Ana Haack ’20 Lands a TV Internship and a Surprise Spot on Camera
When Ana Haack ‘20 accepted an internship at Boston television station WHDH, she expected to work behind the scenes doing public relations. But it wasn’t long before the Creative Industries major was in front of the camera as a guest on the show Revista Hispana to discuss the unrest in her home country of Venezuela.
“I’m so passionate about what is happening in Venezuela – the political issues, lack of food and medicine, power outages and mass exodus -- and when I happened to meet Alberto Vasallo at the studio, he was interested in what I had to say and invited me on the show,” Haack says of meeting the Cuban-born TV personality who hosts the show.
Haack admits she was at first starstruck by Vasallo, who is also the CEO of the magazine El Mundo Boston and one of the most recognized Latino media personalities in New England. But after the first couple minutes on camera, Haack got comfortable sharing her story because it hit home. “All the time I hear from my mother in Venezuela about not finding food at the supermarket or seeing people in the streets. It hurts her and hurts me because I love my family and my country.”
Haack wanted to share her perspective because she believes that the media in Venezuela and many countries controls much of what is broadcast, something that frustrates her but also sparked her to do an internship at WHDH. “I get upset about news stations because they create their own truth, and I want to do what I can to fix that.”
A course taught by Bentley Professor of English and Media Studies Jennifer Gillan about creative industries encouraged Haack’s interest in TV. “Professor Gillan talked a lot about the television industry and how it has changed over the years. It inspired me to fall in love with the TV industry and find a way to get involved.”
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That kind of passion informs much of what Haack does, particularly when it comes to helping Venezuelans in need. During high school she created Community Service Enterprise, a student club that helped fund basic necessities for people in Maracaibo, the city in northwestern Venezuela where she grew up. The summer after her first year at Bentley, she co-founded Cascos a Color, a nonprofit that designs, produces and sells hats to benefit the I Love Venezuela Foundation.
“At the time there were a lot of protests in Venezuela and I wanted to do something for my country because I have the privilege of getting an education in the United States. If I have the ability to help someone in need, I will.”
Haack’s commitment to service struck a chord with the WHDH hiring manager because the public relations internship included working with local nonprofits on initiatives such as the TV station’s sponsorship of Boston’s Walk for Hunger. “When I was interviewing for the internship, he recognized that my work with nonprofits wasn’t just something I did to put on my resume. I did it because I wanted to help others and I enjoy it.”
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Little did Haack know she would be able to help others by advocating for change in Venezuela as a guest on Revista Hispana. She still recalls those first few nervous moments in front the camera, when she relied on the confidence she had built at Bentley.
“Bentley has a competitive atmosphere and it inspires me to do better and push myself,” she says. “My confidence and passion for Venezuela helped me take a risk and have one of the best experiences of my life.”