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. 

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

 

Mike: Advice for the Class of 2016

Hey guys!

So I’m currently writing this from the beautiful island of Martha’s Vineyard. My family and I vacation here every summer and it has become one of my favorite places on earth. If you haven’t been, make a trip! It’s just a quick ferry trip off the coast of Massachusetts.

Can you believe it’s already August 3rd? This summer has really flown by. Anyways, I know all of you incoming freshmen must be getting nervous/anxious to start BU in just a couple of weeks. By now, I’m sure you’ve all been in contact with your respective roommates. Make sure to talk to each other about what to bring for the room—I highly recommend a fan(s) for your room. Despite the freezing winter in Boston, it was brutally hot the first couple of weeks up in my room freshman year, (albeit I was on the top floor in Claflin) but a fan was definitely my savior.

My biggest piece of advice for you guys is to get involved. Don’t worry if you don’t become best friends with your floor mates (in fact, I barely keep in touch with anyone from my floor freshman year), instead, go to SPLASH, and find an activity or group that you are interested in. I met my closest friends at school through the student groups that I was part of on campus. Whether it be Greek life, student government, theater, intramural sports, BUTV, or even a club devoted to people watching, BU has something for everybody! It is your job to put yourself out there and find something that you like. You will find that you have a lot of free time in college. Your schedule is completely different from high school. Fill your time with fun activities and meet people who share your similar interests!

I’m jealous that I won’t be around this semester to experience the brand new Marciano Commons dining facility (click here to check it out!) All of you will get to enjoy this mega dining hall along with Warren and West. Other new additions to Comm Ave? Pinkberry right in the GSU! With Jamba Juice, Starbucks, and now Pinkberry, you guys really do have it made. If you are craving some Thai, I suggest heading down to West campus to grab some Brown Sugar (In my opinion, it trumps Noodle Street and Nud Pob!)

Even though I’ll be across the country in Los Angeles this semester, it doesn’t mean I’m not available to answer any of your questions or concerns. Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any doubts or questions about your first semester. Good luck to you all and I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my LA adventures!

Mike: A Summer Back in the US

Hey guys!

Wow, it’s been a crazy couple of months since I’ve been back from Madrid. It definitely took a few weeks to adjust back to the American lifestyle. I miss Spain so much! I still keep in touch with my host mom and email her every couple of weeks. She sends me recipes for some of my favorite Spanish dishes. I hope I can go back to visit sometime soon. I’m so mad I wasn’t there to see them win the world cup. I heard there were parades in the streets, must have been crazy!

Anyways, I got back from Spain at the end of May and then headed on a road trip in early June to Bonnaroo, the annual music festival down in Tennessee. It was so awesome! Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, and Bon Iver were a few of some of the amazing headliners. Everyone was so friendly and it was a really cool environment. Probably the closest experience to Woodstock I’ll ever get!

After Bonnaroo, I managed to squeeze in a nice and relaxing weekend trip to the Hamptons, and then I started my internship. I was lucky enough to get a summer internship so late in the game! I’m interning in the acquisitions department of IFC films which has been really cool so far. IFC is a huge name and a major contender in the world of indie film. Acquisitions is in charge of evaluating the thousands of incoming scripts/ films that are submitted to IFC and deciding which should be acquired and distributed by the company. I have seen some really interesting films so far and it has been a really good learning experience being exposed to world of independent filmmaking.

I’m actually heading up to Boston this weekend to visit friends who I haven’t seen since before I went abroad. I can’t wait to get back to Beantown, it’s been too long. I’m looking forward to walking down Comm Ave for the first time in over six months!

I’m also busy applying to internships for LA in the fall. Madrid, New York, and now LA, I can’t seem to stay in one place! But I can’t wait to go out there through BU’s study abroad internship program. It is going to be much different from Spain but it will be a great introduction into the business. I’m heading out there at the end of August and will keep you all updated on my internship hunt and my experiences out there!

I hope you guys are all enjoying your summers. Stay cool!
Mike