Stephen Castro just wrapped his first summer internship at AT&T. He spent 10 weeks shooting, filming, editing – and sometimes starring in – videos for AT&T University. In a few weeks, he’ll head back to school to start classes for his masters in mass communications.

Stephen found this opportunity thanks to a new program through AT&T and LaunchAbility.

LaunchAbility prefers the term “able.” They’re committed to helping people with cognitive disabilities fit in and feel good in the workplace. This summer, we worked with LaunchAbility to host 4 interns on the autism spectrum. The internship ran June-August 2017 in Dallas.

Sipping coffee between video shoots, Stephen told us about his experience at AT&T – and what’s next.

Why do you think it’s important to have an internship?

Internships are the building blocks for a future career. You get to gain job experience like working on assignments, collaborating and networking. Internships can also lead you to a career after college.

Tell us about your internship.

In my internship with AT&T, I was chosen based from my experience in videography and video editing. It’s an honor that I was given the opportunity to intern at a major corporation like AT&T!

I liked how I got to be creative every day. As a team, we create weekly videos for LwD 365. This stands for Leading With Distinction. It’s an internal campaign promoting individual growth and continued learning for employees. For example, we made art and crafts for props in a video encouraging employees to be creative. It was a fun moment because I never thought I would be making grass out of green yarn.

Lastly, I learned that collaboration is very beneficial at this corporation. It was an awesome feeling to see the final product based from the hard work that we, as a team, did.

Where do you work? Tell us about the environment.

The open workspace is my favorite part about the environment at AT&T University. It was easier to communicate with my team members if I had a question. We also had fun conversations with each other on many topics!

Everybody was also friendly and energetic! To celebrate a birthday of an employee, we danced in a line around our floor and main lobby! It was something that I had never experienced at an internship before. I met so many awesome people at AT&T!

What does a normal day look like for you at your internship?

The thing that I like about my internship is that every day is different at AT&T University. On Mondays, we have a team-building meeting where we answer a fun question, then discuss T University updates.

For the rest of the week, we have various tasks like brainstorming video ideas, creating the storyboard, filming the video, recording voiceover and editing the footage. The tasks cycle every week. I also have the privilege of helping manage LwD 365’s internal site forum. The hard work pays off at the end!

What’s your favorite part?

My favorite part of the internship has been the filming stage of the videos. It’s impressive to see how much work is done to perfect a shot. It was also fun to be in some videos!

What is the most challenging part?

The challenging part was just the first week jitters about interning at a big company like AT&T. These feelings made me a little shy and nervous around people. The tide quickly changed by the second week.

Which project are you most proud of?

The project I’m most proud of was helping edit the time relapse clip for the “You Are Creative” video I mentioned earlier. It was crazy to see the amount of teamwork on the Go Pro!

What do you want to do next?

After this internship at AT&T, I’m planning to start graduate school at Texas Tech University with a major in mass communications. Continuing my education has always been a priority in my life. I’m also looking forward to being with my family in Lubbock! As for my career, I would like to work in media productions in either corporate or the TV industry. Wherever the road takes me!

This summer, Stephen and his team worked together to promote how diversity is good for business – and for leadership.

“Stephen was so willing, upbeat and positive EVERY day. Stephen is set for great things, not just as he goes back to crush it at Texas Tech, but most certainly in life. We were all lucky to work with him,” said Zach Stockholm, the lead training manager who supervised Stephen.