Caroline: My Internship at CONAN in Los Angeles

IMG_8092I write this post as I sit in the control room at CONAN on my last day. I leave LA on Saturday and while my time here has been a bit of a roller coaster, I’m so glad I decided to spend my final semester of college out here in California. After three and a half amazing years in Boston at BU, I felt it was time to begin my transition from college to my career. The BU Los Angeles program is designed exactly for that. We intern during the day and have class three days a week in the evening. But these aren’t your typical classes—we have mostly speakers to teach us about the industry. There isn’t really homework, there aren’t any tests. This is an industry immersion.

And immersed I was. I am the control room intern at CONAN. What that means in a nut shell is I get to sit in the control room of a late night talk show all day. It is seriously the dream. I want to work in a talk show control room one day and it doesn’t get much better than interning for the late night veteran—25 years on the air—Conan O’Brien. I perform normal intern tasks like stocking food and distributing paperwork, but I also get to time the music performances in rehearsal and work with the director and associate director. Through observation I’ve been able to learn a lot. BU prepared me to understand what I was seeing in the control room, but I learned the intricacies of a live daily production that are hard to learn in the classroom.
I would be hard-pressed to find a nicer group of people to work with. So many of them moved out here from NYC together when Conan got The Tonight Show. And they were all in it together when Conan lost the The Tonight Show. Speaking of—I decided to read Bill Carter’s The War for Late Night about the 2010 Tonight Show conflict and I was able to talk to people written about in the book to get their take on what happened. Not many people can say they’ve had the chance to ask questions directly to people they are learning about. Just another example of the incredible learning opportunities the BULA program offers students.
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Not only was I working on a late night talk show, I also got to swipe in every day at Warner Brothers Studios. There is so much history here on the lot. I was lucky enough to have some free time to explore. I walked around Rosewood from Pretty Little Liars, or Stars Hollow of Gilmore Girls if you prefer (though the gazebo was gone). I biked past stages filming Ellen, Mom, The Big Bang Theory, Lethal Weapon, and so much more. I ate lunch on the streets of New York then walked through the streets of Paris. I even got to see some BU grads currently working on shows on the lot. And yes—I’ve talked to Conan and seen a bunch of celebrities.
IMG_8097While I am excited to head back to the East Coast, I am certainly sad to leave CONAN. I’ve made great friends with some of the interns here and I’m sure we’ll be working together again soon. And my departure marks the end of my college education. In a few weeks I’ll be walking at graduation and bidding adieu to the place I’ve called home for four years. My fellow seniors have all said their goodbyes so well. Instead, I’ll just say thank you to the institution that has offered me so much love the past four years. 

Laura: Things I’ve Learned at my Internship This Semester: with Help from “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation”

1) Show up early and stay late (when you can)

Juggling being a part-time intern and a full-time student can be #rough, but most of the time it reminds me why I’m in COM and at BU in the first place. Showing up early and staying later (when you can) is a great way to show you are dedicated. Also, the mornings are a perfect time to re-group on things you missed on the days you weren’t there and talk with you co-workers to form bonds!

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2) Ask for things to do!!!

You’d be surprised how many of the other interns sit around and say, “my manager didn’t give me anything to do.” That shouldn’t stop anyone! I continuously ask my mentor and supervisor for things I can do and if they don’t have anything I ask different people- which is also a great way to meet everyone. After you’ve asked every single person if there is anything you can do and you still come up with nothing you can sit in on a meeting or branch out to different departments. Trust me, there is always something to do.

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3) Ask for things in general by making a bucket list

You will never know what opportunities can be provided to you if you do not ask. My mentor had me make a bucket list and she told me to put the craziest or even most basic things I could think of. In doing so, she has kept in mind the things I want to accomplish during my internship and has took them into consideration. I will be doing things I didn’t even know I could do as an intern!

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4) Ask so many Questions!!!!! But only ask the same question once.

Don’t be shy! Trust me it is much more embarrassing when you get an assignment and hand it back incorrectly, opposed to asking 117 questions on how to do it the right way- when it is your first time doing that kind of project. Second time around it is up to you to have listened to the answer you were told and trust yourself that you know what you’re doing.

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5) Remember you’re not “just an intern”

Start seeing yourself as part of the team! When you shake off the idea that just because you’re the youngest and you’re “at the bottom of the food chain” and start seeing yourself as a member of the team- others will start seeing it too. Do not stand awkwardly in the corner during meetings or run back to your desk after those meetings. Take a seat, take notes, and ask as many questions as possible afterward.

