Rocking and Biking through the Summer

Riders finishing the first day of Bike MS.

This summer I was pulled in two, new directions as I had the opportunity to intern for not one, buttwo incredible companies. My time was split working as a Special Events Intern for the National MS Society and working as a Promotions Intern for Entercom Communications. Even though my roles had similar titles, I split my time doing vastly different tasks.

National MS Society

On an average day at the National MS Society, I was reaching out to potential donors. But most of my summer was spent soliciting donations for one of our biggest events, Bike MS: Best Dam Bike Tour 2017 in which over 1,600 riders participated in a two-day ride to raise over $1.5 million. I had the pleasure of attending the ride and seeing how the donations I collected were used and appreciated by the riders. The  money will be used to fund research and connect people living with MS to resources and support.

Riders finishing the first day of Bike MS.

Soliciting in-kind donations was frustrating and full of rejection at times, but I was most proud of myself for obtaining items from Yogi Tea and Blistex to put in completer bags. These companies are not local to our offices, and we needed them to  not only donate but cover the shipping costs as well.

Each day I had to challenge myself to step outside of my comfort zone and ask strangers for donations to help our cause even if they had not heard of the National MS Society. This internship has helped me become more confident in my professional abilities by giving me an opportunity to experience both failure and success and measure those experiences independently.

Entercom

Meeting Above Waves.

At Entercom, I began each day by posting photos from promotional events onto each station’s website and finding appropriate and relevant articles.

In the office I also had the opportunity to shadow others in many different roles including the Director of Promotions and the Vice President of Programming. By connecting with people in different departments, I was able to work on projects that interested me. One of them was to research geographic areas where they could try to gain listeners. In those areas, I selected different sites where we could host events to introduce people to the brand.

While at Entercom I attended many street events that promoted the station. At Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival, we held a contest so that listeners could win a

meet-and-greet experience with DNCE. I helped fans take photos with the cut-outs of the band members and handed out merchandise.

In addition to these events, up-and-coming bands would come into the office and perform small sets to introduce their music to us.

Working at Entercom  has been fun and exciting, I had to be flexible and ready to solve any unexpected problems. Everyone at the station was always welcoming and willing to answer my questions about the industry.

Allyson Snyder is a Sophomore Communication Studies Major and interned at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and at Entercom in Wisconson.

Everything is a Learning Opportunity: C1 Revolution Making your Mark

With a little less than a month left at my internship, it’s a good time to reflect on the things that I’ve done and what I have learned (let me tell you, I have learned a lot). This summer I was an Editorial and Research Assistant at C1 Revolution. C1 specializes in PR, Social Media Marketing, and much more. In addition to this, C1 Revolution also has a web-series that runs on the Entrepreneur Network called #theRevolutionaries. The web-series features prominent figures in Chicago and highlights their experiences and journey to getting where they are now.

My work revolved around this web-series and managing the social media. I transcribed interviews, conducted research and came up with questions for upcoming guests and I assisted on video shoots.

When it came to social media, I kept followers  informed on what to expect from the #theRevolutionaries.  I also posted about other clients we had, upcoming events, and industry news.  This internship has taken me many places, and has taught me a lot, here are some highlights:

  • THE ART OF THE INTERVIEW: As someone who wants to go into the media field, whether it be journalism or entertainment, this is an important skill to have (it’s also just good in general for networking and job interviews). Research is a long, but necessary (and rewarding) process. Once you have a good picture of who you are interviewing, draft questions that go beyond their body of work, tap into their interests as well. Ask about their career trajectory, how do they stay up to date, what are they reading, etc… While it is important to have questions ready for the interview, don’t hesitate to ask questions outside of your script. Some of the best responses are to these questions. Research should not be a script, it should be treated as an outline that you can edit along the way and during the interview.

 

  • SOCIAL MEDIA FOR YOU AND YOUR BRAND: I learned about the importance of social media for personal use, but also for business, branding, and marketing. While managing the companies Facebook I had quite a bit of freedom and was able to experiment and got to see what posts got the most engagement, and why. I found that posts with images and posts made during the middle of the day reached the most people, so I made sure to keep that in mind when making my posts. Engaging with your audience is also important. You can do this by tagging people, using hashtags and responding to comments.
  • KEY TO SUCCESS, COMMUNICATION:  If you are confused, say so. Internships are meant to be learning experiences, don’t expect to know everything. It may feel like you are asking too many questions, or bothering your boss, but most of the time your boss wants you to succeed and do your job well. It’s better to communicate and resolve an issue rather than have the issue persist and negatively impact your tasks due to the lack of communication.

