Journalism Student Awarded $2,500 Internship Grant

The year had just begun when third-year journalism major Bianka Pantoja became the recipient of three high accolades: a grant, a fellowship and an internship.

By Olivia Nelson

Cal Poly Journalism Student Bianka Pantoja Awarded Internship Grant
Bianka Pantoja, a third-year journalism student,
has excelled in her position as an advertising
consultant for MN Business and hopes to continue
her success through her advertising
internship in summer 2018. 

Pantoja, a first-generation college student, was awarded a $2,500 Advertising/Marketing Internship Grant by the California Press Foundation in January. A panel of four judges selected Pantoja out of 15 applicants.

Five grants were awarded to students “who demonstrate an exceptional interest in pursuing careers in the newspaper business in California,” according to the California Press Foundation; Pantoja, however, is the first to be awarded a new grant focused on the business side of newspapering.

In order to qualify for the funding, she had to land an internship with a California newspaper. That came next, when she learned she will be working this summer for the Bakersfield Californian, her hometown paper.

Pantoja has also been selected for a fellowship with the College Media Business and Advertising Managers (CMBAM). The fellowship provides Pantoja with the opportunity to travel to Kansas City, MO, to help facilitate CMBAM’s 46th annual convention, which will take place from March 27-31, 2018.

Her duties will include helping with marketing efforts for the convention, preparing promotional materials, participating on conference calls concerning the convention and introducing speakers.

Paul Bittick, the general manager of Mustang Media Group, was responsible for hiring Pantoja into her current role as an advertising consultant for the business operations of Mustang News. Bittick praised Pantoja for her knowledge and organization and added that she has been the top salesperson since being hired last May.

Pantoja says she enjoys building relationships with her Mustang News clients.

“I learned that this position is more than closing a sale with a client,” she said. “It is more about making sure that their advertising needs are met and that they are happy to be working with us.”

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