Multimedia / Student Life

Isabel Ortiz Goes From Intern to Host at CUNY TV

From shy intern to host of her own network podcast, Isabel Ortiz is making her way in the media space while being a full-time student at Hunter College.

Ortiz grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y. and when it was time to go to college she wanted a change of scenery. She spent her first year of college at SUNY New Paltz, but after the pandemic hit, it became clear that college upstate wasn’t going to work for her. Her first year of college was not what she expected, nor what she wanted her next three years to be. So, she landed at Hunter and started studying Media.

In her junior year, she applied for internships and started at CUNY TV in the spring of 2023. The application process was hard, Ortiz said.

“There’s a lot of no, no, no’s until you get the one yes and you’re thrilled!” she said.

Ortiz began working with Carol Ann Ridell, an on-camera reporter and host, who really inspired her interest to be in front of the camera, which she never thought as something even remotely possible for her.



“Being pushed, it made me more comfortable and they believed me and I then believed in myself,” Ortiz said.

Through this internship and her curiosity for the media space, Ortiz was hired to take over CUNY TV’s, “CUNY Uncut” podcast show. Not only does Ortiz host the show, but she books the guests, edits, and produces the show herself.

“Uncut” delivers raw interviews from alumni and active students highlighting the successes and struggles in work, education, mental health, and simply navigating today’s world.

It has become Ortiz’s creative outlet, as the podcast is for students, by students.

The podcast, aired on Apple Podcasts, is also taped and posted on YouTube. For someone who didn’t want to be on camera, Ortiz said she has come to enjoy being her authentic self during the interviews.

Since “Uncut” is a legacy show, at the end of the year, Ortiz is looking forward to “ ..passing on the baton and letting it do what was done for me for someone else.”

Like many other seniors, Ortiz is gearing up to graduate with the same fears and uncertainties post-graduate students feel as they enter the workforce. However, she has found comfort in knowing that she’s found something she’s good at.

“Other careers seem boxed in and I appreciate the aspect that nothing is planned and you get to play around and do different things,” she said.

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