SoConnect Weekly Round-up: 8/26-8/30

SoConnect Weekly Round-up!

New Internships:

  • Big Shoulders- Video Production Internship
  • Hearst Digital Media- Digital Advertising Internship
  • Light Opera Works- Management & Stage Production Internship
  • Northwestern University, IMPACT Program- Google AdWords Grant Management, & Video Interns
  • ESPN Deportes 1220 am- Production/Promotion, & On-Air Talent Interns
  • Family Empowerment Centers- Communications & Program Support Interns
  • Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago- Communication Education Management Internship
  • Internship & Career Consulting- Marketing, Public Relations, & Social Media Internships
  • HMS Media- Media/Production Intern
  • The Weinstein Company- Production Internship
  • The Reporters Show- Production/Marketing/Distribution Intern
  • TeamWorks Media- Public Relations & Social Media Internship – Sports and Lifestyle
  • Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars- Spring 2014 Research Assistant Internship
  • Illinois PIRG- Student Activist Intern
  • Glencoe Junior High Project- Theatre/Lighting/Costume Design/ Stage Management Internship

Current Highlights:

  • LA: Open Road Films- Film Internship
  • NYC: MCC Theater- Development, Marketing, & Education/Outreach Internships
  • Chicago: Onion News Network- Writing/Research Interns
  • Other Markets: American Junior Golf Association- Communication Intern (Braselton, GA)

Log into SoConnect to apply for these internships & more!

Adventures of a Summer Intern: Differences in Development

This summer I work in the development department of two different companies, one in feature film development and one in reality television development. Although they are the same department, these two mediums have very different processes for developing projects.

In feature film the goal is to find a fictional story that the company and the director want to tell. As an intern, I help find these stories by reading many scripts of all genres and writing coverage on them. For those who don’t know, coverage is sort of like a book report on a script. There is a section to summarize all of the plot points in the script, usually called the synopsis, and a comments section where you can write your thoughts and suggestions on the script. Ultimately you can either recommend the project and/or writer, or pass on it.

Once a project is chosen in feature film development, the job is then to pitch the idea. Many directors use either mood reels—sort of like trailers for their vision—or look books—a book containing images portraying their vision— to convey what they see the film looking like. As an intern, I have pulled photographs and clips from movies and the Internet to contribute to a certain project’s look book or mood reel.

In reality television, however, the process is very different because you must find characters and settings that already exist. Often times I am given a general idea of a show the company is trying to develop, which is usually dictated by what certain networks are looking to buy. As an Intern, I take that idea and research for real people or places that foot the bill. The development team then does interviews to see if those subjects are good candidates for the proposed projects. As an intern, I have written transcripts of many interviews along with the time codes to make editing them faster. If the found characters and setting seem like a good project, the team will then work on developing a sizzle reel—a sort of sample video—to aid them in pitching the idea to networks. This process is much more like documentary development.

While these two processes are very different, development at its core in both genres is all about finding and telling a story. If you are someone who likes to see a story at its inception and contribute to the molding of that story, you should consider an internship in development. I have definitely enjoyed my job in both genres.

Sarah Jane Inwards is a senior RTVF major at Northwestern and is currently interning at Partizan Entertainment & Magical Elves in Los Angeles, CA.

Adventures of a Summer Intern: When Your Internship is Just the Beginning

As part of my internship at the Human Rights Campaign, I planned our quarterly “Networking with GenEQ” event that was held on July 31st. This included advertising the event to various progressive organizations across the DC area. After many phone calls, emails, social media plugs and conversations with friends, 60 people showed up for light refreshments, an open bar and a networking activity. I know that networking activities can sound lame, but everyone ended up having a good time and leaving with valuable skills in crafting elevator pitches. There was also ample time to meet other smart, progressive young people and enjoy a few free drinks. It was one of the highlights of my summer to host such a fun, successful event with such a great turnout.

Me with my co-intern, Rachel, and supervisor, Candace Gingrich-Jones.
Me with my co-intern, Rachel, and supervisor, Candace Gingrich-Jones.

There was something about the networking event that felt like the culmination of my internship, but my busiest weeks interning have actually happened since then. I was responsible for most of the internship recruiting and advertising, which wrapped up around the priority deadline of July 21st. Since then, I’ve been working on matching the right interns with the right departments. Often times an applicant won’t be the right fit for some of the departments he or she selected, so I have to reroute those applications to other departments. It can get very complicated as some departments end up with a lot of applications in their hands while others are left with none. I have to keep track of the hundreds of applications through a system called Wufoo so that we know which departments have what applications, which departments have hired, which departments still need an intern and which interns have turned down offers. It can get especially tough when many applicants can only work part-time in the fall, as many departments need full-time interns. I get emails from departments every day asking for more applications, telling me which ones they are interested in and which ones can be rerouted. It has ended up being a really good way to interact and work with staff from all across the HRC. It has also been helpful to see hundreds of resumes and cover letters so that I can continue to perfect those essential skills for myself.

