How To's

Tips for Latino Students and Parents on How to Get Involved in Entertainment Internships

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According to PRSA, “ethnic groups make up 30 percent of the U.S. population yet only 10 percent of minorities work in public relations”. That is an extremely low number! There should be more minority representation in certain fields such as public relations but many times it all has to do with the exposure Latinos encounter. For example, I am a first generation public relations student with family members who only see value in the medical field jobs. Entertainment is an extremely competitive field that requires experience at media companies that many times may not be in full reach to low income Latino students. I never grew up knowing anyone who worked in entertainment, everything I did was trial and error. Since most entertainment internships are unpaid, only those who can afford to pay for an internship and experience can get those internships. Latinos have to go an extra mile to catch up to fellow students who want to pursue a career in entertainment. Below are some tips for Latino students and their parents on how to get involved in entertainment internships!

  1. Tell Parents About Different Job Fields: The most important thing Latino students should be doing is educating their parents on the different job fields they can be in. If you want to work in PR or marketing you should educate your parents on the field and why it is a lucrative job field!
  2. Network: The field of entertainment is all about who you know! I never knew anyone who worked in entertainment until I got into college and began interning. Make sure to get to know people who may help you get connected to your favorite media company. For example, when I worked at a gym I met a member that was friends with an executive at Rolling Stone Magazine. They connected me with the executive and hoping to someday use that connection for a job.
  3. Join Latinos In Media Networking Organizations: Joining networking organizations that are for Latinos and from Latinos is a great way to meet Latinos in high positions in media companies and entertainment all together. These Latino executives can get to know you and someday give back to you by helping you get a job at their company or internship. There is nothing better than seeing powerful Latinos help aspiring professionals in their quests. I hope to someday get to a position where I can inspire and help young and passionate Latinos get into the entertainment field. Representation matters!

For Latino Parents:

Understand Your Children’s Dreams: My mother always wanted me to be a nurse or dentist because those were the field’s most immigrant parents felt would make their children successful. When I told my parents I wanted to work in PR, she didn’t understand what it was and why I didn’t want to follow her dreams. Parents, give your children’s dreams a chance, they will work even harder to prove to you they are meant to work in entertainment and communication! Jus know that your children are pursuing a job in a very competitive job market that is many times even harder for them because of the opportunities they may have lacked.

 

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.

How To's

Tips on Internship Applications: How to Properly Apply and Where to Look

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Courtesy of Better Team

There is always a question people ask me about my internships: how did you get your internship?

That is a question I am sure crosses many student’s minds as they realize they need an internship in order to further their careers. I believe everyone has their own way of getting internships and applying for them but these are my tips on how I did it. I truly think many of the incredible internship opportunities I have received are out of sheer luck meets preparation. Below are my tips on how to apply for internships!

  1. Make a List of Dream Companies: Many times professors may tell students to not aim too high for their first set of internships but I say it is important to make a list of the dream companies you want to intern for throughout your college years. You may not get these internships right away having these goals makes it easier for you to know what type of internships will get you to your dream company one day. For example, I always wanted to intern at Viacom, I applied multiple times before I ever got a chance from them. I always had them on my list of top 5 companies to intern for and every internship I got before it I realized I was getting closer and closer. Follow these companies on social media, follow what they are doing!
  2. Connect, Connect, Connect!: There is a saying that most of the times it’s all about who you know and that is extremely accurate to the world of entertainment. It is important for you to understand you might be extremely qualified for an internship but someone who knew someone who knew someone at a company can get a chance because they talked to the right person who then sent their resume along to HR. LinkedIn is a great tool to contact internship recruiters directly and get to know who your family members, classmates may know at your dream companies. Getting your resume referred to by someone within that dream company can make a huge difference on whether or not you get an interview.
  3. Look Up Listings:  Websites such as Internships.com, Indeed.com and MediaBistro.com will have an updated list of internships coming up. Making sure to filter exactly the type of companies you want to intern at will be crucial. For example, if you want to intern at a media company such as NBC, filters will let you get listings of internships at the company and other similar companies. LinkedIn has a jobs search section where you can also look up internship listings at entertainment companies and in your section of the country. Many of them will even have the recruiter’s name in the listing! When using job search companies like Indeed, always make sure to cross check that the internship listing is real. Do research on the company in the listing and whether or not it is accurate to what was on Indeed.
  4. Have a Star Resume: In order to get an internship interview you need to make sure your resume is star ready! Get your resume checked by your school student development center, a professor or a professional who can help you make your resume as optimal as possible. If you get referred by someone, they are directly sending your resume to a recruiter so there is no space for errors on your resume. Always have an updated resume in your email because you may never know when you will stumble upon someone who can help you get an internship and asks for your resume at that very moment.
  5. Get Ahead of the Application Game: A recruiter once told me that they always take a look at the first 100 resumes they get and last 100 resumes if they haven’t gotten the perfect fit. This is why you need to get notifications sent to your phone whenever an internship close to your experience is put out. It is ideal to apply for an internship the first day it is put online, which is your need to have your resume ready at all times! If you have anyone who works at the company you applied for, make sure to tell them about it and send them your resume so they can forward it to the correct recruiter.
  6. Be Optimistic: It is sometimes very discouraging to apply for a handful of internships and never hear back from them but always stay positive because something will always work out in the end. Never give up that dream of working at one of the largest media companies in the world. Every internship you get will eventually lead you to that dream internship and eventually job.
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!

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.