By Kandace Kohr
Levi Schenk is hard at work to make his dreams of working in the television industry a reality.
A junior Media Studies and Production major, Schenk has always been attracted to sales. In seventh grade, he headed an entrepreneurial operation selling candy on the school bus. Although the scheme was shut down by school administrators, he knew that this business was right for him. He’s a self-proclaimed hard worker with a passion for sales, and it certainly shows.
After coming to the Temple University School of Media and Communication from a community college, he knew that Temple “just felt right.” At first, his passions resided in film production. He spent some time at the New York Film Academy, but soon discovered that his heart (and wallet) was not in it. “I came to the realization that film was too expensive and competitive, so I had to choose. I thought, ‘TV is sort of like film, it’s not as risky and it is more job-based.’ Finances were really the biggest thing.”
As a student who pays for his own education, Schenk prides himself with a solid work ethic and a foundation to prove it. Before he won the George P. and Martina Jennings Endowed Scholarship for the spring 2013 semester, he worked upwards of 18 hours a week at Koja Grill as a cashier to compensate his college expenses. Upon receiving the $2,500 award, Schenk was able to give up his part-time job and instead gain the hands-on experience necessary to succeed in television.
When he’s not crisscrossing the Philadelphia area between his internship, school and home, Schenk is an active member of Media Meltdown Productions, Temple’s student-run production organization. He is a project manager for the organization, and also schedules and assists in production shoots. He is also a member of the Golden Key International Honors Society.
His media business internship at WPVI-TV Philadelphia allows him to diversify his interests and skills from working in sales to programming, engineering and news. For this, he also has Temple’s media studies and production program to thank.
“I think that MSP gives you a broad understanding of all the areas as a whole… it’s about being well-rounded.” He believes in the importance of first impressions and reciprocity. Even though his internship does not require it, he wears a tie because he attributes his appearance to the worker and professional he truly is. “When the GM of the company came to our class to speak, he noticed me because I was the only one out of 100 kids wearing a tie.”
As he goes through his busy day-to-day, there is a constant reminder of the generosity and relief the Jennings Scholarship has brought him. Not only does it bring him solace financially, but it also bears the brunt of the mental burden. “I’m learning a lot about financials at work now, I’ll just start thinking of the interest rates, and the years, and the payments on my loans. It all just daunts on you.”
But since the scholarship has come in he’s instead focusing on his internship and his future career.