by Lizbeth Galeno
If you’ve seen the internship movies where an overruling boss asks the intern to go on a coffee run every day, something like The Devil Wears Prada perhaps, or The Internship where groups of people compete in a tournament for Google based on creativity and their ability to scavenge around a city in half a day, you might not have the accurate idea of what an internship can be like.
Stepping into my summer internship this year, it was my first internship and I did not know what to expect. When the job description reads “this isn’t just a coffee run internship, you’re going to really gain experience,” whatever ideas you have are skewed now.
My internship was at small publicist agency, EF (Entertainment Focused) Public Relations. It was small enough that it shared a suite with a fashion PR boutique, allowing me to see both sides of the everyday work life.
One striking comparison you could alike to the famous The Devil Wears Prada might have been the mannequins and reception desk with glossy white furniture. Otherwise, you see stylists come in and have conversations with interns, employees and the boss about what outfit they’re looking for and who would be wearing it this weekend. Sometimes, you’ll walk in to find models and photographers preparing for a photoshoot, or a door closed with a backdrop behind the door and music playing, probably meaning there is a photoshoot happening then and there.
As for my work, you grow a deep friendship for Excel spreadsheets, where you’re building lists of tasks to compete, keeping track of pitches you’ve pitched and possible contacts to contact. You write press releases and are giving yourself flashbacks to the time you as a CSULB student have had to do one of these for grade points. It’s a different feeling now, because that important assignment was practice and for a grade, yes, but this one is going to be released. This one is not about a hypothetical situation, this time you’re announcing the music video premiere or a release of a new song. This time this email pitch isn’t submitted to dropbox, it’s sent to your boss to proofread before it’s sent out to a celebrity’s agent in hopes of working with them.
It’s possible that I just lucked out of the internships that Hollywood movies popularize, maybe it’s all in finding the right one. I’ve seen the other side of a red carpet event, I’ve worn the walkie talkie and guided people along their way, and I’ve checked my client in at a movie premiere.
I think the greatest part of my internships experience by far was the validation it gave to the field I wanted to put myself in.
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