 

I’m glad I interned with C1 Revolution this summer and how much I learned about PR, Social Media, and Marketing (I’ve definitely implemented some of these social media strategies in my own social media platforms). I am looking forward to the rest of my tasks for the summer, and hope to continue working with C1 throughout the school year.

Jesus Campos is a Senior Radio, Television, Film Major and is a Research and Editorial intern at C1 Revolution in Chicago.

From Tourist to Intern: My Internship at Universal Studios

Growing up, I’ve been to Universal Studios Hollywood quite a few times. One of my favorite attractions was the Studio Tram Tour because I got to get a glimpse of the legendary Universal Pictures backlot. I used to always wonder what it’d be like to work there, and it was a longtime dream of mine to be in the middle of all the movie magic.

Well fast forward to summer 2017, and here I am! It still feels surreal to walk onto the Universal Pictures backlot every day. I’ve been interning with the Digital Marketing department at Universal Pictures for the summer.

My team handles all the digital marketing, publicity, and media to publicize theatrical releases for domestic audiences. For example, did you use that Despicable Me 3 lens on Snapchat? Have you come across a sponsored post for Girls Trip on Facebook? My team coordinates all of that, and much more!

Without a doubt, digital is an increasingly critical part of any marketing campaign, especially for films. My co-workers are constantly asking for feedback on creatives for social and upcoming trends that I foresee since I’m in the targeted 13-34 age group for many films. I even got to attend Vidcon, an annual digital and social media influencer conference, to do research on what Gen Z and Millennials loved and followed online. One key area that I’ve proven useful for is influencers, such as YouTube and Instagram stars. I’m an avid YouTube consumer, so influencer marketing is a project highlight that I’m especially excited to work on.

It’s been a thrill to work on films of various genres, from Despicable Me 3 to Happy Death Day. I juggle multiple tasks, such as compiling influencer reach, brainstorming creative ideas for activations, staffing VIP screenings, and compiling premiere recap decks. One of my favorites is getting to plan an intern integrated marketing campaign for the Jurassic World sequel because that’s a franchise that I’ve grown up watching. I’ve developed a stronger understanding of the online space and film marketing as the industry constantly seeks innovative ways to marry digital and entertainment. There’s less than a month left in my internship. It’ll fly by, but I’ll be sure to make the most of my time left on the lot!

Catherine Kang is a Senior studying Communication Studies interning at Universal Studios Hollywood this summer.

In the Emerald City

Even on Broadway theatre is still a week-to-week business, each week you need to make

enough to keep running next week. General management companies manage, oversee, and track the week-to-week operations of productions. This summer I’m interning for 321 Theatrical Management; the current general managers for the Fun Home tour, War Paint, and all the “Wickeds” – Wicked on Broadway, the tour of Wicked, and the international Wicked companies.

Processed with Rookie Cam

Each week I help track of the incoming checks; the outgoing payroll, paid bills, and royalties; and the ever changing contracts for our shows. In the process, I’m learning more about the behind-the-scenes of a production than I ever expected to know. In the day-to-day, I have  typical “intern” tasks, like filing or run

ning errands to the Actor’s Equity building, along with more complicated ongoing projects.

Throughout the summer, 321 is also provides seminars for interns, where we learn about budgeting, royalties, contracts, etc. Each time I leave a seminar I feel more knowledgeable about the industry and better equipped to help at 321.

As an intern, I get to shadow backstage at the shows that we currently have running in NYC – Wicked and War Paint. I shadow our Company Managers as they check in with every person who works in the theatre. Seeing our shows from backstage has given me a stronger appreciation for all of the people who work backstage on a show- (there are over 200 people working on Wicked!)- and a better understanding of the technical and logistical day-to-day aspects of running a Broadway show.

