After applying to various internships in her third year in New Mexico State University’s journalism and media studies program, Mia Tontodonati landed a coveted internship with NBCUniversal.
“I was kind of bored cause COVID was happening so I submitted my resume and cover letter, not thinking I was ever going to hear back. Then I got an email saying that I was going to do an interview.”
Tontodonati interviewed for a slot with the NBC Sports News Desk. After several rounds of interviews, the internship went to someone else but Tontodonati was invited to interview again, then hired as an intern for NBC’s Olympics Research Team.
“It was fun.” Tontodonati said. “Finding information on the different athletes who were making history and getting to hear the announcer say stuff that I helped to research was super cool.”
After the Olympics, the NBC Sports News Desk offered to extend Tontodonati’s internship into the Summer of 2022.
“I’m getting to work behind the scenes, which is super fun. I get to work on our different sports shows and uploading content,” Tontodonati said. “Writing headlines and doing the website stuff, getting to update the website and then see it is super cool.”
A Las Cruces native, Tontodonati first discovered her passion for sports reporting in Las Cruces Public Schools attending Sierra Middle School where she was a part of the media magnet program.
Tontodonati attended Las Cruces High School where she continued honing her skills by participating in the Bulldawg Broadcast media program. She was hired by the boys’ basketball team to take pictures and film the games of the team. Her high school experience pointed her to pursue journalism in college.
Tontodonati not only worked in broadcast opportunities, but also was the first female sports writer for NMSU’s college newspaper, the Round Up.”
NMSU junior journalism and media studies major Xavier Dominguez worked on the Bulldawg Broadcast with Tontodonati in high school then at the Round Up when the two started college at NMSU.
“Working with Mia in high school was so inspiring to see her so passionate about her work and journalism,” Dominguez said. “Mia not only helped me grow in the field, but she also brought the media program to a new level that it had not ever been before whether at our national competitions or motivating us to continue growth within ourselves or exploring new ideas to tell a story.”
At NMSU, Tontodonati’s passion for sports and digital media became clear.
“I did sports writing for the Round Up, I worked on live broadcasts with Aggie Vision (a sports broadcast unit televising NMSU games). I worked with ‘News22’ (a student-produced newscast aired on KRGW-TV) in my freshman year to see if I liked broadcast news,” Tontodonati said. “None of them felt completely right until I started the NBC internship I currently have.”
Hugo Perez, NMSU journalism and media studies college assistant professor, remembers Tontodonati as a student in one of his classes. “She’s very savvy with digital media and super creative,” he said. “The work our students do in the classroom is complimented by internships that can take their skillsets to higher level. Mia is now connected to NBCUniversal, which hopefully will open more doors to other internships and a maybe a full-time job upon graduation.”
“The journalism department at NMSU helped me because they really do offer so many different opportunities,” Tontodonati said. “I got to try everything out and was able to find what fit me and what didn't. I think that everyone should take advantage of all those opportunities.”
Tontodonati expects earn her bachelor’s degree from NMSU in May 2023. In the meantime, she plans to apply for additional internships with NBC to get more experience and a foot in the door for future employment