Spotlights

Jessica Guerriera, WPUNJ ’17

Jessica Guerriera is a senior at William Paterson University majoring in Media Production and a minor in Public Relations. Guerriera currently interns at Live with Kelly in New York City and has incredible tips for future interns and provides insight on her day to day tasks at Live with Kelly!

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Courtesy of Jessica Guerriera

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

I am interning at Live! with Kelly and Ryan. I started January 3, 2017, when it was still Live! with Kelly, and will be finished on May 24, 2017.

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

My major is communications with a concentration in Media Production and I have minor in Public Relations. They absolutely have everything to do with my internship considering I am a production assistant at Live. My classes and my work with WPTV have all helped tremendously with this internship!

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

For the most part my task stay the same from day to day. Here is a detail description of what I do on a daily basis (this is from my internship paper). All interns at Live must work 2 days a week.

When I am a studio intern I arrive at 7am where I bring newspapers up from the lobby, open up the office closet, refill all printers in the copy room with paper, put 3 waters in each dressing room for the guest, stock the guest co-host’s mini-fridge with water, check to make sure catering has arrived by 7:15am, and most importantly continuously check the intern gmail account and print out news items sent from the host chat producer for the day, which changes from day to day. Once all emails have been looked at either the 7am intern or the 8am intern should grab the talent logs for that days guest and give them to the audience coordinator, Monique. As well sometimes producers will ask for special favors so a few times I have gone to greet guests from the garage and bring them to to their assigned dressing room, or I have steamed guest clothing. I’ve met a lot of the guest co-host like Jerry O’Connell and Christian Slater. The studio intern should also check the studio to make sure there are cue cards & markers on the set. Around 8:30am as the studio intern I head down to the studio where I bring down the water/cage keys, the producers laptop, a set of audience tickets, and the headset for the production assistant, Jim. From 8:30am to 9am it is the studio interns responsibility for assisting the audience coordinators bring in the audience as well as to give all audience members who is over 18 years old and a non employee for Disney/WABC an audience ticket. During the show I stand off to the side with the production assistant and if a producer needs anything I am responsible for running to go get it. After the show everything is immediately brought back upstairs. Once everything is brought back I head back downstairs to the dressing rooms and sweep and tidy them up re-stock water if necessary for post tape, clean up food and bring leftovers to the office, as well as stop by and pick up CDs from the 2nd floor Audio both to give to Lori (another producer). The remainder of the day is then spent in the office answering phones, getting mail, checking emails, and helping producers in anyway needed.

As an office intern I arrive at 8am instead of 7am. For office days I stay in the office all day long and my day to day usually consist of typical office task. I immediately log in to the computer and check the intern gmail account. As well as usually pull talent logs if the studio intern hasn’t done so already. Afterward I hang out in the office ready to help any producers with anything last minute or to steam clothing, and greet guest. The remainder of the day is spent answering the phones, burning that day’s show onto a DVD, printing & cutting out 2 sets of audience tickets, as well as checking the INBOX for comments, to create a comment sheet, and get it approved by Jason by 3pm. Once the comments are approved I deliver them to Michael Gelman (Executive Producer), Bill Cabral (talent Booker), Art Moore, and Linda Henderson. As an office intern I also continuously pick up mail from 4th floor mail room, as well as drop off mail. I am also responsible for cleaning newspaper/food area in copy room/organize paper, restock cue cards when their is a delivery, sign for packages and distribute them to the producers. And, most importantly be as helpful to the producers as possible. As an intern it is my direct job to help all producer with whatever they need help with. Many times that means helping research guest and making fact sheets to send to producers, as well as going through guest’s social media accounts and finding pictures for producers to use. As well as researching and helping out with other odd segments producers are producing for the week, like cleaning and organizing hacks to games the host can play with the guest. As well as being available and comfortable to go on runs for producers outside of the office to get all different types of things like clothes and food for different segments. I find everything I do to be extremely meaningful and I am so grateful for the experience!