While I still don’t know if I want to go into general management, company management, producing, or a completely different side of theatre, I know the experience I’m having with 321 is helping me figure that out. I’m getting exposed to so many different sides of theatre, and discovering job paths I didn’t even know existed. And while I worried that knowing backstage secrets would take away from the magic of theatre, I think knowing those secrets has made theatre all the more magical.

Casey Norlin is a Senior in Weinberg, with a minor in Theatre. She is interning this summer at 321 Theatrical Management in New York.

Adventures of an EPICS Intern: Where Passion and Fulfillment Collide

My last day with Make-A-Wish Illinois was this week. As they said their farewells to my intern class in a conference room filled with photos of smiling kids, they told us how many wishes had been granted during our time and how much more we had helped prepare to make them come true. Then they asked us what was next. As the only intern who wasn’t about to graduate from college, I paused when the room looked to me. “Well, I have another year at Northwestern, and then I guess… nonprofits?” I shrugged, and we moved on.

As vague as this answer was, six months ago it would have been even less specific. I’ve been warily interested in nonprofit work for a long time. I love the idea of my career being tied to my personal passions and I know I want to feel that my work is making an impact. However, I was shy of the slow advancement and low pay that’s often mentioned in the same sentence as nonprofit work. Amid pre-med, pre-law, and consulting students I questioned if I was dedicated enough to spend my time on something that can be challenging and low-reward. After my five months at Make-A-Wish, I have found a firmly positive answer to that question.

Non-profit work, whether political, medical, or otherwise, gives you an opportunity to make your emotional passion into your job. It gives that sense of fulfillment that many people struggle with as they leave their organizations and hobbies behind as they move into post-grad life. I’m incredibly lucky to have been at Northwestern and I feel compelled to use what I’ve learned here to impact the world positively as so many people have done for me. This doesn’t have to mean working for a non-profit- it could be teaching, discovering new technologies, lobbying for political change, or any other way you can use your talents. But I do believe we have an obligation to take our Northwestern education and pass it on in whatever way we can. I still don’t have all my specifics laid out. Nonprofit work can mean fund-raising, legal work, event planning, marketing, PR, or anything else you enjoy doing.

I’m still searching for how I want to use my skills and what sort of work I want to do. I’m happy that I’ve found a passion for non-profit work and that I have at least that much direction. There will be other internships and opportunities where I can learn where my talents lie. Until then, I can just be happy that I’ve made any contribution possible to the amazing organizations I’ve been a part of.

Olivia Kuncio is a junior Communication Studies student who is interning at The Make-A-Wish Foundation this quarter.

Adventures of an EPICS Intern: Seven Days Left

Including today, I have seven full work days left at my internship with The Second City. The coolest thing to see is the growth of the company since I started on January 13th. Not only has the building grown, but new people have been hired and new policies were put into play. Projects that were just getting started when I arrived are now on their feet. For example, I had to write a bio on Broadway producer, Elizabeth Williams in February. I sat in on a call with her and two of the three Second City executives regarding investor events for the project.

The main project, and the project closest to my heart, is She the People: Girlfriend’s Guide to Sister’s Doin’ it for Themselves. This concept, previously referred to as “Funny Ladies”, was my first everything. My first written contract was for director Carly Heffernan, who I later met during my first table read and my first audition as videographer and reader with Beth Kligerman. The first time I was asked my creative opinion was during a meeting where we chose the official title. Brian told me he “trusted me to take care of it” for the first time when I created the personal invitations to the show that we will send out to frequent Second City fliers. Now, the art is being created for the show and tickets will go on sale later this afternoon! The pride I feel toward this project may seem a little silly for an intern, but I feel it nonetheless. During my January interview with Brian, I said that I thought the best part of producing is seeing an idea fully come to life and supporting it all the way past the finish line. She the People has definitely been my favorite part of my internship with The Second City and I absolutely can’t wait to come see it on its feet when I get home from my summer experience abroad.

Liz Coin is a sophomore Radio, Television, and Film student who is interning at The Second City this quarter.

 

Adventures of an EPICS intern: Flexibility Is Key

Flexibility.

It’s the thing I can’t seem to tap into at the yoga basics class on weekend mornings or in my daily routine. I’m someone who likes the regular- the same peanut butter-topped Eggo waffle for breakfast, the same route to class, a neatly laid out week in my planner and the next box checked off on my list. However, through my time with Make-A-Wish Illinois I’ve learned that sometimes you have to be willing to bend a little to get the most out of an experience.

