By jumping into clubs and internship opportunities at TU, Rachel Ederer '19 developed a network of friends and mentors
Calling Rachel Ederer ’19 busy is an understatement. The Towson University senior majoring in electronic media and film (EMF) juggles club sports, freelance gigs and multiple internships on top of full-time studies. She’s also part of the Honors College.
“I’m a crazy social person, I like to make friends everywhere,” Ederer says.
Towson University’s large student body, abundant clubs and high-end athletics facilities made it Ederer's first-choice college.
The Silver Spring, Maryland, native has been mastering the art of networking since her freshman year, when she learned about Towson Sports Network from a fellow EMF major at a Student Government Association event. A member of the TV news station at her high school, Ederer jumped headfirst into the opportunity to cover Tigers Athletics when she was offered the internship shortly after applying and interviewing.
“I’ve gotten so much hands-on experience,” Ederer says. “Towson has the biggest student-run program in terms of broadcasting live sports for Division I. A lot of other schools will have three interns, or they’ll have a big production company that comes in and does all their work for them. We have 12-15 interns.”
After four years working on the same equipment used by the pros, from the 3Play instant replay system to managing the Jumbotron, Ederer has developed a well-rounded skill set that has prepared her to work as a freelance producer, camera operator, editor, director and more.
“The coolest thing I did with TSN was traveling with the men's basketball team to Northeastern,” Ederer recalls. “We make all of our videos on the spot. We shoot the game, make the highlight video and post it same-day.”
The electronic media and film coursework was the perfect complement to Ederer’s non-narrative work with TSN. “I’m taking the narrative skills I’m learning [from EMF] and translating them to non-narrative,” she says. “Like learning how to find your light. If I want to interview someone outside, I know where to put them.”
Ederer developed close relationships with EMF faculty, including Artist-in-Residence Jena Richardson and Assistant Professor Lynn Tomlinson.
“I took the Reel World: Film Industry Career Prep class with Jena Richardson. She’s my favorite professor,” Ederer says. “The final project was to create my website, my reel, my production resume.”
Richardson also served as a mentor to Ederer in a male-dominated field. “It’s amazing to have a female professor to look up to, to have your back,” Ederer says. “She’s been such a great resource for so many things.”
Ederer interned for the Washington Spirit, a professional women’s soccer club in Germantown, Maryland, beginning her sophomore year. “I walked in there and knew more about the cameras than our communications director,” Ederer recalls. “That was just learning from TSN.”
Thanks to a connection made by Tomlinson, she’s currently interning with GoodFight Media, a production company in Washington, D.C., that creates documentary-style short films, short branded films and commercials. She's also a captain of the Towson Track Club and an active member and former captain of TU’s Latin dance club Pasión. Ederer received the Neal Fredericks Filmmakers Scholarship in 2018 and was also a Celebration of Scholarship and Learning award winner in the fall of 2018.
“Everyone is always joking that I do a lot. But that’s just what I like to do,” Ederer says. “Another thing [that drew me to] Towson is just that there are a million clubs. That’s how I found my people.”
Ederer encourages her peers to know and use their resources. “Take all the opportunities you can. That’s how I did it,” she says. “Don’t be afraid to talk to people. Just send the email, apply. That’s how I’ve gotten all of the internships I’ve had so far.”
In four years at TU, she’s also learned to be her own advocate. “I said, ‘I want to learn how to direct, I want to learn replay.’ Don’t wait for someone to offer it to you. People love initiative.”
Another resource Ederer has learned to love? The Counseling Center.
“I found out I had anxiety my freshman year, and I got free therapy for a year here, which is amazing,” Ederer says. “I give so much credit to our health center. It changed me—my freshman self to my senior self is a completely different person.”
“Obviously, I have a million things on my plate at all times,” Ederer adds. “I used to burn myself out so fast, and now I’m doing a lot but I’ve learned how to balance and I’m so much better off.”
After Commencement, Ederer plans to work as a freelancer and grow her existing connections in the field. Networking helped her land a contract fill-in position covering Major League Baseball for Mid-Atlantic Sports Network. GoodFight Media has asked her to continue freelancing once her internship concludes. One day she hopes to work for the NFL or MLB, film the Olympic Games, or work camera on a Food Network program.
Wherever she lands, Ederer is confident the opportunities at Towson University have prepared her with the tools she needs to succeed.
“It’s a hustler job,” Ederer says with a smile. “I feel like I’m pretty good at that.”
The Electronic Media and Film Department engages a new generation of enthusiastic artists, entertainers and communicators to share media in bold and unconventional new ways.