Spotlights

Jillian Leviton, Campus Recruiter, NBCUniversal

Jillian Leviton is a Campus Recruiter at NBC Universal and directly recruits for the NBC News and MSNBC sector of the company. Leviton is a graduate of George Washington University and has previously worked at the PageGroup as a recruiter before she joined NBCUniversal. Leviton discusses her tips for undergraduates and current college seniors about the internship program at NBC and gives her insight on the job search!

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Courtesy of Jillian Leviton

How many applications do you receive a semester for the internship program?

We get at least 10,000 but for summer it might go up to 20,000. But specifically I support NBC News and MSNBC internships so that’s mostly production but then it’s a PR internship, marketing internship, it’s an internship supporting the Today Show and Nightly News. So under that specific umbrella we probably have close to 4,000 or 5,000 for the summer and we have about 110 spots.

What specific qualities do recruiters like yourself look for in candidates?

We look for on campus involvement, almost most of our recruiters would say to have that experience with your school television, school newspaper or certain organizations and clubs like PR Women in Media. I would say it would be great to that people get prior internships, especially our local studios if you’re close to the city so whether it’s at another media company or its just working in PR role for a law firm, whatever it is that you can get. The skills section in your resume is a must have with the Microsoft Suite if you will and then in news we look for good writers.

Do you guys look for just specific internships someone should have when they apply for an internship at NBC?

It depends on the roles because we have so many different types. If your dream job is to work in casting or development it would be great if you had prior internship work experience because NBC is such a big company I tell people it’s not really the place to figure yourself out or say you’re open to anything. It’s really the place where we have people who say they want to work in media or work in PR or production. Just give us the options and we’ll help you figure it out from there. Half the internships you’re going to love half you’re going to hate so you can figure it out once you’re in the building. We want the people that want to do the specific job that we have.

Are prior entertainment internships a must to get an internship at NBC or to get noticed?

I wouldn’t say it’s a must, we pretty much evaluate on campus experience, I equivilate internships to on campus club involvement, leadership opportunities so if that’s what you want to do just make sure you’re getting yourself involved. You don’t have to work at one of our competitors to get a job here. And entertainment is not the only word I would use. NBC is huge we have our entertainment, sports, we also have NBC Sports, we have Olympics jobs and internships. We have internships with Today Show with NBC News, MSNBC and obviously Jimmy Fallon, SNL so depending on what area you want to go into yes you definitely need experience  in it but not necessarily internship. Work at your local news station, that’s fine too!

How do you work with the other recruiters who do the other sections of the recruitment for the internship program?

So if someone reaches out to me and says, “Hey, I’d like to intern for Jimmy Fallon” or anything outside of news I just send it to a list of all the recruiters on my team saying “Hey, this person reached out just forwarding along their resume in their areas of interest”. So it always helps when someone says their areas of interest or what specific job they applied to because I can just route it directly, otherwise I’ll just share it.

What are the necessary steps an undergraduate needs to take in order to get themselves noticed at NBC for an internship?

I already highlighted most of the important resume steps but if NBC is coming to your campus, follow us on social media where we’ll be tweeting or instagramming about where we’re going. Make a presence while we’re there in person, we’re not at every campus so it’s not necessarily applicable to everyone make sure you come out and introduce yourself. Go that extra mile and extra step. Having that one page resume with your involvements. Use career services, if your resume is half white and you’re not really selling yourself, fill it up!  I tell people the less amount of white space the better. Know about the media industry too I would say is the last piece. Do your research if you’re not on certain email blasts whether it’s synopsis or whatever the case may be start to learn the trade because once you get an interview, great, but what’s gonna make you stand out is knowing our executives, knowing what’s going on in the news, that’s most important.

What do you believe is the most important aspect of your job as an internship recruiter?

The most important aspect I would say is getting that interns that I work with hired in full time jobs. We really invest a lot of time and money and energy into our interns and the goal of our internship program is to have our current interns be the first that gets considered for a job so that’s definitely the most important aspect of my job. My favorite thing about my job is once you’re in the building I get to know you, to help develop you, we put on a lot of fun, especially during our summer program because no one needs to go to class half way through the day. We do a lot of fun speaker series and panels and workshops and resume advice. We get Andy Cohen to come speak to the interns so there’s a lot of fun programming elements that I like to do.

What can graduating seniors who have been a part of of the campus to career program do to improve their chances of getting a full time jobs at NBC?

