Employer Spotlight: Viacom

In the EPICS office we have been noticing the trend that some of our best internship opportunities posted in SoConnect are closing their application deadlines earlier and earlier in the academic year.  These internship hosts are looking for the best candidates and are looking to recruitment them months out from the start of the internship.  A great example of an upcoming deadline is for Viacom’s Summer Associate Program, which closes on Friday, November 6th.

Many are familiar with Viacom as the parent company for MTV, VH1, and Comedy Central, but the Viacom portfolio also includes Nickelodeon, Spike, BET, CMT, and Paramount Pictures.  They also recently expanded their partnership with Hulu, which will result in Hulu access to some Viacom’s most popular shows and a whole set of exclusive programming from Nickelodeon.

Viacom has offices all over the country (New York, California, Chicago, Nashville, and Miami) with the Summer Associate Program is based out of the New York headquarters.  The 10-week training program is specifically designed for recent college graduates interested in emerging media.  Beyond the television focus that Viacom is most well known for, the Summer Associate Program is housed within the tech and digital focused departments and works with the many networks of Viacom as well as Viacom mobile, online, and gaming initiatives.  Most relevant to SoC programs, these departments could include digital research, multiplatform content production, multiplatform marketing, and product development.

While all Viacom internships are paid and provide college credit, the Summer Associate Program is unique in providing housing in NYC, a weekly executive speaker session, professional development workshops, and the opportunity to develop and present a business proposal to senior executives within Viacom.

If you are interested in Viacom’s Summer Associate Program, visit SoConnect or the Viacom Careers page for more information and to apply!  Additional Viacom internship opportunities are available on a rolling basis and can also be found on SoConnect.

Adventures of an EPICS Intern: I Want My MTV

Erin Manning 3

“You’re an intern, know your place.“

That was one of the first things I heard when I started my internship with MTV On-Air Promos back in June. Though this statement may seem a bit harsh, it’s true and important to know when starting at a company. In a production office, everyone has a job to do and it is extremely important not to get in the way. While I haven’t been asked to make anyone coffee and have been given larger responsibilities than just making copies or getting lunch, it is still important that I understand my role within the larger office in order to help it run efficiently.

To be honest, before I started working here I did not know much about MTV’s content. I could name a handful of shows and knew about their various award shows, but beyond that I can’t say that I regularly watched anything on the channel. Since starting, I have not only learned about the robust portfolio of shows but also what it takes to produce promos for this wide variety of content. Writers and producers must have an understanding of all of the MTV shows in order to produce successful spots. Rather than working on a specific show, they spend their time covering a variety of shows and events and need to be certain they are representing each program in a spot.


Erin Manning 1

What sets On-Air Promos apart from many of the other departments at MTV is that it is a working production office. There are schedules to be followed, shoots to book and promos to be made. Even though MTV is a part of larger media company, the office still works like a traditional production office, which has given me a very rewarding first-hand look at the production side of the industry. I have been able to see how my work as Finance Chair for Studio 22 or as a producer on student sets relates to work being done in the industry. Additionally, I’ve had the opportunity to assist on a promo shoot. It was incredibly exciting to see that all of the student sets I’ve been on have a similar level of professionalism as this well-run promo shoot. This makes me excited about where my classmates and I are headed in the industry.

Within the On-Air Promos department, I serve a production management intern – which means I support the producers, production managers and coordinators as they go through the process of getting a promo from pre-production to post-production and finally to air. There are seven other interns in my department: three other production management and four creative. We have gotten to know each other over the past bunch of weeks, and it has been great to get to know some of the people who will be my future colleagues once we all graduate.

Erin Manning 2

I have found that MTV and Viacom as a whole are incredibly supportive of interns. Many of the employees in my office started at the company as interns, so they understand not only what it is like to be an intern but what it is like to be a Viacom intern. Additionally, everyone is open to helping all of the interns learn more about the industry and the projects they are working on.

If I’ve learned anything from the Northwestern RTVF department, it is that film production is all about teamwork. Even though I’m an intern, I am a valued member of the team at MTV On-Air Promos and this experience has allowed me to learn more about the industry and where I want to find myself within it. While I will be excited to get back to Evanston in September, I’ve really enjoyed working professionally in the entertainment industry. However, I definitely won’t miss the commute! I’m just over halfway through my time at MTV, and while I’ve learned a lot, there is still a lot to be done and much more to learn. I’m excited to see where the next few weeks take me.

Erin Manning is a rising junior studying Radio/Television/Film.

Adventures of an EPICS Intern: Wrapping up at MTV

I’m finding it hard to wrap my head around the fact that this quarter is coming to an end. By next week at this time, I’ll have already finished my internship at MTV.  To bring everything full circle, I want to use this blog post to expand upon a subject that I briefly mentioned back in January…editing.

I initially had no (seriously, zero) experience in this field.  Times have certainly changed. I’m now proud to announce I can finally use Final Cut Pro.  Learning how to edit did not come easy for me. Disclaimer: I’ve always struggled to master new technology so don’t take my word too seriously.

