2013 SoC Grads – NUEA Membership

Attention SoC 2013 Grads: 

Interested in pursuing a career in the entertainment industry in LA or NYC post-graduation? Enroll today as a member of the NUEA (Northwestern University Entertainment Alliance) and let the SoC/EPICS pick up the tab for your first year of membership!

The NUEA is an alumni group that can help you get started in your career, strengthen and develop NU connections, and expand your network. They help to serve as your NU campus in the Big Apple or City of Angels,  helping you connect with and leverage our Purple Mafia to strengthen and expand your urban family!

If you are interested in becoming a member, please email epics@northwestern.edu with the following information  by July 15, 2013:

  • Name
  • Major
  • Preferred email post-graduation
  • Occupation (if you already have something lined up; if not, just say N/A)
  • Which organization you would like to join…NUEA-West or NUEA-East

If you have any questions, please email EPICS Director Heather Trulock at epics@northwestern.edu. Congratulations SoC Class of 2013!

The Internship Search: Making the Most of an Internship

Maybe that time has come, you have an internship, you have your housing in place, your schedule in writing, your start date finalized.  Now, it’s the beginning of summer, and you may feel like you’re waiting at the bottom of a thousand story hotel, with a mile long train of elevators, and crowds of other students waiting to be noticed. How do you make the most out of this opportunity? I can’t speak from my own experience, so I asked a friend who graduated —and was an avid interner while in school—what he thought made for the best internship experience. He gave me three practical points to intern by:

First, find the right internship (this may have better served us several months ago) but it’s too true to ignore.  There’s a lot of advice out there that says, work hard, go above and beyond, find a way to stand out, be positive at work. This is decent advice, however, the key to all of this is not to struggle through every day, forcing yourself to go above and beyond and plastering on a smile, but to make sure that you are working in the right place. If you and your internship are the right fit, then naturally you will fall into all the above categories. Of course, internships are also an opportunity to explore a certain aspect of the job force and see if it is right for you. And not all employers are created equal. So if you find yourself in an industry, or at a company, that isn’t a good fit, take comfort knowing that you’re one step closer to discovering what you want you do want to do.  Instead of trying to force yourself to love something that isn’t right for you, look for that aspect of the job that you do enjoy, do the best you can, and think about how those aspects could be translated into a career.

Second, always bring something to write with and write on. Then write everything down. Everyone forgets things, and it’s great to have a place where you can reference names, assignments, experiences. If you write everything down, you will never be the employee with nothing to do. You will always be one step ahead. When you finish one project you will be on to the next. Even better, you will become indispensable, because you will be the one who remembers things other people, even your employer, forget. One of the most crucial aspects of an internship is to become a resource, not just a fixture, at a company. (Plus all of those notes will come in handy if you ever find yourself writing a blog for a university internship and career website.)

Third, make friends. This is not to be confused with networking, or networking’s ugly cousin called schmoozing. This isn’t a quick meet situation; you have months ahead at these internships, so really get to know the people you work with.  They’re not only the people who will help you find a job after graduation; they are the people who know the best places to live in the new city you’re moving too; they are the people who will make your job enjoyable through the rough or boring parts; they are the people who you’ll start spending time with after work.  Like finding the correct internship, making friends does all the work of networking and so much more.

These are some of the best pieces of advice I have gathered through my own search, but I’m sure there are plenty of others out there. Let’s keep our eyes open and ears out for advice, mentors, and opportunities, so that we can all continue learning through the summer. Happy interning.

Our blogger is a Junior RTVF and Weinberg student looking for an internship in New York City for this summer. Follow them as they share their story of an internship search.

The Job Search: Staying Connected to Contacts

Since my last post, I haven’t done much in terms of actually searching for a job…but that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening.  My friends in LA (NU alums and co-workers at my internship) occasionally email me about job opportunities or send my resume along to their colleagues.  This tends to happen because I’ve kept in contact with them and I’ve been honest about my searching for a job.

I have though, been actively seeking out people I respect and admire to have lunch or dinner with me.  I’ve gone to dinner recently with a professor, one of my mentors in town from LA, and my boss from an internship in Chicago.  Not only do I find these people fascinating and informative, I also want to leave a good impression with them as I finish college.

I’m still waiting start my actual job search.  The “Do you know what you’re doing next year? Do you have a job lined up?” interactions can get tedious.  Unless the page positions turn out, I’ll be heading to LA jobless…which isn’t that scary to me.  From the informational interviews I’ve held, it seems like that’s what a lot of professionals do.  NU seniors I know from only 2 years ago are working at NBC, Nickelodeon, WME, and The Late Show and they all started out with no job or a temporary job.

So I’m hopeful.  Actually being in LA for a time has relieved a lot of senior anxiety I could have felt.  I recommend interning out in LA, during the year if you can, if you have any interest in working in the entertainment industry.

Our blogger is a RTVF senior looking to move to LA and break into the Entertainment Industry post-graduation. This person has some experience in the industry, having held an internship and lived in LA earlier in their Northwestern career. Follow them as they share their story of their full-time job search.

The Internship Search: Getting the Internship!

It might come after tens of applications or one, as an email or a phone call but eventually, if you keep trying, everyone lands and internship, and with some luck it’s the one you really wanted.  I’ve been lucky enough to have a lot of support and guidance through the application and interviewing process, and I’m happy to say that a few weeks ago I got a job at my top choice agency. If you’re in this situation take a minute to congratulate yourself, check something off your to do list, de-stress a little. If you’re not don’t worry there’s plenty of time to keep applying, interviewing, and if you’ve done those things, who knows, your letter might be on its way as we speak.

The process certainly doesn’t end with getting the internship, though.  There are still apartments to sublet, rooms to rent, and dates to confirm.  Some great sources are WildCatPads and The School of Communication’s housing information for Oakwood, if you plan on living in Los Angeles. If you need financial assistance for your internship there are SoC scholarships you can apply to through the School of Communication website as well.  They are need based and contingent on having a secured and relevant position in your area of job interest.

This is the time to begin considering start and end dates.  In the case of larger companies these dates may have already been decided, but it seems most employers are flexible, especially considering our late end date. I am currently in scheduling limbo, as I wait for my housing application to be processed, but that’s the reality of moving to a new city for three months to work full or part time. Sometimes the logistics of setting yourself up in a new place can be almost as daunting as getting the internship in the first place, so start early. Hopefully you know all of this already, but now’s the time to confirm how many hours you are expected to work.  How many days you are expected you to come in? I have seen internships that range anywhere from a few hours, one a week for a month, to full time for the entire summer/quarter.  This can be important when you begin to consider the monetary burden of living in a new city.  Most intern style living is not the most economical, but it is hassle free.  You can also go the independent rout and find an apartment to lease or sublet yourself.  You may find less expensive options this way, but you also take on more risk, and there will be more work involved. If you have friends or family to stay with room and board free, then you will be the envy of all the other summer interns.

If you’re like me, and your position isn’t paid, then there is also the question of getting a part time job while working away from home and school. I’m looking into lifeguarding jobs, which is a convenient special skill to have, particularly in the summer. But when looking for jobs consider the areas in which you have experience. Where did you work in high school? What seasonal jobs are available where you’re moving? Once again if your internship is paid I am quite envious.

Through all these logistics though remember that you are in the pursuit of a future career.  Internships are paramount to a well-rounded educational experience, and it will be worth it in the end.

Our blogger is a Junior RTVF and Weinberg student looking for an internship in New York City for this summer. Follow them as they share their story of an internship search.