By Natalie St. Denis
Alexandra Perez, a senior TV video production major, hopes to become a producer for ESPN. She could also see herself being a news producer because she has grown to love news being a part of Plattsburgh State Television on campus.
Originally, Perez came to SUNY Plattsburgh to pursue a degree in journalism. But she realized it wasn’t really for her. After talking with her friend Nicole Liebowitz, a current junior, Perez decided on a new path of study. At the time, Liebowitz was a freshman majoring in TV video production and told Perez to take a video production class. Perez ended up loving it and changed her major two weeks into the semester.
Perez started off as a crewmember for PSTV.
“I feel like that really made me fall in love with the major and fall in love with what I wanted to do,” Perez said.
John Chambers, a professor of Perez’s and the adviser for PSTV, said when she first joined as a crew member, she was quiet but became a leader over time.
“She was kinda quiet and observant when she first joined us and now she takes charge of the entire room of 30-40 students sometimes,” Chambers said.
Liebowitz worked alongside Perez on many assignments and they took many of the same classes. Like Chambers, Liebowitz has been able to see her growth throughout their time together.
“Alex has definitely grown overall as a person and has become more confident in the work she does,” Liebowitz said.
She recalls a time when she and Perez were managers at PSTV and worked on a project together they both felt a little uneasy about accomplishing. But Perez took charge and reinforced Liebowitz when she felt stressed. Liebowitz said Perez only grew from there and became the executive producer of PSTV this semester.
Perez said being executive producer and being in charge of more than 30 people has it’s days. She sometimes finds it hard to manage schoolwork and other aspects of her life. But she makes time for everything in her busy schedule.
“I think everything in my life means something to me in some way. So I always try to make time for everything,” Perez said.
Chambers mentioned PSTV is a large time commitment and Perez shows up every day. Her hard work has paid off because she has learned every system in the TV station and students can go to her if they need assistance.
In fact, Perez said that being executive producer has been rewarding because she gets to see the crew members learn and understand concepts while having fun doing it.
Additionally, Liebowitz said at an award ceremony for crew members in PSTV, Perez received 10 awards, the most out of the class.
“She put her all into listening to the producer’s vision of the show and executing it regardless of the position she had to do,” Liebowitz said. “Regardless if it was camera, or audio, whatever position she was told to do, she did it with flying colors and got awarded for it.”
Liebowitz can further see Perez’s passion for her major being a close friend in her daily life. She said that they talk about entertainment all the time. They often watch movies and TV shows together and put their knowledge to the test by assessing the camera work or editing.
Perez is also vice president of the Broadcast Education Association on campus. Through this, she has been given the opportunity to go to Los Angeles and participate in panels run by individuals involved in the media field.
She is a new member of the Theta Alpha Lambda sorority, and has been doing as much community service as she can. She has helped the Salvation Army and donated items to them. Perez also recently participated in the adopt-a-highway program, which works to clean up highway roadsides.
She has a colleague who works for a local Burlington TV station who she observes and has learned from. This is just another way Perez tries to stay involved.
Although COVID-19 has attempted to dampen the last moments of Perez’s college career, she was grateful she could come back to campus this year. She finds herself spending most of her days making sure the TV studio is clean.
“I’d rather be safe than sick,” Perez said.
As Perez prepares to leave SUNY Plattsburgh, Liebowitz reflects on how she has seen Perez blossom in a field she loves.
“I’ve seen her hussle here to get tasks done and I know that would only become better in an actual workplace setting,” Liebowitz said.
Perez says she doesn’t know if she will ever be prepared to leave but with all she has gained, she thinks she will be OK in the real world.
“I think I have a good head on my shoulders, maybe not all the time,” Perez said. “But for the most part, I feel like my dedication, hard work will get me through life.”