Mikayla Kelley headshot photo

Mikayla Kelley

Video Engineering Intern
Production Assistant
AARP Studios

Tell us about your work/ research. What kinds of things do you do? 

I have been working as a production assistant for the past year and a half, assisting on many productions. I have been primarily focusing on production coordinating. I believe it is vital to understand what goes into coordinating projects. I am hoping to use this knowledge in the future to produce my own work.

What sparked your initial interest in your career?

 I have always been interested in filmmaking. As a young girl, I worked on becoming an actress. I grew a love for the whole video production process. After completing my Bachelors Degree in Communications, I decided to return to school for Digital Media Production. It was the best decision I ever made.

Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?

 My family has been the most encouraging throughout my entire career, starting in middle school when I wanted to become an actress. They have always supported my dreams no matter what they were. I wouldn't have gotten this far without them!

What element of your work/ study do you think is the most fascinating?

The most fascinating element of this type of work is how it can affect each individual differently. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and will react differently to each piece of your work. 

How did you get involved with the Nautilus Exploration Program?  

I heard about the OET Video Engineering Internship through the WIFV Listerv. It sounded like a great learning opportunity and experience. I immediately applied for the position and was lucky enough to be asked to join the team! 

What other jobs led you to your current career?  

To jump start my career, I started applying for many internships and production assistant jobs. Any work I could get, paid or not, I would take and be the first and last to leave the set. This has really allowed me to network and continue receiving work.

What are your degrees and certifications?

Bachelor's of Arts in Communication, University of Maryland University College 2013; Associate of Arts: Cultural Studies, College of Southern Maryland, May 2011; Associate of Arts: Digital Media Production, College of Southern Maryland, Spring 2015

What are your hobbies?

 I love learning and taking classes, whether its a class for video production or a fitness class. I am always ready to learn something new. 

What advice would you give someone who wants to have a career like yours?

My advice to anyone is to never give up. If you want something bad enough, you need to go out and make it happen. Anything is possible when you just decide that quitting is not an option. Make your own opportunities, don’t be too hard on yourself if you make a mistake, and just enjoy the journey. 


Mikayla participated in the following Ocean Exploration Trust expeditions: