You Don’t Know What You’re Capable of Until You Try

When senior Anai Salgado got the call for an interview in late 2021, she was surprised since it had been some time since she applied for an internship at Chicago’s NBC-5 - Telemundo. A few hours later, she didn’t only have a good interview, she was offered the perfect internship opportunity.

Salgado was lucky, as she found out that her eventual supervisor had all but concluded the interview process for the position when she noticed Salgado’s application. But Salgado almost didn’t even give herself the chance.

“I wasn't even planning on applying to be honest, because I didn't believe in myself,” Salgado said. “I would say it took a lot of encouragement from my sister, from my professors, from so many people that honestly believed in me more than I believed in myself.”

As an advertising and public relations and Spanish double major, interning with NBC-5 – Telemundo Chicago’s community relations and special projects department could not have been a better fit. She works with the station’s efforts to bring community together with local businesses and organization, working with the station’s many community initiatives.

A big part of community relations work is gaining the trust of partners, and this is something Salgado welcomed. “I got to experience first-hand how rewarding it is to work with nonprofits,” she said. “They are all working together to create a better community for Chicago.”

While utilizing what she learned from both of her majors on a daily basis, she cherished the opportunity to fortify her education hands-on from industry veterans. “I loved learning something new every day and the fact that I got to learn it from the best in the industry, was a real blessing,” Salgado added.

She found it most invigorating to be working in a bilingual environment, which is a major part of the joint stations’ community relations efforts with Chicagoland’s large Hispanic population. She further improved her linguistic skills, given the opportunity to use her Spanish daily on a professional basis. Within a short time, she gained the confidence needed to conduct public relations work in English, Spanish and a fully bilingual environment.

“For me, I always knew I was going to end up doing something related to advertising and PR, but I just dreamed (about being) able to incorporate Spanish into it,” she said. “I wanted (my Spanish) to be something that really help me to be successful.”

“It's a big part of who I am.”

As much as the internship helped her career prospects, she values how this experience has strengthened her. “I had to overcome my own fear of failure, learn to trust my abilities and start believing that I deserved a seat at the table,” she said with newfound self-belief.

“The confidence that I gained over the last couple of months is something that caught me by surprise and also what I now cherish most from this experience.”

Her supervisor agreed: “She has become more confident and has an ‘I got this’ attitude,” adding that Salgado now “projects self-confidence, authority and enthusiasm when given a new task.”

Graduating in May, what does the future hold for Salgado? “After figuring out my strengths and exploring my potential, I now feel more prepared to enter this next chapter of my life,” she said.

Yet, she’ll always look back at how this internship changed her life. “I'm going to be completely honest: it was my dream internship, but it's also my dream job.”

- Mel Huang