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

I pursed this internship by simply applying to the WABC-TV Spring Internship found on their website. I have been a long time fan of the show and I remember watching Live with Regis and Kelly and saying one day I want to work here. The show inspired me to get into TV in the first place. A friend had applied to this internship the semester before and when they told me about the internship being available for the next semester I knew I had to apply! The process for this internship was interesting. First, I submitted my application, resume, and a personal statement to the internship coordinator. I then waited for an email saying whether or not I was invited to interview for the position. Once I got the email confirmation I then moved ahead with the interview. The interview was actually an interview night for all WABC internships in all the departments. I like to describe it as a speed dating kind of thing. Basically producers and heads of departments sit around the cafeteria at WABC and interns take a number and wait to be interviewed for whatever position they were called back for. I was called back for a Live interview and a Operations, Promotions, and Special Programming interview. I had my Live interview first. I was one of the first interns to walk in and I had the pleasure of being interviewed by Executive Producer Michael Gelman, which was super nerve racking, but also so exciting at the same time. The interview lasted about 5-10 minutes and once we were done I went on to my second interview. After the interview night I got a call from the internship coordinator about 2 weeks later saying I was selected to be an intern for Live with Kelly. Needless to say I was super excited and accepted right away.

What are your end goals when it comes to your career? Do you believe your internship has helped you get closer to those goals?

My end goals for my career is to become a TV producer, whether it is for a Live daytime talk show or a scripted drama I want to be some sort of producer and preferably an executive producer one day. I believe this internship will definitely get me closer to my goals. I think everything I am learning is really beneficial, as well as the connections I am making. I think just having the name Live with Kelly on my resume will really open doors for me moving forward.  

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

If I could have any job I wanted after graduation? Wow, that is a hard question I’ll go with something a little realistic. My dream job would be becoming a production assistant for either Live with Kelly and Ryan, or it would be being a production assistant for a scripted TV show filming in NYC. Either something for Netflix or one of the major networks (ABC, NBC, CBS…etc.) I would love to stay at Live with Kelly and Ryan since I am loving my internship and just really enjoy the environment. But, I would also love to work for a scripted show just because I really love scripted shows and it has been my dream for so long.

What advice would you give to a student that wants to pursue a career in entertainment or more specifically production? Is there a specific path they should take?
My advice I would give to students is to stand out, but remain true to yourself. I would say be ready for anything and be super flexible. Entertainment is a fast pace world so you need to be able to adapt and think on your feet. You need to be as helpful as possible and remember its okay to ask questions, but also use common sense! You have to have thick skin and not take things personally either. In entertainment you will work with some real difficult people whether it is your higher ups or actual celebrities you have to treat everyone with a high level of respect, and most importantly need to be able to take whatever someone throws at you and keep moving forward. Another piece of advice is to not get distracted by the celebrity and remember you have a job to do! I think if someone remembers all of this they will be able to succeed. I don’t think there is any specific path to take I think it all depends on the person. I do think though that if something inspires you, whether it be a TV show, film, radio, or PR look and see if they are hiring interns and just do it. Do whatever you can and work your way up and show someone you have what it takes and make connections. This business is all about who you know and connections are the only way to succeed. I wish everyone the best of luck moving forward with whatever they plan to do in life! 

 

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.

Spotlights

Kevin Bruns, WPUNJ ‘13,Corporate Communications Manager at SiriusXM

Kevin Bruns is a William Paterson University alum who graduated in 2013 with a degree in Communication and Public Relations. Bruns has worked in pharmaceutical PR and is now a Corporate Communications Manager at SiriusXM, working on the sports programming. He gives readers an insight on his time at William Paterson and his career trajectory which lead him to his most current job.

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Courtesy of Kevin Bruns

As an undergrad at William Paterson how involved were you on campus?

I was pretty involved, as soon as I got there my freshman year I started doing work with the radio station. I actually got trained at the radio station the summer before my freshmen year even started so I was on air right as the year started. I did work with the TV channel for their sports programming. Later in my freshman years I joined the SPRA so I was pretty involved. I had internships with the career development and advisement center as well as ultimately with sports information, which was cool and that turned into a part time job.

Do you think your involvement help you in your career?

Yes, certainly from a resume perspective it was helpful and from a practical perspective as well. We did a couple of events, a couple of fundraisers and those type of things so a little bit of hands on experience is certainly helpful. What’s good about the TV and radio stations is that they are so hands on so if you’re doing a radio show you’re the producer and the talent and host so you get to do the whole thing. Same with TV, if you want to do an on air thing you can audition.

What was your favorite class at William Paterson?

It wasn’t Spanish, that’s for sure. I enjoyed the PR classes, obviously! Some of the communication classes I liked. I took Media Ethics and Law, which was interesting because I like a bit of the legal side of things. I enjoyed the PR capstone (shout out to Professor Brown!!). Even the journalism classes were fun, just being able to write in a class and doing that type of thing

Do you think those classes prepared you for the “real world”?

