Summer internship offers big opportunities

Michelle Verne

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If placed in the right position, internships can be the chance of a lifetime.  This summer, The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation is offering this possibility to over 40 college and graduate students from across the country.

“There are many rewarding opportunities this program offers,” said Nancy Robinson, Manager of Education Programs, “It gives them a chance to get their first foot in the door of the television industry.”

Robinson said that last year over 1200 applicants were received which is much more than the average 800 they had in the past.  She also said that there is competition but the students are not competing as a whole.

“The students apply under a specific category and are chosen from those different categories,” said Robinson.

Students are selected by academy members and peer groups.  Once finalists are chosen, they are required to provide a taped interview of questions selected by Robinson, so that the judges can get a feel for the candidate’s personality.  The professionals within the host companies make the final decision in the selection process.

The chosen candidates will be given the chance to work in a professional environment within the television industry.  They work at the actual hosts sites and will have 8 weeks of on-the-job training within the host company.

“Students act as a shadow to the industry professionals,” added Robinson.  “But, the most important thing is the networking opportunity and the ability to work one-on-one with these professionals.”

Some of these host companies include Sony Pictures Imaging, The Disney Channel and Warner bros, just to name a few.

“We are always trying to expand the host pool,”  Robinson said.  “A lot of the companies are repeats.”

Robinson also stated that students should not apply for a category just because there is a specific host they would like to intern for.

“The student should apply for the category with which they are most passionate about,” she said.

Each participant is also given a $4000 salary to cover expenses while interning, which requires a 40 hour work week.  They also cannot be employed by anyone else while in the program.

Submissions are being accepted until March 15, 2010.  If applying be sure to submit all required information listed on-line as well as by mail.  Also mandatory is two letters of recommendation, one must be from an academic and on the institutions letterhead, along with transcripts.

“Although we require a lot of academic information, the decision is not based on the student’s GPA, we are more concerned with the actual coursework,”  Robinson said.

In the past, five students from CSUN have participated in the internship.  CSUN alumni Dana Tomsic earned the award to intern in casting back in 2000.

Several alumni that have completed this program went on to work in substantial careers on popular network television shows such as:  “The Office,” “Scrubs,” “The Daily Show,” “24” and “Desperate Housewives,” are amongst some of the many.

The internship includes endless opportunities within the industry involving, Animation, Art Direction/Production Design, Children’s Programming/Development, Cinematography, Commercials, Costume Design, Development for Television, Documentary/Nonfiction Production, Editing, Entertainment News, Episodic Series, Live Event Production, Movies for Television, Music, New Media, On-Air Promotion, Production Management, Programming, Public Relations & Publicity, Sound, Special Visual Effects, Sports Production, Syndication/Distribution, Television Directing, Television Scriptwriting and Unscripted Television, just to name a few.

The Foundation has been the charitable organizer of the television industry since 1959.  They close the gap between the television industry and the new generation so they can move towards the future.  They also offer other types of student programs.  To apply for the Summer Internship Program, or for more information go to www.emmysfoundation.org.