I’m not embarrassed to admit (ok, a little, but this is Northwestern and Northwestern internship culture) that I was initially rejected from the internship I currently have. I applied to Make-A-Wish Illinois in October while abroad and was rejected not long after. Ok, fine. No winter internships panned out so I headed into winter quarter looking forward to my four day weekends and abundant free time. Then in January, I got an email saying the position had suddenly opened up again. Was I still interested in interviewing? In one week I went from an unemployed aimless junior to Communications intern. I changed my work study schedule and piled on extra hours wherever I could in my first foray into flexibility, bought some business casual jeans, and headed off to River North on the 8:12 a.m. Purple Line Express on a cloudy Friday morning.

Make-A-Wish is a fantastic organization to work for. It’s a non-profit with a long, respected history that anyone can get behind regardless of political or religious beliefs. Many people don’t realize that Make-A-Wish is not just for terminally ill children, but also for children with any life-threatening condition. This means the children we grant wishes too often grow up to live long, happy, and healthy lives and continue to give back to Make-A-Wish. My primary job is to interview families who have recently experienced a Wish and write their stories. That was my plan. It’s turned out to be much more. I’ve gotten to call families and tell them they will be receiving a wish and then ask for every detail of their lives over the phone. I’ve had to scan page after page of obituaries and faded Polaroids from the early days of the organization, dozens of children who died before I was born and often before they reached their teens. I’ve constructed event pages and written tweets and seen some very sick children made very happy.

Above all, it has required me to be flexible. It’s easy to sit down and engage in busy work until five p.m., but it’s a lot harder to get up and ask who in the office needs an extra set of hands when my supervisor is out. These conversations with families turn intimate and personal with almost no warning and the script I type up and study before every call is suddenly irrelevant. However, I’m glad that Make-A-Wish is the place where I get to do it. Non-profit work can often be frustrating it’s hard to see any immediate results of your actions. Despite knowing that my contribution to the organization is minuscule at best I am privileged to see tangible and positive events unfold every day. It might be another community fundraiser springing up (catch Wish Night in Evanston at Tech on May 14th!), opening a folder to see another beaming kid in a blue Make-A-Wish shirt in front of Walt Disney’s castle, or a box packed full of toys and games for children going through chemotherapy. Whatever it ends up being, I can be flexible.

Olivia Kuncio is a junior Communication Studies student who is interning at The Make-A-Wish Foundation this quarter.

Adventures of an EPICS intern: On to Phase Two!

I can’t believe how different it is now compared to how it was when I started here. I know so many people, I’m confident walking into a room and taking charge. Some days I stay late just because I want to, doing extra work or making people’s lives easier by clearing out a couple of tasks. I didn’t used to understand what it meant to make yourself “indispensable,” but I sure do now. I’m proud to say I am still the intern that the other interns look to for guidance or reassurance. I say “yes” and “no” confidently even when I’m not positive, and I’ve done projects for Brian that require more responsibility than some interns have been asked to give.

One of my first goals was “to fully understand how a Managing Producer at The Second City works with his team of producers to put up multiple live performances in the winter/spring comedy season and beyond.” This goal, I think, will take my career to “fully understand.” I get glimpses of how it all works, but I can also tell a lot more goes into it than I can see by just observing Brian. However, and this is top secret, The Second City has a Broadway show in the works. Brian has really been spearheading it and I’ve helped in small ways. For example, I got to do some research and bio-writing for the big-wig producer Elizabeth Williams who is attached to the Broadway project. Additionally, I’ve helped Brian create a database where he puts all of the new ideas being pitched to him for deliberation.

Throughout this experience I’ve made it a mission to foster strong relationships with my fellow interns and bosses in order to maintain these relationships moving forward professionally. This goal happens little by little, day by day. I would say the intern team and I have a pretty great relationship—we have fun and get work done. Every Wednesday we do “self-presentations” that help everyone get to know us better. Mine is in two weeks, so that is something I should start prepping. As for people around the office, I am working on building friendships. Everyone recognizes me pretty well, and some know me better than others. Just this week I got the chance to get to know our bigshot casting director, Beth Kligerman, because I helped her move offices and organize ALL of her files. She has been here for 24 years and has really, really cool decorative file folders. I admire her so much.

