Read about our co-President, Amanda’s incredible summer internships with MTV and the NBC Olympics!
By: Amanda Lai
This past summer was easily the most unforgettable three months of my life. It all began with the amazing experience that I had living and interning in Los Angeles for the spring semester. After living in LA and exploring California for 4 months, it quickly became my favorite city and state in the country. It was all a perfect fit for me; from the weather, food, lifestyle, and beaches, it all fell into place. I knew that this was the city of my dreams, and I was dying to stay there for the first half of summer.
It was the last week in April, and the ICLA program was coming to an end. Just as I was about to pack up and leave LA for good, I got a call from MTV offering me the internship position that I had applied for back in February. After talking to my incredibly supportive parents, I decided to stay in LA. I had two weeks to find a new apartment, renew my contract for a rental car, fly home for 5 days to go to my scheduled doctors appointments, and return to LA ready to start a new internship. I still don’t quite know, how but I managed to get it all done, and this is where the story begins.
I had such an incredible experience working in the Publicity department at MTV. Aside from the three-hour roundtrip commute to Santa Monica from my Air Bnb apartment in Silver Lake, I wouldn’t have changed a single thing. My day-to-day schedule varied, but some of my daily tasks included attending weekly internal meetings, compiling print and online press clippings, creating coverage reports for the television shows that I worked on, and assembling contact lists for media outreach. One of the most exciting parts of my job was handling press logistics on-site at special events. At the San Diego International Comic-Con, Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Sports Awards, and MTV Video Music Awards, I organized and operated panels, talent escorts, photo rooms, and press rooms at these different events. In my free time, I loved exploring the beautiful beaches that Southern California had to offer, including Laguna, Newport, Huntington, Venice, and Malibu. I also loved getting out of the city, and jumped at every opportunity to do so. My love for the state of California really deepened after visiting San Diego, San Francisco, Big Sur, and Joshua Tree.
Overall, my experience at MTV Los Angeles solidified my future career in publicity and the entertainment industry. I’m super excited to move back to the City of Angels after graduation!
Directly after Los Angeles, I jetted off to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil at the end of July to begin my internship at the NBC Summer Olympics. It was absolutely the most fun and memorable month I’ll ever have. The internship program consisted of 42 Hospitality Guides. Throughout the duration of the Games, over 900 clients came to Rio in four different waves. Basically, our job as Hospitality Guides was to be the information and tour guides of our guests, which included NBC executives and their families, throughout their stay and ensure that they had the most enjoyable stay possible. It started with a week of training, which included classroom presentations about the history of Rio, layout of the different venues, background information about the various events, history of the Games, health and safety information, and every little detail relevant to the Rio Olympics that we had to memorize in preparation for our guests’ arrivals. During training week, we also toured Olympic venues, every offsite lunch and dinner venue, the Rio airport, the hotel that we worked at, and the locations of the leisure tours that we offered during the day (Christ the Redeemer, Sugarloaf Mountain, and Samba City).
One of the most exciting parts of our job was that we attended every event that our clients went to. Our schedule was also completely different everyday, so each day was always something new and exhilarating. Some of the events that I was lucky enough to watch included Women’s Gymnastics, Men’s and Women’s Swimming, Men’s and Women’s Beach Volleyball, Men’s Basketball, Men’s Tennis, and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Most nights, I got around 3-5 hours of sleep and there were days that I worked for 15 hours, but every second was incredibly worth it. In that month, I witnessed history being made, saw over a dozen Olympic events, experienced the beautiful city and culture of Rio, worked with the most incredible people, and made some of the best friends I’ve ever had. I feel so incredibly lucky to have been apart of “the best hospitality program in the world,” as our managers so often described it.
The memories that I made this past summer will last a lifetime and beyond. I had the time of my life and I am so unbelievably grateful. For now, I’m super excited to enjoy my senior year, finish out strong, and begin my career in the entertainment industry!