Yeah, absolutely. I remember back then I was in my internships and it was write a release or write an alert or draft this or write an op-ed story and without a journalism class or your PR class it would’ve been much harder.

Spotlights

Luisa Salazar, WPUNJ ’17

Luisa Salazar is a senior at William Paterson University, with a major in communication and a minor in media production and communication studies. Salazar discusses her passion for radio and her current music programming internship at SiriusXM Radio.

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

I intern at SiriusXM and have been here for 4 months

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

My major is communication and my minor is media production and communication studies. As a media production major I’m specialized in audio production. Everything that I’ve learned at school – I’ve applied to my day-to day at SiriusXM.

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

My tasks vary but they all relate to music programming. I typically help load voice tracks, edit interviews, ingest music among other things. I’m also in charge of doing the phone screening for two live shows.

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

I found the recruiter’s email and contacted her about my interest in the internship. I had a phone interview with the internship recruiter and then an in person interview with my music programming managers. After I followed up with the recruiter was when I found out that I had gotten the internship.

What are your end goals when it comes to your career? Do you believe your internship has helped you get closer to those goals?

Ultimately I want to host a morning radio show and I do think that this internship is a step in the right direction.

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

After graduation an ideal job would be a co-host of a morning radio show. This is what I’ve worked towards for these last four years of my college career.

What advice would you give to a student that wants to pursue a career in entertainment or more specifically production? Is there a specific path they should take?

Some advice i would give would be, if you love radio for all the right reasons (you love music, sharing ideas with others) then go for it – but if you go into it for fame or money, you will quickly fail.

 

Spotlights

Nicole Darrah, WPUNJ 2016

Nicole Darrah graduated William Paterson in 2016, majoring in Broadcast Journalism. She currently works as a Ticker Writer and Breaking News Producer at Fox News and has interned at large media companies such as VH1 and ABC. Darrah tells reader her experience as an intern and advice on keeping your dream alive in the entertainment industry.

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

Looking back as a communication student at WPUNJ, I realize I learned a lot that prepared me for post-grad life. The professors were knowledgeable and the classes were information and relevant to my daily news life.

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

As a student I wrote briefly for the Pioneer Times and worked in the WPTV studios as part of my classwork. By far, my time in broadcast news classes were the most beneficial as I now write news professionally each day.

You currently work at Fox News, how was the process of getting this job? What advice do you have for undergrads who are in the process of applying for jobs?

Fox is great when it comes to hiring young, talented people – most of the people I work with are millennials. The job application process was simple enough: I applied online to production assistant positions, heard back from a recruiter who gave me a list of jobs I was eligible to interview for (that weren’t PA positions) and then interviewed from there.

Advice for undergrads: Apply everywhere, even if you’re not sure it’s something you want to do. I didn’t necessarily want to be a production assistant, as I’m more interested in the editorial side rather than production aspect of news – but as you can see, I was presented with the opportunity to write after Fox reached out to me and we discussed what I wanted to do. You never know what can happen after submitting an application, so I highly suggest applying every place possible.

Where have you interned and how have those internships helped you in your career?

During college I interned with VH1 at Viacom, as well as 7 On Your Side at WABC-TV. My time at VH1 was helpful because I learned a lot about the use of social media in a professional environment and I’ve definitely used that experience as a stepping stone in this digital age. But it was my time spent at Channel 7 that really opened my eyes to the industry: I worked in a newsroom, sat in on daily news meetings and ultimately worked hands-on both in and out of the field. These internships allowed me to briefly step out into the “real world” while still working as a student.

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

Before and during college, I always thought my dream was to work on-air as a correspondent or local reporter. But now working in the industry for the past 8 or so months, I believe I’ve lost sight (for lack of a better term) of that goal and now see paths leading in other directions, which I don’t see as a bad thing. I was recently offered a job as a breaking news producer with FoxNews.com – not on-air, nor with “television news,” per se. I think I still have the goal of working on-air as a journalist but where my career may take me, no one knows.

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

Like I said before, if you’re graduating college – apply EVERYWHERE. It’s so important to get your name and your resume out there and to let a variety of companies know that you’re available. The “real world” isn’t glamorous (but once you get a job, it does come with a nice paycheck!), and you shouldn’t fantasize it to be. My most important piece of advice would be to not give up hope if you’re facing obstacles and find walls are blocking your path to finding a job. It took me 4 months from graduation to joining Fox News, while some of my friends were offered jobs before even graduating – but next week I’ll be working as a news producer in one of the largest media organizations in the world, so I’d say working hard and remaining hopeful worked out for me in the end!

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.