What I Learned at the Internship Panel

If you weren’t able to attend the 6th Annual Internship Panel, read about some of the key takeaways from the panel.

By: Lena Verga

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On Monday October 30th in Emerson Suites, IC PRSSA hosted its 6th Annual Internship Panel. The event, which was co-hosted by IC Women in Communications, featured a diverse panel of upperclassmen who shared with the audience some of their best experiences and advice from past internships. The panelists included Laura Amato, a senior IMC major, Katie Baldwin, a senior TV-R major, Elijah Greene, a senior applied economics major, Jake Goldberg, a senior TV-R major, Brett Levine, a junior IMC major, Nadja Perez, a senior IMC major, Maddy Schoap, a senior IMC major, and Kyle Stewart, a senior journalism major. The panel was moderated by Lexy White, a junior TV-R major.

Here are some key takeaways that I gained from the panel:

1) There are many ways to find out about and obtain internship opportunities – you can even use Ithaca College as a source!

Katie Baldwin, who interned at the Ellen DeGeneres Show last semester, knew from the beginning that she wanted to work for Ellen, so she used her Park school connections to help her get into contact with the show. This included going around and asking professors, advisors, and other resources in Park if they knew anyone who worked at Ellen. When Kyle Stewart interned in the U.S. Congress, he found the opportunity through Cornell’s Washington D.C. program. Elijah Green attended a Cornell Career Fair, and used the IC Alumni services for his opportunities at Goldman Sachs and BlackRock.

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2) Always do your research.

Research the companies and position that you are applying for. Make sure you know all the ins and outs of the organization, because it will be impressive during the interview. Brett Levine told a story about his interview with AMC Networks. He had never watched an AMC show before, and decided the night before to watch the pilot of The Walking Dead. Good thing he did, because he was asked which AMC character he felt he most related to. Lexy White added that if you know who is interviewing you, research them as well. This will impress the interviewer because it not only shows that you know your stuff, or that you are really interested, but that you also went to the lengths to relate to the interviewer and their background. Use tools like LinkedIn or Google, and make sure you know your facts before you go into the interview. And if you can do research on the company or interviewer, they can easily do the same for you. Which leads me to my next point…

3) Be smart with social media!

Maddy Schoap got her interview with Kardashian-West Brands through the Ithaca College Los Angeles (ICLA) internship database. She said that the brand followed all of her social media accounts so they could see what type of a person she was. This can make or break an opportunity, so please, be smart about what you post. Think to yourself before you post: Would I want my grandmother to see this?

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4) Your internship does not decide your career.

You’re there to learn at your internship, and if you don’t like it, it’s okay. Through her internship experiences, Nadja Perez discovered that she prefers smaller agencies more than a larger one. She has worked at agencies like Young & Rubicam and Rosie Labs, LLC. Nadja is interested in creative and likes the smaller agencies better because she found it easier to hop onto different projects. She also found that her work was getting more recognition. Kyle Stewart also found that he didn’t like working in Congress, but it gave him a unique advantage when he applied for Roll Call, a broadcast company that covers the news of Congress. Lexy added that you shouldn’t be afraid to turn down a permanent job that could come out of your internship, especially if the experience wasn’t for you. You want to wake up happy every day because you are going to a job you love. An internship helps you determine whether or not that job is for you.

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5) Make the most of it.

A typical internship lasts for about 10 weeks. You will be incredibly busy and won’t have that much time for relaxation or downtime. But when you do get the golden hour of not having much work, make the most of it. Laura Amato interned for Carat and the Make-a-Wish Foundation. Whenever she got a break from her work, she would do research on their client’s competitors or keep up with industry news. Because Laura was knowledgeable about the industry and the company, it gave her a competitive edge compared to other interns. Jake Goldberg worked for NFL Films and the New York Redbulls. Whenever he had downtime, he would ask if he could shadow other editors and producers. Jake asked questions relating to editing techniques, got opinions from professionals in the field, and networked within the company. It is important to make the most of your internship. It’s a learning opportunity and you are there to learn as much about that field as you can. Don’t be afraid to offer help to the other people working at the company/organization, or to just start doing some research about the company, the clients and the competitors. It will pay off in the end.

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I personally found the panel very helpful and insightful. Everyone had unique experiences and takeaways from their internships. Application season begins in February…I think I’m ready.

 

 

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