The more I see shows here the more I think I want to perform more than I want to produce. To do this, I plan on talking to more actors and definitely registering for classes. I hope to do the conservatory program my junior year. Approaching this halfway point, I stop to realize that I have learned how to say “yes, and” to everything, stay true to myself, and be a sponge. I’ve learned how to work public transit, how to create your own office attire flare, and how to ask for help in an intelligent way. Time for another quarter of fun!

Liz Coin is a sophomore Radio, Television, and Film student who is interning at The Second City this quarter.

Adventures of an EPICS intern: Hey, Why Not Me?

Today marks my one month of intern-hood at The Second City’s Producer’s Row. What a month! I went from feeling like the new girl who asked way too many questions, to being the veteran who answered everyone’s questions. I can tell you the best place to find dinner or a drink in Old Town and definitely recommend some shows for you to come see! Currently running, “#DateMe: An OKCupid Experiment.” I saw it last night with my friends and laughed SO hard. I also ate some phenomenal pretzel bites, shout out to my friends in the kitchen.

Being an intern is being a sponge. You absorb everything you hear, and slowly, you start to understand it all. Some of my favorite things I’ve absorbed are:

  1. Old traditions that actors keep backstage (no photos allowed!)
  2. The Second City’s plans and ideas for improving their directing program
  3. The nitty gritty rules of The Actor’s Equity Association and how to create appropriate contracts

I’ve definitely gotten more papercuts in the last month than in my entire life, but I don’t mind. Being told to organize files may feel like busy work, but my boss, Brian Loevner (Managing Producer) encourages me to read all of the files and see what they’re about! So, fellow Northwestern interns in an office somewhere, read everything you can get your hands on. You won’t have the same chance forever… plus I once found an old script from when Tina Fey and Rachel Dratch performed in the mainstage cast!

The office feels small, but every person is in charge of so much. From associate producers, to casting directors, to marketing, to the art department, Producer’s Row churns out a lot in a day. A sector I didn’t know much about, Diversity and Inclusion, is the part of The Second City I really want to touch on in my next blog, so check back, because it is all just so cool.

 

Liz Coin is a sophomore Radio, Television, and Film student who is interning at Second City this quarter.

Adventures of an EPICS intern: Learning to Say “Yes, And” in Producer’s Row

I sent in my application to The Second City’s Administrative Internship on October 4th, 2016 with the recommendation of a fellow NU Wildcat. I didn’t hear back until December 13th. I didn’t interview until December 18th. I didn’t get the job until January 8th. I started January 13th. Welcome to the world of live comedy where you hurry up and wait, where nothing is life-or-death until it is, and where everyone is the coolest person you’ve ever met.

Here are some pictures of the intern’s office where we all pile in. I cleaned it just for this picture! By all of us, I mean the four to five interns who are from the previous session (whose last days are January 31st) and yours truly. You might imagine it’s a little strange being the only new person, waiting for your new co-interns to arrive, but I’ve loved it. I know my way around the ever-changing office, I know the names of people who don’t know me yet, and I know how to work our various online systems quite well after having had five days of work.

Within my first five days, I have met with the managing producer, Brian Loevner, to whom I am assigned. I work with him on his projects he has in the works, I manage contracts and any kind of managerial paperwork needed done, and I help wherever assistance is needed within the building. For example, there are small inserts called “table toppers” that tell the audience who will be performing in the show that night. It’s my job to update, print, and place these for the correct theater for the show that night. None of this sounds too exciting, but that’s because the really exciting stuff is all TOP SECRET! Just kidding. Sort of. Some cool things I can tell you about are the shows I’ve seen so far. Yes, ma’am, I do get free tickets to see shows and get a free class just for being an intern! What?!?

I saw the mainstage show “The Winner…of our Discontent,” “Fast, Loud, Funny” at the UP Comedy stage, “Improv All-Stars” and tomorrow I’ll see “Godfrey,” a stand-up show. There are multiple theaters/stages of The Second City along with its training center and film school. The more I learn, the more I’ll post. But I’ll  sum up the last five days the best way any comedian can: “YES, and?”

 

Liz Coin is a sophomore Radio, Television, and Film student who is interning at Second City this quarter.