My time working in the Seminole Media Productions’ Broadcasting Department is coming to an end. Starting April 3, I will begin a six-month stint working in Business Marketing, another sector of SMP. This will be my third rotation to another department since I have been in the two-year Advanced Career Development program.
Broadcasting manager Sunshine Frank has been incredibly supportive of me. She, too, has a family, and understands the importance of balancing one’s professional and private life. This past Valentine’s Day, I covered a rodeo in Brighton with one of my co-workers, Carlos Menendez, who is Broadcasting’s senior editor. We were unable to spend that day with our wives, but when we returned to the office we both had packages of candy waiting for us, which was one of the nicest gestures a manager has ever done for me.
Prior to working in Broadcasting, it never occurred to me how much time and effort it takes to cover and run events such as Council meetings and other Tribal community events. There is so much preparation and attention to detail that takes place behind the scenes. Often, sacrifices are made to get the job done. On multiple occasions, I have worked on weekends and hours outside the traditional 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. schedule. This has helped increase my appreciation for the people who work for us.
In addition to Sunshine Frank and Carlos Menendez, there are three other staff members. Records specialist coordinator Carlisle Jebodh is the newest addition to the team, followed by videographer Carlos Fuentes, and Ishma Fray, the audio and writer specialist. Each has aided in my development as a professional in their own ways. I feel we all have developed a strong camaraderie due to the amount of time we have spent together working.
Broadcasting has been an interesting department to work in. Ms. Frank has a vision of taking the department into a direction the Tribe has not yet experienced, and I am excited to see it progress. As was the case during my time with the Tribune, I have been welcomed and treated as part of the team. I would not consider myself an expert yet, but I definitely feel more comfortable doing work as a videographer and editor now than I did months ago.
Although I am a Tribal citizen, I have always wanted to be treated as if I were a regular employee so I could have as authentic of a work experience as possible, and that has been accomplished thus far. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working for the Tribe and have matured as a professional. I have continued to learn the importance of patience and being optimistic. As is the case with anything, things will not always be perfect, but the journey is what is most important.
Aaron Tommie is a participant in the Tribe’s Advanced Career Development program. He is currently working for the Broadcasting Department in Seminole Media Productions.