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6) Be social!

Saying “good morning,” “have a great weekend,” and even “hello” can go a long way. The more you talk to those that work around you, the more they will be willing to give you things to do. Go to lunch with the people who sit next to you or simply just spark up a conversation with them, it helps make important connections.

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7) Keep a journal

I have been keeping a journal and writing down all of the assignments I have done and things I have been learning. Not only will this serve as great memorabilia for me, but it will also serve my memory when adding the things I did to my resume when my internship has concluded.

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Kate W: Why I Love, Love, Love Off-Campus Internships or Extracurriculars

This semester, I have had the incredible opportunity of interning with the TV and Video department at America’s Test Kitchen for two days out of my week. Going into it, I knew it would be an great experience to learn all about things related to film and television, but I didn’t realize how much it would impact my semester as whole.
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Having lived on campus the last two years where I am a mere ten minute walk from anything I could possibly need, I often find myself sticking to the BU Bubble. It’s so easy because BU is where I am most comfortable and it has everything: food, housing, classes, and extracurriculars. So, when I realized that I would have to commute 45 minutes to the seaport for a job, it seemed a little daunting. For two days a week, I would be part of the real world, and that scared me a little bit.

 

However, this opportunity has not only pushed me outside of my comfort zone, but has also provided a really amazing escape from the stress and workload that is school. While I am off campus at my internship, I don’t have to worry about my essay due on Friday or the exam that I have next week. These things don’t matter here because I am solely focused on the work that I am doing for my internship. Strangely, there is some relaxation in the fact that I can’t work on my homework during these hours, and that I am forced to let it all just leave my brain.

 

In addition, there is no fear or worries over social stress. I don’t have to worry about who I am eating lunch with that day or if I should be doing my homework instead of hanging out with my friends. While I am at my internship, I am present and there is no where else that I should be. On the T, in particular, I can listen to my music and take some me-time without feeling guilty There is nowhere else I am supposed to be. I know that I am using my time well and I never feel like I’m missing out on anything back on campus.

 

Finally, by being around a non-BU affiliated company, I am able to see how the real world works and what working at an entirely new place is like. I’ve learned what it feels like to be handed an important task and trusted to take care of it. There is a sense that what I am doing now has an impact on a working company as opposed to just my grade. What I am doing has some weight, and there is motivation and pressure to appeal to the real world guidelines.

 

This change of pace is such a great experience and adds so much to my semester. I finally feel like I am taking better advantage of all that Boston and BU have to offer. I highly recommend finding an activity completely off campus, especially after your Freshman year when you’re starting to become a much more comfortable with Boston. It’s a really great way to shake things up a bit.

Becca: Tips on Finding a Job the Summer after Sophomore Year

I started the fall of my sophomore year listening to my older friends talk about their stress surrounding summer internships. Their rambling started my nerves. “Do I need a job? Who is going to hire me?”  My resume was scarce, to say the least. I had worked at summer camp and a dance studio but my real life advertising experience consisted solely of Ad Club. I scrolled through pages and pages of advertising agencies websites until I noticed one consistency with all of the applications:

We are only accepting applications from graduation years 2019, 2018 or earlier.”

“Only rising seniors and post-grads are eligible to apply. “

“Sophomore are ineligible to submit applications for this position.”

Even agencies in my hometown had similar rules for their internship applications. This can be incredibly disheartening, especially for students who feel ready to see what the “real world” is like. So, as promised, here are my tips on finding a summer internship in your field.

  1. Use your network.

LinkedIn is an amazing tool that gives you the ability to see who can jumpstart your summer job search. I used the chat feature to reach out to several of my older friends to get insight on where to look when your age feels like the biggest hurdle in getting a job. Also, don’t be afraid to use your parents and their friends to introduce you to players in your field. Most of the time they are very excited to offer help and their introduction might carry a little more weight.

  1. Research a TON!

When I don’t know how to solve a problem, my go-to is to understand it. In the fall, I spent a lot of my free time reading AdWeek and AdAge as well as drafting resumes and cover letters to send out to any HR staff whose email I could find. Through research, I also figured out which COM professors were key players in the field and could help me get a foot in the door.

