Better Know Your Internship
One of the best ways to get your foot in the door at major entertainment companies is by starting at the bottom: become the intern. Use this interactive chart to find out how to apply for your film, TV, music, game, or live event internship.
Ah, the coveted internship. It is well known that the entertainment industry is a notoriously difficult club to gain membership to, and oftentimes, an internship offers career hopefuls the much-needed experience and face time with an industry insider that is necessary to land the first real job. We know the internship hunt isn’t easy, so instead of throwing résumés at the wall to see what sticks, let us help you narrow down your search and provide you with valuable insight into the companies your aiming to impress.
In this interactive chart, Get In Media has compiled a list of 40 internships in film, television, music, game development, and live events. Scouring the vast media landscape, we’ve tamed the wild field of information to find the answers for you, making the hunt just a little easier. You’re welcome. Click the image below to begin exploring your potential internship options.
To view and use the Internship Chart, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. Download for free here.
To pick the program that is best for you, there are a number of factors to consider, like pay and specific responsibilities of the position. Just as important to your preparation is to understand the culture of the company that you are applying to; jobseekers, like interns, often make the mistake of not thoroughly researching an employer before sitting down for an interview. As a rule, hiring managers prefer candidates that show a genuine interest in the company and can speak intelligently about the organization’s products and services.
The key to bettering your chances of landing an internship is to have a solid plan in place, which begins with research. If an internship program listed in our interactive chart sparks your interest, follow through by visiting the employer profile linked on our site. There you will find relevant information about the company’s history, products, and senior staff. You’ll also find valuable tidbits about the office culture that can give you greater insight as to whether or not the company is a good fit for you.
Next, visit the organization’s website, linked within the profile, and browse around with an eye on further understanding the unique personality of the employer and its staff. Frequently, you will find staff bios that give you an understanding of the education and professional background of the people you’ll be working with. If the company has a blog and social media links, take the time to read through the posts. You can glean a great deal of knowledge from these sources.
One question you should also have your mind on is where interns end up after they have completed an internship program with a particular employer. Following the trajectory of those who have come before you can give you an indication about what opportunities and connections may arise through your own experience. A very useful tool in this investigation is LinkedIn. Searching the professional networking site for past interns at the same company you are interested in will deliver results indicating where the internship led them. Of course, just because John left Electronic Arts as an intern and became a level designer at Blizzard doesn’t mean that you will follow the same path, but examining multiple work histories will reveal a pattern that can be an indication of your future prospects.
When you are satisfied that you’ve got your sights set on a particular internship program, carefully consider the information provided on the company’s website about scope of the program, the work you will be performing, and the qualifications they seek. Generally, the company’s website will clearly lay out everything you need to know before applying, including strict guidelines concerning your application. Follow directions. That advice cannot be overstated. You’re not doing yourself any favors if the first impression you make on a hiring manager is a demonstration that you’ve ignored their instructions. If you have questions about the application process, don’t be afraid to reach out via e-mail to the employer to ask for assistance. Too often, applicants are thwarted before they interview due to something silly like not submitting a portfolio in the proper format or exceeding the time limit of their video demo. Don’t be that guy.
When compiling your portfolio and résumé, carefully consider the description provided about the internship. Keep your submission concise, showcasing only the most relevant and high-quality examples of your work. Likewise, your résumé should be tailored specifically to that employer and position. The person reading your submission, after having looked at several others, will immediately notice if you’ve sent a cookie cutter application, copies of which are sitting identically in numerous inboxes. That is not a good thing. When asking to be accepted into the program, you are far more likely to impress if you display that you’ve put considerable time and effort into demonstrating your eagerness and determination. The more thought you put into proving why you are right for the gig, the more likely you are to get it. Simple, right?
Now, once that envelope or e-mail full of your hopes and dreams has been sent, how long do you wait before pulling out your hair? There isn’t really an answer to that. It is natural to get anxious waiting for a reply, but that is no reason to start abusing the telephone lines looking for an update on your progress. However, there are steps you can take. For starters, it is perfectly acceptable to seek out the human resources representative for that company via LinkedIn. Introduce yourself and politely inform them that you have applied for an internship. In the social media age, this is an acceptable means of networking that is not seen as pushy … just don’t be tempted to hound them every other day.
One follow-up via phone, e-mail, or social media one week after submission is sufficient. More than that really isn’t necessary. It is tempting to fantasize that perhaps your application got lost in the mail, eaten by the office dog, or otherwise prevented from being seen, but the chances are slim. With a structured internship program there are usually firm start and end dates, meaning that the company will have published an acceptance deadline along with the application announcement. So, be patient until then. Eager is good, desperate is creepy.
Advance preparation in the pursuit of your goals can make all the difference. The entertainment industry is highly competitive, and you’ll have to get creative to make yourself stand out. However, by keeping these bits of advice in mind and doing the legwork to give yourself the best chance possible, you’ve already put yourself ahead of the curve.
Well … what are you waiting for? Get going. Summer is almost here!
Have some feedback for our editors? Contact Us