Me and some of the other HRC interns from my floor.
Me and some of the other HRC interns from my floor.

In addition to helping with the intern recruiting process, I have been working on two other projects over the last few weeks. One is creating a guide on young LGBT people entering the workforce for the first time. I have done extensive research on coming out in the workplace, company nondiscrimination policies, domestic partner health insurance benefits and transgender-inclusive insurance coverage. It has been eye opening to see concrete examples of the rights and benefits LGBT people and their families are denied and the complex processes they and their employers must go through to create more equal work environments. There is strong, competitive incentive for companies to have domestic partner inclusive benefits, and a majority of Fortune 500 companies offer equal domestic partner benefits. It is very important for young LGBT people to have a grasp on their employers’ often confusing domestic partner policies and the rights and responsibilities that they have in spite of these policies. HRC’s Corporate Equality Index does incredible work rating companies for their LGBT-friendliness and inclusive policies.

My other project involves researching the LGBT campus climate for 10 states to help determine what opportunities and roadblocks we face there. This involves researching nondiscrimination policies, employee domestic partner benefits, LGBT student organizations and resource centers, current news stories involving LGBT issues (such as firing teachers, votes on various policies, etc.) and any other relevant information. Luckily, some of these schools have been rated by the Campus Pride Index on these qualities and more, making my job much easier.

I will be continuing to work with the HRC in the fall, campaigning for marriage in Illinois and Senate votes for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in Arkansas. In addition, I am volunteering with HRC’s Chicago Steering Committee, working on the media and communications team for their Chicago Gala, at which I will be volunteering. Finally, I will be volunteering at the HRC National Dinner on October 5, which President Obama, Lady Gaga, the cast of Glee, Mo’Nique, Sally Fields and more have all attended.

Karin Quimby, HRC’s Regional Field Director for the South and me
Karin Quimby, HRC’s Regional Field Director for the South, and me

As my internship enters its last few days, I look back at my summer at the HRC and the incredible opportunities it has given me. I have befriended passionate people from all over the country and met and worked with some of the foremost LGBT and civil rights leaders of my time. I will forever miss my time as an HRC intern, but I hope to return to DC after I graduate in December to continue my work in progressive politics and LGBT equality. I can’t help but remember nervously sending in my application for my dream internship last February and the excitement I felt when I was accepted. Now, faster than I could have imagined, my time here is almost gone – but my work is just beginning.



Brennan Suen is a rising senior at Northwestern studying Theatre, Psychology, and Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC). You can also follow his internship and summer adventures on his blog.

SoConnect Weekly Round-up: 8/19-8/23

SoConnect Weekly Round-up!

New Internships:

  • MCC Theater- Development, Marketing, & Education/Outreach Internships
  • WBBN-FM B96- Morning & Afternoon Show Production Internships
  • Audio Recording Unlimited (ARU) Chicago- Fall Audio Recording Internship
  • Gerber Pictures- Fall Production Intern
  • Open Road Films- Film Internship
  • Chicago Splash Magazine- Editorial Intern
  • Dolphin Creative Promotions- Account Management Internship
  • Food Network Magazine- Advertising, Sales, & Marketing Intern
  • Evanston Art Center- Arts Administration, Event/Planning Internship, & Public Relations Internships
  • American Junior Golf Association- Communication & Partnership Interns
  • Massage Therapy Foundation- Communication & Marketing Intern
  • The Alumnae of Northwestern University- Independent Video Project
  • Teach for America- Diversity & Inclusiveness Initiatives Intern
  • Intonation Music Workshop- Marketing & Graphic Design Intern
  • Waking Up Fabulous- Marketing Internship
  • Flowerbooking, Inc.- Music Booking Agency Intern
  • Think Glink Publishing- Paid Writing & Social Media Fall Internship
  • TeamWorks Media- PR & Social Media Internship
  • Organizing for Action- Research Internship
  • PlayScience- Research, Curriculum, Marketing, Jack-of-All-Trades Intern
  • Southwest Airlines- Spring & Summer 2014 Internships
  • Victory Gardens Theatre- Internship Program
  • Northwestern University Office of Alumni Relations & Development- Video Production

Current Highlights:

  • LA: The Film Arcade- Distribution Internship
  • NYC: College Humor- Production & Post-Production Internships
  • Chicago: Walgreens- Fall Intern, Merchandise Planning & Analytics
  • Other Markets: The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce- Non-Profit Management (Washington, DC)

Log into SoConnect to apply for these internships & more!

