA, focuses at his internship.
Grabowski, a media and communications studies major, is used to receiving countless emails about internship opportunities. But when he got one about video production at the OIA, he was particularly intrigued.
Grabowski explains that he used to run a YouTube channel devoted to the online game “Club Penguin.” Grabowski would edit footage from the game into videos, and soon gained skills in video editing and production that he has continued to use throughout his life (such as editing and uploading videos of the Musical Theatre Club’s annual fall showcase to their YouTube channel). These video editing abilities were what originally inspired him to apply for the position at OIA.
“What started as a very small thing in elementary school evolved into something that I could use,” Grabowski says.
Now, Grabowski’s work incorporates similar video editing techniques and skills to the ones he used to create his early YouTube videos. At OIA, he assists Corey Jennings, the one-man Video Production Department, in the creation of promotional videos for the university. These videos sometimes go on to be shared on UMBC’s Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram pages, as well as on other social media platforms.
However, Grabowski’s job does not just involve editing; Grabowski is frequently sent out to film various events on campus that he and Jennings can use to make these videos. Because of this, he has gained valuable experience with shooting video—not just in terms of technical operations, but techniques about how to effectively capture footage of an event.
“[Filming] has taught me a lot about blending in: not being afraid to get somewhere to get a good shot, but not being obtrusive. It’s a difficult balance to find,” he says, noting that he often has to put himself in places or situations where an “average person” would not. For example, at the winter graduation, he had to find a way to capture the graduation procession without distracting from the success of the students.
Grabowski has also experienced other perks as a result of his internship. At the beginning of the year, he was asked to film students at “Retriever Madness,” an event that he had previously never attended. Similarly, he had no idea that “Big Crazy Fun Night” occurred in the spring semester as well as the fall semester, but when he went to get video of it, he ended up having so much fun that he stayed with friends after obtaining film to use.
After capturing film, Grabowski usually hands footage over to Jennings, who does most of the editing. Though Grabowski has filmed and produced entire videos on his own, they have not yet been posted onto any official UMBC sites; on the other hand, he has contributed to videos that have made it onto UMBC social media–most notably, he captured footage for the homecoming montage on UMBC’s Facebook page. Still, he finds satisfaction from completing any projects and thinks that it is “cool” to see some of the fruits of his labor being shared with the UMBC community.