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How To Land An Entertainment Internship

By Julia Bianco on March 11, 2014
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The entertainment industry is probably one of the toughest industries to break into, but it’s also the most rewarding. The industry is full of excitement, and fast paced jobs in television, film, and music are in high demand, especially among young people. However, this widespread interest only makes it harder for recent graduates to land their entertainment dream jobs.

One of the best ways to get your foot in the door in the entertainment industry early in your undergraduate career is an internship position. If you’re able to land one of these prestigious entertainment internships, then you’ll be well on your way to getting a full time job in the business. Here are five tips for landing your dream entertainment internship:

1. Be open about which part of the industry you want to go into.

Look into all facets of the industry before settling on an internship.
Photo by Sound Weavers on Flickr.com

Even if you are 100 percent sure that you want to get a career in television, don’t limit your search to entirely television related internships. The important part of an entertainment internship is that it gives you the valuable experience and contacts that will help you get the job that you actually want after graduation.

Opening up your search to entertainment internships which may not exactly be in your first choice part of the industry will give you a lot more options to apply for, which will increase your chances. It will also give you more insight into the process of actually getting an entertainment job, which is similar across all of the different industries. Plus, having experience in different parts of the industry could help you stand out when it comes time to apply for a full-time job.

2. Be creative, but not too creative.

Try to stick to something a bit more traditional.
Photo by Jeremy Logan on Flickr.com

As InternQueen’s website points out, entertainment internships receive hundreds of resumes and cover letters per year. Many applicants fall into the common trap of thinking that because it’s an entertainment internship, they should submit creative resumes and cover letters. However, even for creative internships, try to keep your resume and cover letter in traditional formatting, unless they ask otherwise.

Let your creativity show through what you write in your cover letter, and through the interview. You don’t need to use crazy fonts or colors to show that you’re different— let your personality show through in natural, more organic ways. As a general rule, though, remember to always be professional, and to try to keep everything as simple and straightforward as possible.

3. Be realistic.

Try CBS’ local station for more realistic internship prospects.
Photo by Kristin Dos Santos on Flickr.com

While everyone wants to work for one of the big names in the industry, like CBS or Paramount, these may not be the most realistic internships to get for an applicant without much experience.

Try applying for smaller scale internships, especially locally based ones. Often, major companies will have locally based branches with their own internship listings. Check with your university’s career center to try to find something smaller that may be a better fit for you. There are lots of locally based film companies, television news stations, and radio stations that are always out there looking to hire talented, motivated interns with knowledge about the area— if you fit into this criteria, then you could be close to getting the in you need.

4. Nail the interview. 

Look how enthusiastic he looks!
Photo by sbusoj on Flickr.com

The interview is probably the most important part of the internship process, especially in entertainment. The interview is your chance to show who you are and why the company should hire you. Be sure to do research on the company— learn their different divisions, their CEO’s name, their goals and initiatives. If you seem knowledgeable about the company, it will show how passionate you are about them in particular.

You also want to let your interest in the industry shine through— come up with specific reasons why you want to work in entertainment. Talk about people who have inspired you in the industry, specific works of art that you really admire, or times in your life when you realized that entertainment was the perfect fit for you.

There are lots of different ways to show your passion, and in the interview, you want to make sure that your enthusiasm shines through in as many ways as possible. Remember, you want them to want to hire you, so show them what they would be missing if they didn’t.

5. Be persistent.

Be persistent, but don’t be annoying.                                                Photo by Justin Brockie on Flickr.com

This can be applied for any industry, but the key to getting your dream internship is to be persistent. Being persistent can mean any number of things—applying to large numbers of positions, contacting internship supervisors directly, calling the company to ask about the status of your application. If you have an internship that you really, really want, be sure to show this to the company by trying to get in contact with people directly, rather than through the general internship channels.

However, there is a cap on being persistent. Don’t be annoying. Show your interest, but don’t contact anyone who has specifically asked not to be contacted. You don’t want to scare them away from you.

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By Julia Bianco

Uloop Writer
I'm an entertainment columnist for ULoop's national team. I also watch a lot of TV.

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