Adventures of a Summer Intern: Tips and Tricks for Working in the Loop

The hour-long commute from my apartment in Evanston to the Leo Burnett building is often a cold and sleepy one. I have never been a morning person, and over the past year I became accustomed to an easy five-minute walk to my internship at Creative Coworking. I’ve had to make changes to my routine, like going to sleep and waking up extra early, and planning what I’m going to wear and what I want to cook days in advance. At the end of my ten-week internship, I will have spent over 100 hours traveling to and from work on the el. Working in the loop is an amazing experience, but it takes careful planning to truly make the most of your time!

Chicago Skyline during the Air & Water Show- resized

Transportation. If you are lucky enough to have a car or a place to stay in the city, your transportation experience will be infinitely simpler. Lots of Chicagoans walk or bike to work to save gas and money, especially since it’s so nice out in the summer. But for those of you, like me, who are coming all the way down from Evanston, you have a few options.

The first is the purple line express el train. During the week, the express train runs to the loop early in the morning and right after work. The express will get you downtown in about fifty minutes, and each ride will only cost you $2.25. Depending on how much you plan to use public transport (a CTA fare card also works on many city buses), there are deals for month-long passes and reloadable cards. Just make sure to calculate what the best deal will be for your situation – it ended up being cheaper for me to pay for each fare individually as opposed to getting a monthly pass.

Another option is the Metra. The ride from the Evanston Davis stop to Ogilvie in the loop takes about forty-five minutes and costs $4.25, though you may need to walk a bit further to get to your destination. For me, the best and most convenient deal for the Metra was a ten-ride pass.

Food. After working an eight-hour day (which ends up being more like ten hours if you include my travel time), the last thing I feel like doing when I get home is cooking dinner and making the next day’s lunch. But buying meals can get expensive, and a girl can only handle so much Easy Mac. My advice is to make Sundays your cooking days.

Plan a few simple dishes (like veggie chicken stir fry, or a pasta skillet) and buy enough ingredients to have several days’ worth of leftovers. I usually prepare a main entrée and pack fruit, crackers, or other snacks as a side in a bunch of Tupperware containers. That way, all I have to do is pop the meal in the microwave for dinner or mix and match an entrée and a side for the next day’s lunch!

Planning meals this way usually saves enough money that I can spend more on the ingredients – I try to purchase all my produce from farmer’s markets, like the Saturday morning market in Evanston and the Thursday morning market at Daley Plaza in the loop!

Millennium Park at Night-ResizedRecreation. My favorite part of being in Chicago is that there is always, always something fun going on. Since you’ve already spent the travel time and money to get to the loop, you might as well take advantage of all the great events and museums the city has to offer! Last week, I saw a Tuesday night film screening at Millennium Park, I watched the Wednesday night fireworks from the top of the ferris wheel at Navy Pier, and I stopped by North Avenue Beach for the Air and Water Show over the weekend. This Thursday I’m planning to go to Adler After Dark, a cocktail hour at the Adler Planetarium! Events like these are happening every week, and many of them are completely free to the general public.

Ferris Wheel at Navy PierInternships are a wonderful opportunity for learning and enrichment. During my time at LiquidThread, I have acquired industry knowledge, vocabulary, and experience and made lasting connections with my fantastic and friendly coworkers. But this summer, many of my favorite discoveries and memories happened outside the office, too. My summer would not have been the same had I spent it anywhere but the wonderful city of Chicago.

Margaux Pepper is a rising senior RTVF major at Northwestern and is currently interning at LiquidThread in Chicago, IL.

Adventures of a Summer Intern: “Any Last Question?”

Although I was ecstatic to begin working at Bret Adams, I find it a little funny how little I knew at the time.  It’s now my final day at Bret Adams Artist Agency, and my final day in New York City. I’m already packed and have checked out of my apartment.  When I leave the office at either two or three—a little early because it’s Friday and it’s summer—I’ll be headed back to Ohio for a break before the school year begins.

