In careers other than medicine, an internship is a non-essential but useful way to meet people and see what jobs in the field being pursued are like before you accept one for yourself and are stuck there with a contract. Obviously, not everyone can accept internships; most of them, especially in the entertainment industry, are unpaid, and therefore can be difficult for which to make time. Also, living in a remote area limits the amount of internships one can even apply for, let alone be chosen for and accept.
I have had three internships, and I have found each one to be useful in its own unique way. From them, I have gained 3 different things: knowledge about my field, connections to people who can help me in the future, and experience doing what I will be doing once I accept my first entry-level job.
Knowledge About My Field From An Internship
I am a Film and English student, and going into college coming from Suburban Tennessee, I knew next to nothing about the film industry. My first internship was helpful in easing me into it without giving me any real commitment other than for the semester in which I was working. From this unpaid internship, I got to be on set of different commercial shoots, edit short films under the guidance of a professional film editor, and even attend a New York Fashion Week show as a production assistant. I also interned recently as the assistant to the booker of a comedy club, and from this I got to attend comedy shows and learn the difference between a good and bad stand-up comedian. The insights I gained from these experiences are things I never could have learned from being in class or studying. Comedy clubs like Comedy Carnival are just such a brilliant place to learn some entertainment fundamentals as well as have a good time while working.
Connections For The Future
At my various internships, I also met many different people I did not expect to meet. Because of my internships, I now have connections to film directors, television writers, rising comedians, actors, and more. Not only are these connections going to be useful after I graduate, but to get to see and speak with people who are doing the things I have always wanted to let me know that the goals I have are possible to obtain. Although professors can be useful connections, especially in industry cities like New York and Los Angeles (or whatever cities your industry is in), there is no better way to connect with people who are doing the things you want to be doing in your career than by interning.
Experience For My Future
The experience I now have due to my internships in the field I am pursuing is by far the most useful part of any internship. I have learned to do so many new things, from spreadsheets, to sound recording, to booking and planning a comedy show.
I am still a teenager but I feel prepared at this point to take on the “real world” and begin as a working professional in television. Not only do I have market-readiness that is so essential to competing for jobs in such a competitive industry, I have confidence that I know what I am doing and I believe in my ability to succeed, and that is more valuable than anything I have ever learned in a class.
Featured image via Unplash