We have a performance review and evaluation going on but I think it’s making sure that you’re having that open dialogue with your supervisor from week 1, month 1, month 2 and it’s not just at the end of your internship it’s getting to April, May time and you’re saying “oh no, now I need to pick up and step up my game to get a job” so I think making sure your performing as best as you can. Like I said, we work really close with the graduating seniors to convert them so having the dialogue with me, your recruiter and making sure that as I introduce you to people that you’re taking advantage of that and networking the right way. So I would say just being on top of it and being informed. Not leaving it to the last minute also is huge.

What about graduating seniors like myself who were not a part of the NBC campus to career program but know someone like you? What could we do try and get ourselves noticed for a job or considered for a full time job at NBC?

I think it’s about networking and taking advantage of opportunities like this, reaching out to people a first time, maybe a second time if they don’t answer. Connecting with people on LinkedIn specifically work in the field that you want a job in that can give you information and be on their radar when a job does open up in the next couple of weeks. It’s about building your professional brand, doing those informational interviews, just chatting with people and also bearing in mind how many other thousands or tens of thousands of people are graduating right now in May so don’t let that discourage you. Keep pushing, NBC is a huge company so whether it’s me that you have an in with or whoever just use those to your advantage. It’s about figuring out how to navigate finding who recruits for jobs.

What is your advice for college students who might be hesitant to apply to NBC due to the sheer volume of applications you get sent and just the name recognition?

On the internship side, don’t get discouraged. Fall and spring if you’re able to balance a 20 hour internship a week go for it, apply. and make sure that your resume is strong. I really do look at every application during the fall and the spring, summer  we just don’t because it’s too many applicants.

For those that are graduating, I would say apply about 6 weeks before your graduation date. That’s the best time, that’s the earliest time to start applying. Any time earlier than that is too early, we just don’t work how finance companies work and consulting companies that give offers 2 semesters in advance. It’s just not how media works. So if you know you’re going to do a vacation after graduation  keep waiting until 6 weeks before you want to start working and that’ll give you enough time to really start to apply.

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Spotlights

Bonnie, SiriusXM Internship Recruiter

Bonnie is an internship recruiter at SiriusXM, she is in charge of the internship program at SiriusXM, she has asked for her last name to not be featured in this article. Bonnie gives prospective interns a look into the program she oversees and what exactly they look for in an intern!

How many applications do you receive a semester for the internship program? How competitive is the internship program at SiriusXM?

An estimated 4000-5000 applications are received in a recruiting session.  

What sets the SiriusXM internship program apart from other entertainment related internship programs?

SiriusXM mentors offer hands on learning experience, allowing the intern to leave with skills they can apply and add on to their resume.  Interns are also made feel they are part of the team, and are provided snack and learn session to hear from other company members, a one-on-one evaluation meeting and career tips.  

What is the typical process that a candidate goes through before getting an internship offer at SiriusXM? How involved are the departments you are recruiting for?

Interns are screened and interviewed like employees.  We take the selection process seriously.  Departments such as programming (talk, music and sports, Public Relations, Talent Relations, Information Technology, Engineering, Finance & Accounting, Sales & Marketing are recruited for.  

How does the SiriusXM internship program help seniors in college prepare for the working world? Is there anything in particular the program does to help seniors get jobs within SiriusXM?

SiriusXM’s internship program prepares our interns by the following:

  1. Providing hands on training and meaningful work and projects to each intern
  2. One-on-One counseling/ evaluation
  3. Career workshops to help our interns transition to full time or part time employees, and also placement if the opportunity is available.  

What advice do you have to a future applicant who may be scared to apply to SiriusXM because of the fact SiriusXM is a very well-known media company?

An internship is a great way to start your career and explore your options.  Nothing to be afraid of when there is so much you could gain!  

In your opinion, what sets apart candidates that end up getting an internship position at SiriusXM? Is it related to their school work, internship experience?

Previous and related experience is helpful of course.  For example, a previous internship, involvement in their school clubs or radio station.  

Spotlights

Thaddeus Danquah, WPUNJ ’16

Thaddeus Danquah graduated William Paterson University in 2016, majoring in Broadcast Journalism. He is a current Production Intern at The View for ABC and has formerly interned at WABC in New York City. Danquah gives his first hand account as an entertainment intern and tips for readers on how to get involved during and after college ends.

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How do you believe your time at William Paterson prepared you for your post graduate life? 

Being at William Paterson allowed me to explore different mediums (radio, television, and print) and figure out which one was best for me. Also, having Professors who have been in the same place that I am now and hearing their stories about starting their careers, made me aware of how difficult it can be after college. But they also reinforced the importance of doing what you love and staying driven to do it well.