Goodbye Card from the Office
Goodbye Card from the Office

I have made a group of great new friends who I am genuinely sad to leave, but will be happy to visit every time I’m in New York. We’ve spent the morning listening to composer submissions, looking over some designer drafts and enjoying a final lunch in the office. “This is it,” Alexis, my mentor, said. “Your last day. So what have you learned, and if you have any last questions, ask them now.” And I am surprised by just how many questions I still have about the job and the industry, but I suppose that just speaks to how intricate the job can be. It continues to teach and fascinate.

Exactly what I’ve learned is a hard thing to formalize. I think back to my first phone interview and all of the questions I had about what an agent does in their day-to-day work. It’s not an easy answer, because in this line of work day-to-day is an oxymoron, the work itself defies that kind of repetition and easy summery. Certainly I’ve learned how to write a contract for venues that range from local theatres with under 100 seats to Lincoln center productions with massive casts and huge opening nights; I’ve been able to meet some of the generations most venerated playwrights, and had a small but crucial hand in making sure their work continues to be produced; and I’ve even been able to take on some of my own independent projects. But it’s some of the smaller more specific elements—things that would have been impossible to anticipate on my first day—that I’ve really loved about the job.

Take Johnna Adams, a mid-career playwright whose play “Gidion’s Knot” I drafted some contracts for and eventually read. I have loved most of the plays I’ve read this summer but “Gidion’s Knot”, along with many of Johnna’s other plays, were something else entirely.  Her voice is so peculiar, outrageous and one hundred percent genuine that I couldn’t help but fall in love. Her themes of feminism and religion, and amazing adaptation of classic horror tropes makes me feel like her work was written just for me. I can’t imagine a greater feeling for an agent than the finding of a piece so specific and special that you would go almost any distance to see it produced. It’s rare to find a play that feels like it was written for you. So I can’t imagine how rare it must be to be able to help write the publishing contract and meet that author. But that’s what the job is, at its core, after all of the other “day-to-day” tasks are stripped away, it’s finding important writers and giving them a voice.

When my parents visited earlier in the summer my mother asked the very motherly question of whether this is something I could see myself doing after school. Although at the time I was unsure, and the future is infinitely unpredictable, I can now say yes. This job was a great fit. It was a great job. And it has been a great summer.

Jon Gleason is a rising senior RTVF major at Northwestern and is currently interning at Bret Adams Ltd. in New York, NY.

SoConnect Weekly Round-up: 8/12-8/16

SoConnect Weekly Round-up!

New Internships:

  • Clear Channel Media & Entertainment- Promotion Intern
  • Chicago Area Runners Association (CARA)- Public & Community Relations Internship
  • CBS Radio, Inc- WXRT-FM Radio Internship

Current Highlights:

  • LA: Partizan Entertainment- Development, Production & GM Internships
  • NYC: Next Big Sound- Internship Program
  • Chicago: The Whitehouse Post- Post Production Intern
  • Other Markets: IMG Academy- Leadership Internship for Spring 2014 (Bradenton, Florida)

Log into SoConnect to apply for these internships & more!

SoConnect Weekly Round-up: 8/5-8/9

SoConnect Weekly Round-up!

New Internships:

  • Popcorn Media- Paid Movie Star Camp Internship- Apply by 8-10
  • WGN Radio & NBC Chicago- Morning Intern for The Jonathan Brandmeier Show
  • Chicago Children’s Theatre- Artisitic/Education, Arts/Culture, Exhibit Project Management, Field Trip Research, & Graphic Design Internships
  • The Whitehouse Post- Fall Post-Production Intern
  • Ohana- Healthcare Start-Up Communications & Marketing Intern
  • CBS Radio/WUSN-FM- Marketing & Promotions Internship
  • McKlein Company- Marketing/Sales/Advertising, Photography, Web Design, PR, & Social Media Internships
  • Better Business Association- PR & Communications Intern
  • PR Intern
  • Scrappers Film Group, LLC- Production Intern
  • Margie Korshak Inc.- Theater Dept Internship

Current Highlights:

  • LA: Karga Seven Pictures- Development Intern
  • NYC: The Araca Group- Theater Intern
  • Chicago: Weber Shandwich- Integrated Marketing Internship
  • Other Markets: Al Jazeera America- “American Tonight” Internship (Washington, DC)

Log into SoConnect to apply for these internships & more!

Adventures of a Summer Intern: Exploring the world of videos, tapings, & networking!