Fortunately, I had mentors at MTV who actually made it fun to learn. They walked me through every step of the editing process (over and over and over).  I watched as they cut “hits” about Chris Brown’s new music video, Clive Davis’ sexuality, and Ultra Music Festival.  I also got to add my own input along the way like what background music sounds best, what camera angle captures most, and what scenes to include and what scenes to disregard.

Last week, I finally had the chance to cut my own “hit” starring Halle Berry and Abigail Breslin speaking about their new movie The Call.  I created the entire thirty-second piece on my own, from start to finish. That’s progress, right?

By this point in my college career, I’ve completed lots of internships in lots of different fields. Each experience has rewarded me in some tangible way. I’ll walk away from MTV with the ability to edit, amongst others.

More importantly, each experience has rewarded me with greater knowledge of myself. They’ve shown me what fields I like most and what skill sets I can offer to the workforce. They’ve even shown me what type of office I like to work in. So if I can offer one piece of advice, this is it: take advantage of the opportunities you have now, and use these four years to learn about yourself.

Mallory Ladenheim is a senior communication studies major at Northwestern and is currently interning at MTV News and Documentaries in Los Angeles.

Adventures of an EPICS Intern: Life at MTV

A few weeks have passed since my last update and a lot has developed during that time.

Based on prior internship experience, I expected to work on lots of small assignments throughout the quarter. My time at MTV has proven the exact opposite. Up until last Sunday, I spent most days working almost exclusively on an ongoing assignment for the 2013 Grammys awards. The assignment required that I create a notecard (aka “cheat sheets”) for every nominee, presenter, performer, and host. I scrounged up information on all sorts of information from previous nominations/wins to tour dates to personal life.

With a final tally of 100+ notecards, this work certainly felt tedious at time. It required hundreds (probably thousands) of Google searches and lots of hours staring at the computer screen. On the upside, I really enjoyed the stability of the assignment – coming into work every morning knowing I had to complete x, y and z. Plus, I loved the added bonus of seeing my hard work put to use on the red carpet.

Along with this work, I had the opportunity to assist the production team on two (very fun)  outside shoots. I spent one day on set of an MTV First with the band Paramore. I watched each stage of the process including set-up, rehearsal, tear down, and editing. Watch the final video above, and look out for my personal Twitter question!

I spent another day at the grand opening of Topshop Los Angeles, where MTV conducted a one-on-one interview with singer Demi Lovato.

Both of these cases demonstrate the network’s investment in their interns. MTV obviously has a strong and talented team of employees. My supervisors probably didn’t need me at either shoot, but invited me as a chance to enhance my own knowledge of the business. I absolutely believe that the more I observe, the more I will learn.

Mallory Ladenheim is a senior communication studies major at Northwestern and is currently interning at MTV News and Documentaries in Los Angeles.

Adventures of an EPICS Intern: Starting Out at MTV

My name is Mallory Ladenheim and I am a Communication Studies student at Northwestern. I am currently interning at MTV News and Documentaries in Los Angeles.

Let me start out by saying this: the last few weeks took me for a complete whirlwind. Just two days before returning to school for winter quarter, MTV called to offer me an internship in their news and documentaries department. I had applied for the position about one month prior, but honestly never expected anything to come of it. Fortunately, thanks to some very hardworking staff in the SoC office, I managed to work out a last-minute plan that allowed me to accept the internship offer.

I must also point out that I come from Los Angeles. This has obviously worked to my advantage, helping to avoid the added hassle of finding a place to stay and car to drive (because you certainly need one here).

So, now onto the fun stuff…

As a total pop-culture junkie, I couldn’t have envisioned a better place to work. The office always feels abuzz with talk of the latest TV series, movies, music, and award shows (tis the season). And of course, the work people do falls right in line. I want to share two of my early experiences to help paint a fuller picture of this.

Firstly, last week I was given the task of finding and downloading music videos from artists, songs, albums, and records nominated for a 2013 Grammy. I will eventually work alongside a producer to compile these clips into different segments that will air during the MTV News Grammy livestream. Secondly, I also had the opportunity to work on an interview with young singer/songwriter Camryn, who is opening for One Direction on their upcoming European tour. Producers had me actively take notes during the interview. They will eventually use these notes as a reference during the editing process.

As a student majoring in Communication Studies, I haven’t had the chance to practice film editing during my time at Northwestern. I’m now (slowly but surely) beginning to learn how while working at MTV, with the help of a very knowledgeable employee who has “taken me under his wing.” Final Cut Pro will definitely take some time to master, but I say better now than never! My advice: if you want to work in a business like this, learn how to edit now. I promise it will make your life easier in the long run.

After a fantastic first week, I look forward to the adventures that await me in the upcoming months. I expect to work hard but have while doing so. Maybe I’ll learn how to properly edit, too. Wait for me to keep you posted on that…