 

What clubs or activities were you involved in at William Paterson and how do you believe they have helped you so far?

As an undergraduate I was involved in WPTV-6, and WPSC 88.7, which allowed me to get more hands-on experience in television and radio than I would from my courses and helped prepare me for working in a real production setting. I was also involved in SAPB (Student Activity Programming Board) and was a Writer for The Beacon. Being in SAPB helped me enhance my organization and communication skills, and writing for The Beacon improved my writing and made me better on working on a deadline.

 

You currently intern at The View, how was the process of getting this internship? Many undergrads might not know some companies accept post grads for internships. What advice do you have for undergrads who are hesitant to apply for internships after graduation?

I had finished interning at WABC-TV on a show called Here and Now and I was applying to different positions at various companies. After some time, a member of the production team at The View reached out to schedule an interview. We met the next day and a few weeks later I landed the internship.

I think recent graduates shouldn’t close themselves off to applying for internships. Just because it isn’t a full-time job, you never know where it can lead or the connections you can make. Plus, it’s rare whenever there are internships open for recent graduates. So if the opportunity is there, go for it.

 

What is your favorite part of your current internship? What is your day to day at The View?

My favorite part about this internship is asking questions and listening to the stories of these veteran media professionals.

My daily schedule varies. Some days I work with the media coordinators pulling clips for the show, or observing/standing in for rehearsals on set. Other days I’m observing from the control room, or assisting a producer with guest teases before their segment. It varies day to day.

 

Where have you interned so far other than The View and how have those internships helped you in your career?

Prior to interning at The View, I was an intern at WABC-TV on a show called Here and Now and WDHA FM/WMTR AM in New Jersey. Being at Here and Now gave me the experience of working on a network program and learning all the different aspects that go into making the show move smoothly. Interning at WDHA FM/WMTR AM showed me that working in media takes effort and skill and isn’t glamorous.

 

What is your ultimate goal career wise? What is your dream job and how will you go about reaching that dream job?

My ultimate goal is to have my own production company and create. My dream job is having my own production company. I don’t know exactly how I’ll get there, but seeing people like Issa Rae having their own businesses and thriving makes me optimistic.

 

What advice do you have for graduating seniors about post graduate life and the “real world”?

I think you should keep yourself busy. Whether it’s working, grad school, interning, or even volunteering, just don’t become stagnant.

 

What are your plans after this internship ends?

I’m planning to be employed after my internship, hopefully. Only time will tell.

How To's

Trevor Davis, WPUNJ ’17

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Courtesy of The Orchard

Trevor Davis is a senior at William Paterson University majoring in Popular Music and minoring in Music Management and Legal Studies. He is a current Performance Rights/Copyright Services intern at The Orchard, an independent distribution company owned by Sony Music Entertainment. Davis gives readers advice on how to stay involved, his current internship and future plans in the entertainment industry.

Where are you currently interning and how long have you been there?

I am currently interning at The Orchard, one of two music distribution companies under Sony Music. I began my current internship for the company in mid January working in the Performance Rights/Copyright Services Department, however I was previously an intern last summer for the same company in the Video Services Department.

What is your major and minor? Do they have anything to do with what you’re doing at your internship?

My major is Popular Music and my minors are Legal Studies and Music Management. They correspond well with my internship because the course structure is based around the music industry, how it works, and how to navigate it whatever your approach, be it Songwriting or Entertainment Law. I steered towards the business aspect of the industry and am interested in things like revenue flow, royalty management, and copyright which led me to The Orchard.

What is a day in the life of an intern at The Orchard? Do your tasks vary or stay the same on a day to day basis?

There are about 4-5 tasks that I have been assigned, but most of them are ongoing projects involving global collection societies and the royalties they pay to our artists. My assignments are generally to find revenue discrepancies, update our database, or analyze data about our artists music and where it is being streamed, bought, stolen, or otherwise heard. These issues are being tackled by the entire team, which means that I work on different aspects of the process. I will generally work on a project for 1-3 days before beginning a project with another country’s collection society. The Orchard has a welcoming but professional atmosphere where employees are friends and are constantly collaborating. It is business casual and high energy environment where creativity is key and where people care about the music. Many are players and actors and writers and brilliant minds that share a common passion for the industry and the music that it revolves around, which shows in the faces of everyone there and in the success the company has worked so hard for.   

