Senior mass communication major Ahtziri Chavez had always dreamed of working in international communications as a producer or director of a Hispanic broadcast station.
Thanks to help from University of Montevallo Mass Communication Professors Dr. Jay Cofield and Dr. Bruce Finklea, she landed an internship with The World Games this past summer where she worked as an associate producer for CBS and the Spanish broadcasting company, ISB.
It was a dream come true.
“My professors told me to apply, I did, and within two days I was interviewed,” Chavez said. “I was hired shortly after that.”
“I woke up at 5:30 a.m. daily, which was not a good choice for me, but it was all worth it. As a student coming from the small town of Montevallo, I met people from other schools studying the same major as mine and it made me more interested in newscasts and sportscasts. It was interesting, and I loved it.”
Chavez worked the games from June 1 to Aug. 2, 2022.
She said being Mexican American, a Spanish minor and bilingual helped her a lot. In addition to producing, her work included editing scripts, research and translating.
Thanks to her experience with The World Games, she now has connections she never had before, and said she owes that to the University of Montevallo.
“The World Games internship is one of my favorite moments at Montevallo. People see me being interviewed by Dr. Bruce Finklea about it on the mass communication program’s YouTube channel, ‘MontevalloForYou,’ and tell me all the time, ‘congratulations, you make Montevallo proud and the community proud.’”
“My original plan was to go to Barcelona to study international communication, but I got a scholarship from UM. I felt a lot of love from the community. I was committed to coming to Montevallo and Montevallo chose me.”
In her time at Montevallo, Chavez has been the anchor and a live reporter for Vallo Vision News, a member of Alpha Gamma Delta, a member of the Broadcast Education Association Club, a “proud Purple” and won an Award of Excellence from the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts in Las Vegas for producing the video “Montevallo Music Machine: The Rose Garden.”
She encourages high school students to visit UM. And if they hear the bricks calling them home, heed the call, because they belong at Montevallo.
“If Montevallo is your home, come here. Tour here for at least a day, see the beautiful campus, talk to the clubs and organizations you’re interested in. The people here are so welcoming. Our professors know your name, not just your face. That’s what sticks with me the most about my time here. They will help you.”