Q&A with Justin Sandoval: Pushing Boundaries
This year Justin was chosen to be an Intern through the highly competitive CSU Entertainment Alliance Internship Abroad Program and will be traveling to Barcelona, Spain to work with Brutal Media.
Q: How did you find out about the internship Justin?
A: I heard about this internship through Cal State LA's Chapter of Golden Key International Honour Society, of which I have been a lifetime member since April 2018.
Q: What is it about interning with Brutal Media that really excites you the most?
A: What excites me the most about Brutal Media is the fact that I will be working with a company that is international-based. This will allow me to gain a new and exciting experience in working outside of my home country, gaining knowledge and insight into how stories and media content is created and broadcasted for maximum audience impact.
Q: When did you know that this was the field you wanted to devote your academic path to? Can you describe that moment or perhaps a project or person that inspired you?
A: I knew that this was the field I wanted to devote my academic path to when I realized that as long as I have a camera, somehow, it is possible to make a movie of my own and I also believed that it was possible to learn how to make films.
When I was 19 years old and 6 months out of high school I decided that it was time for me to continue my education at the college level. I did not want to go in with an undeclared major though, so when asked what my major was, I boldly spat out "I want to make movies."
I was paired with a counselor who took me under his wing and made sure that I was going to at least gain the highest education I could gain while attending a community college. The journey was challenging, but worth it. After working continuously and never giving up my passion, I finally reached an A.S. Degree in Broadcast and Cinema. At that point I knew that no matter what I would end up doing in my future an education in Television, Film and Media Studies was what I wanted for my academic path.
It was 2016 and I had experienced so much learning and hands on experience in my major, it was a no-brainer for me to continue to where I am today, earning a B.A. in Television, Film and Media Studies from Cal State LA.
Justin Sandoval (R) with fellow Arts & Letters grads at the commencement reception.
Q: What was the internship application process like? What words of advice would you share with other students to guide and inspire them to apply?
A: The application process was competitive. It included a phone interview followed by sending a cover letter with a visual sample of my work.
After a week and a half I received a phone call stating my acceptance. As the film category in Spain was of high competition I only had a week to say "yes" to the internship abroad experience.
Once I said yes, Brutal Media scheduled an interview with me. I agreed to a Skype interview, which occurred at 12 p.m. Barcelona time, 3 a.m. U.S. time. I wore a full-on suit, lit my room accordingly, smiled and answered every one of their questions in complete sentences. Two hours later I was hired.
Advice I would give to any other students: Just apply. Do not let fear stop you but guide you. Also, when applying stay true to what your passion is. If you love film, apply for film. Do not shy away from your truest passion just because you are poor, a minority, or are afraid no one knows you. Life is an adventure to be captured and lived.
When I applied for this program I knew that I always wanted to travel the world. I’m so proud that I dared to apply and even more proud that I was true to my passions and my desire to travel.
Q: What are you hoping to gain from this internship experience?
A: What I am hoping to gain from this experience is a more diverse perspective of the world, film and different cultures other than what I am used to. I also hope to gain better insight into what kind of person I am when it comes to experiencing diverse outlooks on culture, film and in the workplace. Upon return I hope to be a more cultured individual that also knows a different language, a diverse range of food, and cultural customs.
Q: How do your life experiences feed into your creative expression or work ethic?
A: In my life fear and failure have driven me to always seek out better opportunities to succeed in my own life.
When I was 2 months old I suffered a diaphragmatic hernia, which caused me to lose a good majority of my small intestines. I had to have various forms of tubes either in my nose or chest. When I grew a little older the tube became a Broviac Catheter that was placed in my chest. Through this catheter I received nutrients regularly. When I was 21, on October 18, after much hard work of maintaining proper weight for my age and keeping healthy through doctor visits, medications, etc., I was diagnosed as overcoming the worst part of my health issue. The doctor took my Broviac Catheter out and I have been living successfully without it since.
Today I am able to eat anything I want and I'm able to maintain a proper weight for my age. Getting to this point in my life has been a very complicated and challenging journey for me.
Maintaining good health and continuing on with school was difficult, but with courage, faith and the constant work of keeping up with good health I can say that I've been successful.
Such lessons I have learned feed into my creative work ethic to always try and do the best, always. As long as I keep focused on doing my best, realizing that in every task there is not one more thing I could have done, I will surely succeed.
By Kathleen Sanchez | Cal State LA College of Arts and Letters News Service