Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What kind of internships do I need?

Ally writes: I’m college senior in New York City with six internships under my belt, three of which are administrative/ communications related, the other three in television and film. One of them was with a well-known film studio, the others two with independent, semi-well connected production companies. Basically, I’m reading a lot of scripts and running errands in the city. Since I want to be a script reader and television writer and I have a year left of school to apply for internships, I’m wondering: where should I go next? Should I continue applying for development internships with production companies, where I do coverage for free all day? Or should I apply to high profile film studios within other departments for the aesthetic sake of my resume? 

Also, I know you’ve addressed this before, but do you think its wise for an aspiring writer like myself to move to LA and apply for agency work? Or should I just take the HR job that pays well, work on my specs and hope I get selected for a writing fellowship/ miraculously find an assistant position posting online?

It sounds like you are doing everything right - and I don't think there's a "right" answer to your question. Six internships is a lot! If you want to be a writer, I do think it could be useful for you to be at an agency or management company, just to see that side of it, but don't think about it as the way to get represented there - it's probably just too soon for that. Really, any internship - development, studio, production company, etc., would be valuable. You just want to be A) learning something and B) meeting people who can help you get a paid job once you graduate. Variety on your resume is good, but since you'll be looking for entry-level jobs when you graduate, it won't matter all that much. Just HAVING internship experience is probably the most important thing, in terms of your resume, if you get job interviews on your own - but making connections with your internship supervisors can be crucial for hearing about jobs (this is how I got my agency job). Don't be afraid to ask your internship supervisors for help with your job search; even if there are no open positions at the company, these people likely hear about openings elsewhere. Read more about internships here, especially this post about evaluating whether an internship is worth it.

Yes, I do think moving to LA is necessary once you graduate, if you want to be a writer. Unless you have really strong connections to industry people in NY, LA will be an easier place for you to find a job. It's just a numbers thing. And when it comes time for getting a job, not internship, try to get one that will get you closest to writers - whether that means agency, development, PA on a show, etc. You can find out more about the job search here.

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