I would like to explain the possible ups and downs of interning. I feel in sharing my experiences I can help others avoid certain pitfalls and get the most out of their internships. The information expressed comes from the mouth of a former intern; this isn’t a guidance counselor talking or someone who has never fetched coffee or photocopied the day away. The purpose of the guide is to spread the word about the realities of interning and is based on my time spent in the entertainment fields, but is relevant to all internships and office environments in general. I hope this guide helps you along your internal journey.
How do you land an internship?
The first question you have to ask is what interests you? Your interests will lead you to the internship that you pick. I love films so that was the industry that I did most of my internships in. I interned everywhere from a one-person grass roots independent film company to a studio. Say you also like films. Now it is time to do some research. Do you have a favorite genre? Start by finding out who produces your favorite films. You can find this information out simply be looking at the covers of the films in your DVD collection. The more research you do in picking your dream internship, the more passionate you are about your interests, this will be reflected in your internship. Passion drives people. Think of this opportunity as an audition for your dream job.
Once you’ve scanned your movie collection and have a list of ideal places to intern at, you now need to get in touch with their internship coordinator. Some web sites let you apply online or at least forward your resumes to those doing the intern hiring. If you cannot find information online do not despair. Depending on the industry, there are different ways to go about this. For information regarding film companies try the Hollywood Creative Directory, this will provide you with listings of nationwide companies and their addresses, telephone numbers, and faxes. This book can be expensive so see if your local library or bookstore has it. Make notes on the information you need. Also ask people you know if they have any contacts in the industry that interests you. Start networking early. There is a lot of competition out there. If you are in high school or college, check with your advisor or career center. If all else fails call directory assistance on your phone and they should be able to provide you with a general number to the company that you are looking for.