NYU’s prestige and Manhattan’s location make it easy for students to find internships in a variety of fields. Everyone has a ridiculously cool internship, or has a friend with one. We want to hear the juicy, embarrassing or downright epic stories. This is a new series that will cover the personal accounts of internships in a variety of fronts – from Wall Street to the entertainment industry.
NYU Local talked to some undergrads who have had internships here in New York and back at home with record labels, TV shows, production companies, web networks, movie crews, and talent management firms. Here is what they had to share with us. The names of these interns (and often the companies) are anonymous to protect them from having to make endless coffee runs.
If you have stories from your entertainment industry internship, share them in the comments! Or if you intern in a different industry and want your story told, you can email us at email@example.com.
How did you find/get your internship?
“I found the internship based on recommendation from my Gallatin advisor.”
“Through tisch internship email things”
“Tisch College Central”
Does your internship relate to what you’re studying? If so, how?
“My internship relates to my digital media studies, since I’m technically a production assistant for a web series.”
“Yep! They manage comedians and produce tv shows. And I’m into writing for television, so it’s good for learning about marketable comedy.”
“What really drew me to the show is that they love for us to pitch ideas for them and they’re really open about it, which is more of what I want to do–writing. That was what drew me there. And it’s more about comedy, so it’s more in line with my interests.”
Best celebrity encounter? Explain.
“I got to see Snoop Dogg perform live for free, and made eye contact/stood six feet away from him to try to get an interview. It was pretty surreal.”
“I met Stevie Johnson!!! [of Buffalo Bills fame]. He was chill. I also met (and taped a mic to his chest lol) Marcus Stroud. He kept on showing us videos on his iPhone.”
“Theresa Caputo from Long Island Medium.”
“None, but one time a guy rode the elevator with Spike Lee.”
“I met the producer of Morgan Spurlock’s movies? But I don’t know his name so I’m not sure if that counts.”
“I haven’t had that many. One time one of our clients showed up in the scorpion jacket from Drive though. Which is a thing.”
Stupidest/ most demeaning task you’ve done?
“Drive my boss 30 minutes in LA traffic to pick up something he bought off Craigslist.”
“Beside stalking athletes on Twitter, they really had us do stupid things. This one time, one of the secretaries asked me to buy ‘fancy’ waters for a meeting with some NFL players. I got Fiji water. She approved.”
“One time at the beginning of the day I filed a bunch of stuff away, and at the end of the day I had to un-file it.”
“I was forced to drink tomato juice in front of the camera, even though I hate tomatoes.”
Coolest task you’ve done?
“Well, today I got to eat brunch with a bunch of dudes for this week’s segment.”
“I got to go to a really amazing sketch show and take notes about the act!”
“Sitting in on edits for the television shows, and pitching our own show ideas.”
“I’ve shadowed the producers/associate producers in the studio during the show a few times. Since there’s such a strict schedule for taping, things can get chaotic really quickly if anything goes wrong, but it’s always an exciting experience nonetheless.”
Strangest/ most obscure task you’ve done?
“Help silkscreen a t-shirt.”
“Went to the Nike store to pick up a jersey for MGK.”
“Changing a lightbulb. Not that obscure but I burned my hand in the process.”
Do you have to bring people coffee?
“Yes, I have taken coffee orders.”
“I was only asked to get someone coffee once, but I managed to get out of it because I really don’t know how (which isn’t a good thing to not know).”
“My boss always wryly asked me to get him coffee, but I never did. I’m still not sure if he was joking.”
Do you receive any benefits from your internship?
“I got some concert tickets, and got to interview musicians.”
“Get to go on shoots as a paid PA (true only ~95 percent of the time). Some of the employees stress bake. Also they have arcade games around the office.”
Are drugs and alcohol involved in your internship? How/ any stories?
“1. I borrowed a company flash drive, which still had video footage from the employees’ road trip to Vegas. They were all filming each other while tripping on drugs and having philosophical conversations.
2. I’ve been offered to join in on their lunchtime activities of joint-smoking and beer bong chugging.
3. My boss offered me hard drugs at one of the concerts I attended for the company.”
“They will occasionally pool money for beers on Fridays after the day’s work got done. They made sure the interns that were of age got to drink.”
Do you think you have a chance of getting a job at the same company after your internship is over?
“My boss/co-workers/etc. told me that I’m ‘doing an excellent job’ so hopefully that means they like me.”
“Probably not because the office is so small, but it’s a nice step towards other internships. ”
“I’d like to think so. If not, maintaining the relationships I’m building with the staff could be a big help in finding a job somewhere else.”
“I was so into being on this movie that I would do whatever they asked, and people could tell. The key PA still calls me all the time and asks me ‘Can you work today?’ but I always have to be like ‘I have class!’”
“If you try and put effort into your internship there’s definitely a possibility that you’ll be asked to do something else.
“Literally everyone at the show talks about how they started out as an intern.”
Do you find that your internship has disappointed you at all in relation to your original expectations?
“No, I’m very happy with the experiences I gained from the internship. There were days that i hated going there but overall I enjoyed it. It was not what i expected but it turned out different in a good way.”
“I learned a lot. It wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be, but it wasn’t bad. I worked in the production office and on set, but I thought I was gonna be on set a lot more. And then when we were on set, they kind of treated us like PA’s, which is a really strenuous job that isn’t paid well, but we weren’t paid at all. But I’m glad I had that experience because now I know I never want to do that again.”
Do you have advice for anyone who wants to find a cool entertainment industry internship?
“Be interesting, honest, and endearing in your cover letter.”
“Don’t be afraid to apply even if you’re not studying for a career in the entertainment industry! Interning for an entertainment company is great experience for almost any field of study; business, film, writing, design…and the people seem to be a great balance between highly professional and fun to mess around with.”
We will continue posting the weird and sometimes-exciting lives of interns. We’ve all been one, and will continue to be them well into our twenties. Stay posted.