In the past few weeks I’ve had some amazing opportunities to understand The Daily Show and Colbert Report outside of the specific function that my Digital Programming team plays. The most valuable experiences I’ve had were when I was able to talk with several people who work in other departments for the shows, including a writer for The Daily Show. I’ll get to that in a second, but the other awesome part of the past few weeks was being able to attend the tapings of each show. Colbert Ticket

Working for the websites of The Daily Show and Colbert Report requires me to watch so many video clips that I’m convinced I have the entire catalogues of each show memorized. While my eyes may get tired in front of a computer screen for so long, I haven’t gotten tired of listening to joke after brilliant joke. But nearly two months of video-watching was making me anxious for the day I would see the shows taped live—a truly different experience from watching on TV or online. To begin with, upon entering both studios, I quickly realized that part of the magic of television is that it makes everything look much bigger.Daily Show Set- Resized The actual sets where Jon Stewart (temporarily John Oliver) and Stephen Colbert reside are quite small and the audience is made up of maybe 150 people. While watching the shows live was kind of a surreal experience, attending the tapings certainly added some excitement and wonder that you don’t get from watching at home. The hosts of both shows take time before the tapings to answer some questions from the audience, thank everyone for coming, and are generally delightful, funny people. Plus, you get to see when they laugh and mess up a take, which is fun. Seeing the shows live was a ton of fun and made me appreciate just how much work goes into the show before it ends up with the Digital Media team.

When I wasn’t asking Stephen Colbert if he preferred New York or Chicago-style pizza (verdict: Chicago deep dish), I took some time to get to know people within and outside of my department. The first thing I figured out was that no one was going to impart any wisdom on me if I didn’t initiate an interaction. Although the idea of networking is intimidating to me, I tried to think of it as ‘casual conversations over coffee,’ and I’m so glad I pushed myself to seek out various people within Comedy CentralNo Graffiti I got a range of great advice, but what I took to heart most was a conversation I had with a Daily Show writer. She worked a variety of odd jobs that were only tangentially related to entertainment, and then worked at The Daily Show for several years as an assistant before even applying to be a writer. And even then she applied 3 times before she was accepted. While she admitted that it took a while to get where she wanted to be, she ended up with her dream job. Her main advice for any position in the entertainment industry was that eventually, a lot of people give up and move into other industries, but if you persevere, eventually you’ll move closer and closer to where you want to be. This certainly resonated with me and it’s something that I will try to remember as I move toward the end of my Northwestern career and into the real world.

Bridget Illing is a rising senior majoring in communication studies at Northwestern and is currently interning at Viacom.

Adventures of a Summer Intern: Hello lady!

Hello lady! (for those who don’t listen, that’s one of our show’s catchphrases)

Things are going great on Elvis Duran and the Morning Show. Since I started, I’ve seen several celebrities in studio, including Ed Sheeran, Enrique Iglesias, and Selena Gomez. One of the reasons I love this industry is because you never know who may end up at the studio or what topics will be discussed on air. A few of the other interns have even been on air (I haven’t yet, but I’ve still got a month left so it’s possible).

Jason @Duran edited
Bethany & Me

The best part of working on the Morning Show is really the people. Everyone is incredibly nice and genuine – every day Skeery comes into the studio I work in to say hello, Bethany always has a smile on her face (proof in her photobomb), and this past Thursday Danielle told Greg T I was a part of the family. I don’t think I stopped smiling the whole rest of the day. Of course Elvis is the man – he is so nice and stops to talk to everyone, making sure they’re happy and taken care of – he dedicated today’s show to the female staff members and bought each of them (and Tyler the intern) flowers.

Two people I haven’t mentioned yet are the two I interact with the most – Josh, the show’s audio producer and my direct supervisor, and David Brody, executive producer and intern supervisor. Brody is hilarious and incredibly knowledgeable. He’s taught me about how ratings work, the history of radio station advertising, and gives me life lessons. He’s also quick to respond on Twitter and the king of parodies.

I have learned so much from Josh in this past month. There are times when I’ll go into his studio and watch him edit a production piece (anything you hear that promotes the show) just to see how he makes such amazing pieces. I already have begun applying his techniques to my own pieces. You can hear examples of this that I’ve uploaded at my website:

You’ll notice the Your World intro from October 2012 doesn’t quite pop like the Fall 2013 version. In the new one, I used specific plugins to make the vocals sound crisp and stand out from the background music. There are also production elements to make the piece move along. While the music in the 2012 piece helps, it’s still very flat in terms of contrast between layers and it seems to take longer, despite the fact that the new version is actually a full 10 seconds longer.

I genuinely love working at the Morning Show and I know the next 4 weeks will be the best ones. Remember to follow me on twitter for more updates on the show! @JasonOnTheAir!

Jason Lederman is a rising senior RTVF major at Northwestern and is currently interning at Elvis Duran and the Morning Show in New York, NY.