Yesterday was my first day at Disney ABC Television Group and it was an absolutely wonderful day! I can tell I’m going to be learning so much (believe it or not, it’s my first time on a Mac computer—so the learning has already begun—I know, I know). But overall, I think my favorite part is that I absolutely love my supervisor. She is so friendly, patient, and outgoing—of course I think she’s wonderful because she’s a fellow UCLA Chi Omega! She even took me out to lunch yesterday to welcome me and I thought that was so nice. I think I’m going to be especially happy the next six months because I love my job! (I’m going to remember my green enthusiasm on those nights when I come home absolutely exhausted but hopefully the good feeling lasts).
I recently I did an interview for a professor in the Communications Department at UCLA and I thought I’d share a little bit of what I said. As the new Career and Personal Development Chair of my sorority, I wanted to share a few tips about landing your dream internship and how to get there.
1. Tell me a little bit about your internship experiences at NBC and E! News. Did you always know you wanted to work in entertainment? What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from these internships?
Both of my internships with NBC Network News and E! News were integral experiences that guided me in my future career. I have always been intrigued by the entertainment industry, but I was never dead set on being a part of it. I think it’s important to know what direction you want to go with your life but I don’t think it’s a good idea to limit yourself to a certain “industry” either. I don’t think it’s about having one career goal anymore–it’s about having a multitude of options that you would be happy pursuing. You never know where life will take you so I think it’s good to keep an open mind.
The most valuable lesson I learned was to be courageous. I see many people, particularly young women, who have many dreams for their lives but they are often too afraid to live them. But with courage, you can do so many more things with your life. You’ll find yourself meeting more people, experiencing more opportunities, and developing bigger dreams. When you aren’t afraid to ask questions or pursue what you’re passionate about, the sky is truly the limit. Taylor Swift was on to something: be fearless.
2. What appealed to you about the Comm major? How do you see these classes helping you in getting where you want to be? (Do you have a dream job?)
I love the Communications Major because it is rife with opportunities. One of the reasons I have my current internship with Disney ABC is because I am Communications major. Whether it’s on a mass media level or it’s involving interpersonal communication, the skills that one can acquire from this major are so helpful in many facets of a job environment. As much as a job may require technological skills in mass communication, it’s equally important, if not more so, for employees to be well versed in communication between clients and coworkers. A communications degree covers all those bases and I’m so grateful to be a part of the major for those reasons.
3. What advice would you give to other Comm students? (Any tips for getting internships, interviewing, networking, which classes to take, etc?)
I recommend getting internships as soon as possible–and don’t settle. Set your sights high for where you want to be. I remember when I was applying for my first internships and I had NO job experience. I remember feeling like the whole job application process was such an oxymoron–how can one get job experience when you’re expected to already have job experience? So I created my own experience. I wrote a book, created a blog, and started a weekly column in a college newspaper. In a time when we’re expected to already have experience but no one is allowing us to gain that experience, I learned that you have to create it for yourself. You don’t have to wait for someone to hire you–hire yourself!
In terms of networking, meet as many people as possible. NBC was a great opportunity because many people would come to the studio for interviews and I would get to escort them in and out of the building. In those five minutes I had with them, I always made sure to ask if they’d be interested in doing an interview with me to feature on my blog. They almost always said yes and it resulted in us exchanging business cards and making a connection. If there is anything I’ve learned in networking it’s two things: don’t be afraid to speak up and talk to them and when you do talk to them, have something to offer them to carry on a one-time connection. Otherwise, you’re just an acquaintance. Make sure there is something about you that makes you stand out. Being brave is the first step.
I am a huge advocate for having a mentor. I actually met my mentor from working at NBC Network News. Lisa Bloom was doing an interview that day with Reverend Al Sharpton and we formed an instant connection when she found out that I was a fellow Bruin. I asked her if she would do an interview on my blog regarding her New York Times Bestselling book, Think, and not only did she hand me a copy of her book right then and there, she also did the interview right away. We’ve since met for lunch, celebrated a birthday together, and kept in touch on a regular basis. She’s been a huge encouragement to me as I aspire to be an author and she’s been a constant source of inspiration. Had I not had the courage to meet Lisa, she would have passed in and out of the studio and I would have never known what kind of connection we may have had. You can never let a moment pass you by, especially in the entertainment industry.
The Sunny Girl, Lauren Cook
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