  1. Nail the Interview.

If you get lucky enough as a sophomore to get asked for an in-person interview, prepare very thoroughly. Research the company and clients. Be familiar with major campaigns and their results. Examine their social media to get a feel for the culture and what they look for. Know the lingo about different programs and field jargon so you can speak their language.   The fear of employers with younger college students is the ability to fit a professional workplace. Quell their fears by coming in well dressed and well educated.

  1. Just Study Abroad

If you still can’t seem to lock down an internship with all those brilliant tips: just study abroad. BU offers a ton of international and domestic internships during the summer that provides you with a global experience.  BU works very closely with those that are accepted to go abroad to make sure you are fully experiencing what it is like to work in another culture. In addition, you will be adding relevant experience to your future resume. So if in doubt, just hop on the plane and go!

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Arianna: Intersecting your Major with your Passions

Throughout my time in college, I’ve found that it can be difficult to figure out your exact career path, especially as a COM student, because there are so many different directions you could go in. Thankfully, coming into second semester of my junior year, I finally have it (almost) figured out.

The two best pieces of career advice I’ve ever gotten are:

1) “Do what you love, but prioritize what you love AND are good at, because if you pursue something you love but aren’t great at, you might grow to resent it. On the other hand, if you do something you’re good at, you’ll end up loving it no matter what.”

2) “Whatever you do, try to find a way to intersect your major and your greatest passion.”

As a Film and TV major, I’ve found it hard to narrow down my career goals. I love screenwriting, but I also enjoy production, even if it’s not something that comes as naturally to me as writing. After more than 2 years of trying to balance both, I have fully embraced my ability to write well and my passion for doing so. Here’s an actual candid pic of me working on a screenwriting assignment:

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Meanwhile, through BU’s Community Service Center and my work study job at the BU Children’s Center, I’ve fallen in love with social justice and working with children. By participating in FYSOP (First Year Student Outreach Project) as a first year and as a staff leader, I’ve learned a lot about social justice, and try to incorporate what I’ve learned into my writing.

Additionally, through working at the Children’s Center, I have learned more about childhood development and my love for working with children has grown so much! I was lucky enough to spend a summer working at a day camp for children and creating a video for the company to showcase the program, which made me realize there is always room to connect working with children to working in the film industry.

It clicked that one of the best ways to cross-over all of these interests was to write for children’s television. Writing programming that is educational, inclusive of diverse backgrounds, and mindful of childhood development is something I have the knowledge, skills, and passion for, and with this career goal in mind, I can finish my last 3 semesters of college confident that I am pursuing something I will love.

As you continue your journey as a COM student (or in whatever major you choose), keep your passions in mind, and keep searching for ways to connect them to what you’re studying! Once you figure out a way to combine what you’re passionate about with your career goals, you’ll feel so much more confident and driven to achieve those goals, and have more fun doing it.

With Love,

Arianna

Dany: On That Internship Hunt

Hey guys! I imagine some of you are starting to think about what you want to do this summer. I know I’ve been a job-applying machine the past few weeks. Luckily, the pressure to find an internship is much less than the pressure to find a job, and as a seasoned internship hunter I’ve got a few tips to help you on your search:

 

Know where you want to go

It helps when you have a few set locations in mind of where you want to intern. It narrows down the search, and makes it a lot easier to find what you’re looking for.

 

Know what you’re looking for

Similarly, nailing down your specific interest will further narrow down your searches. You want to make sure that what you find will give you the best learning experience and long-term benefits.

 

The Search

Start browsing on internship websites and follow them on Twitter and Facebook. Some of the ones I use are InternMatch.com and YouTern.com as well as following @InternsNtheCity (which tweets about opportunities in NYC), @BostonInternshp (and no that’s not a typo!) and @PRJobLA. Twitter is an incredible resource. Even by just typing “Intern” and the location you want to work in the search bar will give you a ton of solid results. After exhausting that, browse the Center for Career Development and the COM Career Services databases. Update your profile and look for jobs that match you. And of course, don’t forget to look up specific companies if you have a couple in mind!

 

Get Organized

After searching every last form of “I need an internship” on Google, you’re bound to have a couple solid leads lined up. Bookmark all the ones you find and organize them into priorities. Some applications may have deadlines. Work on those first, as well as the ones you’re most interested in. Don’t leave your dream job for last! While you’re getting yourself organized, be sure to follow their social media. When they look at your application and begin doing some research on you, it looks good when they see the extent of your interest.

