Michael Gutierrez

Michael Gutierrez is senior in Communication with a minor in Community & Civic Engagement at Auburn University. His passion is visual media in all forms and thrives to weave that passion into each aspect of his life. He works hard to embody the motto “decisions determine your destiny” so that its strong ethos shines through everything he does. Through CAPA, he received a CAPA Record of Achievement award in Professional Development for his work at Latimer Creative Media and served on the CAPA Student Council as representative for over 200 students. Since returning to Auburn, he utilized his study abroad experience to acquire an internship with the Office of International Programs’ Auburn Abroad. He is also the President of the Global Tigers Peer Advisory, an active brother of Phi Kappa Psi, and is employed by Auburn University’s College of Liberal Arts: Office of External Affairs.

Why did you decide to study and intern abroad with CAPA?

Michael: When I made the decision to study abroad in London with CAPA International Education I also decided to push myself to include an internship that coincided with my minor Community & Civic Engagement. I believed this would make me stand out as a future interviewee and expand my cultural experiences even more. CAPA and I worked together to find an internship that would allow me to work with the community and utilized my multimedia skills. This combination of preferences allowed me to find Latimer Creative Media and become an intern with this video production company. Latimer works with public and non-profit agencies seeking innovative solutions to ingrained social issues though co-creation on multimedia projects. This was a perfect fit because Latimer allowed me to work on an assortment of media projects while also making connections in the community with a wide variety of people and organizations.

CAPA also included a corresponding course, Learning Through Internships, which allowed students to discuss their internships. I was glad CAPA included this course into my schedule because it became a constructive outlet to talk about the differences from previous American work experiences.

What made this experience unique and special?

Michael: Currently Latimer is in a major company shift into bigger productions and wider brand inclusion that made their schedules very hectic. This was a huge benefit as an intern because Latimer needed an editor to review and create rough cuts for many of their video projects. This allowed me to show forth my strong suit and work hard with high-quality outcomes. This was also a major advantage for Latimer because they did not have to hire an outside video editor to make initial cuts on video projects. Everyday I walked into my internship knowing my skills and work ability were going to be pushed to the limit, which in turn helped me get comfortable with a busy work environment. Never in my life had I worked with so many talented and creative people who all brought different aspects to every project. This helped enhanced my video skills in more than just video editing. Latimer also helped me understand my ideal work setting, which in turn has helped tremendously while searching for post-undergrad jobs.

River view in Bruges, Belgium

How has this experience impacted your future?

Michael: My internship with Latimer was a rewarding experience with many creative, business, and educational triumphs. When I walked into my first day at Latimer Creative Media, I had the mindset to complete two major accomplishments. The first was to make a name for myself in the company as a hard worker and team player. The second was to push myself and make sure I learned new skills to take home. I can say with complete certainty that my internship not only made me a better video editor but also a better employee. I learned so much through my internship and have already taken all of those skills and utilized them into a second internship.

Since being back, I have accepted an internship with Auburn University’s Office of International Programs. I currently present studying abroad orientation sessions, help host the Annual Study Abroad Fair, create promotional videos and posters, and manage all their social media accounts. This new internship was made possible by having the experience of a previous internship abroad.

What was the highlight of your experience?

Michael: If I had to choose a highlight of my experience it would be a tie between two accomplishments. The first would be the biggest project I worked on during my Latimer internship. This project was a solo video-editing job on a series of spoken word poetry videos filmed by female gang victims in Birmingham, UK. This project required me to extensively expand my knowledge of After Effects (a sfx software in Adobe Suite). I had worked very briefly with the software using the help of templates but never by free hand. This required me to put the extra hours of research to successful pull of the effects. After several edits and revisions I ended up with three well-received short music videos. Jack Woodcraft, co-founder of Latimer, thanked me for my hard work on the videos and said he considered me part of the team and not just a passing intern. This meant the world to me because not only was I making an impression on a boss but I was also using my passion for editing videos to benefit me in a company setting.

The second highlight of my abroad experience would be winning the CAPA Record of Achievement award for Professional Development. This huge recognition from CAPA and meant so much to me as a hard working student intern. This recognition was further highlighted when British newspaper The Telegraph published an article and video about my internship and other students alike.

What is one piece of advice you would offer someone considering interning abroad in London?

Michael: The greatest accomplishment of my study abroad semester was capitalizing on my internship and obtaining a better understanding of my chosen field of work. I made strong bonds with my co-workers at Latimer and if I ever visit London again I will also have a place to stay. My one piece of advice to anyone considering interning abroad in London would be to not only do it but also cherish the opportunity. There were moments when I was jealous of the amount of free time my non-intern flat-mates enjoyed. However, I was the abroad student that was able stand out, propelled my abroad internship into an internship at home, and was showcased in an international publication. None of my accomplishments would have been possible if I didn’t include an internship with my study abroad semester.

Michael Gutierrez and fellow co-workers of Latimer