BYU international student lives with intent as BYUtv student employee

Beatty with co-workers at BYUtv. BYUtv provides a variety of programming, including sports. (Photo courtesy of Gwen Beatty)

BYU international student Gwen Beatty said she finds balance in work, school and friendships by living with intent.

In 2020, Beatty, who is from the Toronto area, had been searching for a job on campus. Finding a job at BYUtv allowed Beatty to work in an area closely related to her media arts studies major.

“I’m so grateful,” Beatty said of her job, which allows her to gain experience working in production studios.

Beatty works with a production crew to produce the shows that go live on BYUtv, she said. She began as a camera operator and has since had the opportunity to try different positions.

After working as a camera operator for about six months, Beatty became a technical director.

“There’s a lot of room for growth,” Beatty said, “It’s awesome if you’re a student and you don’t really know what you want to do.”

Beatty works as a technical director at BYUtv. A technical director uses the switchboard to control what is shown on TV. (Photo courtesy of Gwen Beatty)

The technical director controls what is seen on the TV program using a switchboard to operate and select cameras and other effects.

“You can tell she works in a place where she can thrive and grow in a field she loves,” Natasha Lowe, a friend of Beatty’s, said. “She loves what she does and it shows.”

Sandra Beatty, Beatty’s mother, said Beatty will frequently talk about the friendships she has found at BYUtv and the “tremendous” blessing Beatty’s job has been for Beatty and her family in many ways.

For international students such as Beatty, 20 hours is the legal maximum time she can work in a week, according to BYU Human Resources.

BYU had 1,241 international students in the 2023 fall semester, representing 102 countries, according to BYU.

“In one word to sum up what it’s like to be an international student at BYU, I would say you live intentionally,” Beatty said.

BYU’s International Student and Scholar Services provides assistance to international students in order to have “an enriching and successful BYU experience.”

Beatty said being an international student has allowed her to meet people from a variety of places around the world. 

Beatty and friends in front of Tim Hortons. Tim Hortons is a Canadian coffeehouse and restaurant chain. (Photo courtesy of Gwen Beatty)

In Beatty’s first year at BYU, she was required to take a class about American culture with other international students. The class covered documents and travel information as an international student. Beatty also recalled having a unit focused on dating, among other subjects.

Beatty frequently runs into the other students she met in her class or spends time with them, and she said it’s nice to make a community on campus.

“You meet people from other places that you otherwise wouldn’t have met,” Beatty said about interacting with other international students. “There’s a lot more diversity to that.”

In addition to living with intention in work and as an international student, Beatty said she lives intentionally through her friendships.

“She’s the most friendship-focused person I know, ever,” Sandra Beatty said. “She intentionally goes above and beyond to show the people in her life how much she cares.”

Sandra Beatty said her daughter shows this same care and thoughtfulness to her through daily FaceTime calls. This is especially meaningful as it is not possible to meet in person regularly because of distance, she said.  

“The people (Beatty) cares about know she cares through her generous, fun and loving personality,” Lowe said. “She’s really great at showing genuine care and concern for others and their needs.”

According to Lowe, Beatty is extremely good at making friends and is loving and friendly toward all, with an ability to socialize in any setting. Lowe said she has learned through Beatty’s example and outreach to others about how to meet new people.

“She’s super fun, a fantastic listener, gives great advice and knows how to party up a situation. She is someone you want around because she cares so deeply about how others are feeling, and makes things fun when they need to be,” Lowe said.

Sandra Beatty said Beatty will frequently sacrifice her time to be there for someone who is in need or needs to talk through something.

Beatty plans to continue to work as a technical director at BYUtv and will graduate from BYU in April.

Beatty with friends. Beatty intentionally makes time for spending with friends. (Photo courtesy of Gwen Beatty)

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