 

Tailor your resume to each company

Before you send in your resume, make sure it is organized in a way that will best represent your skills and what you can do for that specific company. Go to COM Career Services and get a second opinion if you’re having trouble. When you’re absolutely satisfied, send away!

 

Tweet about it

Continue to show your interest in where you are applying. Keep an eye on your email and your phone calls.

 

Finding internships takes a lot of work. You need to be proactive. With a little bit of luck and motivation though, it will all pay off. So get searching, applying, and hope for the best!

Mike: From LA to the Real World

Hey guys,

Well, after a whirlwind of a semester in Los Angeles, I am now an official BU graduate! I handed in the final paper of my college career last night, what a weird feeling…It hasn’t really hit me yet and I don’t think it will until after the New Year when all of my friends will be heading back to Boston for their final semesters and I will be home looking for work! A part of me is disappointed I won’t be up in Beantown for my final semester, but after two amazing semesters abroad, I feel that I am ready to take on the real world.

Spending the last three months in Los Angeles has been such an incredible experience. Just from being in the entertainment capital of the world, I learned so much about the industry. Interning at a major studio like Paramount and a leader in independent film like The Weinstein Company, I was exposed to such different approaches to filmmaking. I read tons of amazing scripts and even got to work a few film premieres! The program kept me constantly busy– interning five days a week and taking classes at night– but it has prepared me immensely for the working world.

Leaving LA was bittersweet but I know that I will be back in the future. For now, I’m going to enjoy the holidays and take a breather after a hectic semester. After the New Year, I will begin the daunting task of searching for a job in New York. Luckily, I have connections in NYC and LA now from my previous internships that I will definitely stay in touch with and contact if I need help finding work. My main piece of advice to all of you guys is to network and stay in touch with people from your internships!  Introduce yourselves to the speakers at the Cinemateques and other COM events because you never know when you are going to cross paths with these professionals again. It is so important to keep in touch with people you meet in this industry because they are often the ones who will help you find work and put in a good word for you in the future!

I still can’t believe I am finished at Boston University. The two and a half years I spent on campus at BU flew by and I only wish I could go back for more. After a year of traveling (last spring in Europe and this fall in LA), I am ready to settle down and look for my first job. I learned so much during my time at BU and made such lasting friendships. Make sure you guys take it all in and have fun! I wish you all the best of luck in college and hope that you all enjoy your time at BU as much as I did!

Mike

 

Taylor: COM is a Networking Toolbox

During my childhood, I’d habitually attend “Disney on Ice.” I can recall the sensation of wearing my Toy Story T-shirt and proudly buzzing the lightening toys sold at the event. During those moments, I genuinely felt a connection with the adult performers parading like toddlers around the rink. During those minutes, nothing could distract my level of attentiveness. Recently, I found myself tingling with a more mature but quite similar batch of emotions.

Earlier last month, I had the pleasure of attending Celebration of BU, a groundbreaking event that strengthened the bond between alumni and current students. The event held in BU’s Agganis Arena told the story of the university’s foundation. Watching the speakers and performers take the ice in very unique ways was simply mesmerizing. The most captivating part of the night to me dealt with the speaker distribution. More than half of the speakers were COM alumni. Throughout the weekend, distinguished alumni, including Bravo’s Andy Cohen and CBS correspondent Erica Hill, spoke to students about their success and provided a plethora of advice.

The event kicked off BU’s billion-dollar campaign to support student life programs, faculty enrichment, scholarships, and research. The abundance of alumni connections highlighted during the festivities brought happiness to all.

In particular, it reminded me of the career services available for me to discuss employment options post college, land interviews, connect with alumni, and develop my resume and cover letter. Earlier this semester COM’s career service center -which has a database consisting of over 600 internships- held a open house. Attendees had the opportunity to take professional headshots for their LinkedIn accounts and were also given an overview of the services offered through the center. Later this month COM will hold one of its amazing networking meet and greets where students will have the opportunity to converse with professionals currently practicing in their field of interest.

I view BU as a toolbox full of opportunities to tailor your skills and get ready for the workforce and all the wonders of the world. The services readily available remind me that just as our motto puts great emphasis on virtue and piety, a underlying theme known to all within this community is that this network is immense and “you’ll always have a friend in them.”