How exactly did you pursue this internship? What was the process like from applying to then getting the internship?

My cousin is a software developer and website function designer for The Orchard so I reached out to him last spring about the possibility of interning. He said he would put in a good word if I applied online so I did, got a phone interview with the head of Video Services , then an in person interview, and they brought me on for the summer. I kept in contact with them the following semester and decided I wanted to do another, but in a different branch of the company. I decided on Copyright Services and the process was identical.
What are your end goals when it comes to your career? Do you believe your internship has helped you get closer to those goals?

I have no specific end goal as of this moment. I know I want to work in the industry and help to lift artists to greater heights. I have been working in the technical side and I enjoy it, but I am thinking about a switch to a Talent Agency program and pursuing that. I was always very intent on learning the specifics of cutting a deal, whether it is with an artist getting signed, an actor getting placed, or any other type of deal. Another part of me wants my own business in the future. I am not entirely set or specific on a career path yet, and although it is daunting to be facing real life, I am confident I will find where I need to go. This internship has shown me a perspective that I never had and gave me the opportunity to work with great people on interesting and meaningful projects. It gave me confidence and experience in the industry and although I would like to work there post graduation, I know they helped give me skills I can take anywhere.

If you could have any job you wanted after you graduate, what would it be and why?

I would love to work at The Orchard with any of the artist services teams, they all seem fun, smart, and like they enjoy the company. I like working with the cogs in the wheel that make the industry go, and being there would be a very beneficial and interesting way to begin my career.

What advice would you give to a student that wants to pursue a career in entertainment copyright law? Is there a specific path they should take?

Do internships. Go out and do things in the industry because when you do, you find the things you like, and you also find the things you don’t, which is just as important. Finding out that what you thought was cool is actually uninteresting, is a huge favor, and getting a taste of things you like makes you curious and inspired, gives you experience, and provides a new network to connect with. And always stay passionate, if you lose that, you lose everything.

How To's

How To Use LinkedIn as a Networking Tool

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LinkedIn has become the best networking tool for people who are actively looking for a job or internship. The website is social media networking on a whole other level. Not only can you connect with friends and family professionally, but the website gives you a chance to connect with recruiters for jobs or internships you may be interested in.

First and foremost, LinkedIn should only be used for professional reasons of networking. There seems to be many people who see LinkedIn as another Facebook, although it is formatted in many ways the same, there is a different etiquette that is expected on LinkedIn. You need to have a clean and pristine LinkedIn page to get noticed. It is important to refrain from posting content that is too extreme for a professional setting.

When I first got LinkedIn I was confused as to how it worked but eventually I got the hang of it and you will too. I never saw the day I would hit the coveted 500+ connections mark but I did and so will you! The connections you make on LinkedIn shouldn’t just be treated as part of that number but a nurturing network that will help you score a cool internship or job you really want. Here are some ways you can use LinkedIn as a networking tool:

    1. Connect with fellow classmates, former classmates, professors and anyone in your school network. Many times the quiet person you sat next to in Biology will end up working at a large company and the only way to know might be through LinkedIn! Professors are important for your network because you can go through their network to see if they have any interesting connections you would like to network with in your field.
    2. Connect with colleagues, fellow interns and supervisors! It is important to keep in contact with fellow interns because many times they will end up interning or working at another media company that you will eventually want to work at and they can hook you up with an informational interview. Adding your direct team from your internships is crucial to expanding your network because once you have them on LinkedIn you can ask them to connect you with someone at a company you want to interview at if they have a connection there. Also, staying in contact with supervisors via LinkedIn keeps them up to date with what you are up to after the internship ends and can make it easier to contact them for job favors in the future.
    3. Connect with talent acquisition, internship recruiters and hiring managers. You should take advantage of the fact that LinkedIn can connect you with people who are in charge of giving people jobs. If you see a job at a company, make sure to look up the direct recruiter for that position and connect with them on LinkedIn, but don’t forget to add a note to the invitation specifying who you are and why you are requesting to connect with them. Many times you can also simply begin by telling them you want a simple informational interview with them.
    4. Keep up to date with new jobs! LinkedIn has recently been great about adding a section for job searching. There is now a separate app that sends you notifications for any job you search in your area of interest. For example, if you look up “Account Coordinator” on LinkedIn’s job section, you will get a large list of current Account Coordinator positions in your area and you can request push notifications to be sent to your email and phone whenever any new jobs are posted on LinkedIn. By using this, you can always be on the lookout for jobs without having to individually looking them up on Google or Indeed.