Read about the internship experience of blogger, Amanda Emmer, who is currently studying in Los Angeles as part of the ICLA program!
By: Amanda Emmer
As a senior this year, I am proud to say how far I’ve come. I am very grateful for my four years at Ithaca College. Ithaca has taught me a lot and provided me the skills I will need soon for the real world. I am also grateful to have studied this semester in Los Angeles, California. For those of you who don’t know, the Park School offers programs for students to study in LA, London or New York. I decided to pursue the LA Program because I was interested in learning about the entertainment industry, specifically in TV.
Choosing to come to LA was scary at first. I didn’t know too many people out here and wasn’t sure how my experience was going to be. After a couple months of exploring the area, I lost that feeling of nervousness. I hiked to the Hollywood Sign, toured the Los Angeles Museum of Art (LACMA), traveled to Santa Monica, visited the Long Beach Aquarium and more.
When I signed up for the LA Program, I had to find an internship. The program helps you find the internship that is in the realm of what you want to do in the future. After applying to many companies, I ended up interning at Turner Broadcasting TBS/TNT Company. I am mainly the TBS PR intern but at times, I help with the TNT related tasks. My supervisors are in charge of public relations for different areas. The different areas in the department are Events and Awards, TBS, TNT and General. Each supervisor is also in charge of public relations for different TV shows.
During my internship, I have been able to apply what I learned in my classes to my job. I also learned a lot through PRSSA and my other internships. For example, I update the pressroom with images and media releases, like I learned about in classes like Public Relations and Writing for PR. I also review the PR campaigns that have been done in the past. Yet, I have learned many tasks that my classes haven’t taught me. This includes putting together press clips, contacting celebrity representatives, utilizing IMBDPRO and editing itineraries for celebrities. I have enjoyed working for a TV network because I have also learned so much about the networks’ current shows, cast members and producers.
Before coming to LA, I knew I wanted to pursue public relations. What I didn’t know is how much I would love being a PR intern in the entertainment industry. Studying in LA gave me the opportunity to not only see what life is like out west, but also how the work culture is. Throughout my internship, I have learned that public relations is a very demanding but rewarding job. My internship is a hands-on experience and taught me if there is something you want to learn, you have to ask for it. No one is just going to hand you tasks. You have to prove how dedicated and ready you are to take on new challenges. When there is nothing to do, you either make work for yourself or ask around the department.
Networking in LA was also an important part of my internship. It’s always important to show that you care by asking your supervisor questions. I had the opportunity to get to know everyone in my department and ask them about their careers. I was able to talk to people not only in public relations, but also in different departments. It is important to know the other departments in a company because the more you know outside your department, the better knowledge you will have about the company.
Overall, I am happy that I studied in LA. I would encourage anyone interested in this field to get involved with as many internships and experiences outside the classroom as possible. I would also encourage anyone thinking about pursing PR in the entertainment industry to spend a semester in the ICLA program. This city is filled with many opportunities for not only film, but also public relations. Taking risks and going outside your comfort zone will help you long term in your career.