Just a few months after graduating, Kendall Valan '16 has landed in the funny business. Valan is a production assistant for Comedy Central’s brand creative department in their New York City headquarters. The department creates on-air television promos for the channel's shows, TV specials, stand-up specials, and movie marathons, and also creates promotional content for social media, the website, billboards, posters, and radio commercials.
Because brand creative is so large and works in many areas of promotion, Valan’s position is dynamic. One of her main focuses is sorting through Comedy Central’s online content databases and making clips available for the producers and editors to use for promos. After the promotional spot is created and finalized, she works with the legal and standards team to gain approval for final air. Once approved, it is her job to make sure the promotion is in the system to be scheduled for its time slot on TV. One day, Valan hopes to be a producer herself.
Some perks of her job include tickets to "The Daily Show" and "The Nightly Show," watching episodes and series that have not premiered yet, celebrity meet-and- greets in the office, and being witness to the overall internal workings of the network. In her two months on the job, she has met Trevor Noah and the cast of Broad City.
The Lancaster native notes that the media arts program at RMU taught her technical and production skills like the full Adobe suite, web design, and motion graphics which are necessary for internships and freelance projects. “The next generation in this industry is expected to be a one- man-band with knowledge of how to write, shoot, and edit,” Valan says. She was an active producer and crew member of RMU Sentry Media and RMU-TV. In her junior year, Valan produced a two- hour live election night special for the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race that was nominated for an Emmy.
Valan moved to New York City for a promotions internship with Nickelodeon in the fall of her senior year while taking online classes. Her desk was near Nick Cannon’s office and she often ran into him in the office kitchen. Viacom, owner of both Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, was impressed with Valan’s work as an intern and offered her a full-time position after graduation.
Valan’s dream of living in Brooklyn is now a reality in her brownstone apartment in Prospect Park. During her internship with Nickelodeon, she worked in the heart of Times Square at the main headquarters of Viacom. Now, with Comedy Central, she works in a quieter building in the West Village near the Hudson River.
“Living and working in New York City is everything a person would expect," she says, "a constant hustle of young professionals, subway and taxis being the main source of transportation, and the mecca of creativity and fashionable individuals. There is always something going on in the city and the days are never boring. I woke up one morning to a film set outside my window and then a huge Caribbean-style block party the next."
By Megan DeArmit