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James O.

James O.
BA, Electronic Media and Film, '13

Internship Site:
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

New York , NY

What were your job duties?

I did all sorts of things there, the most interesting thing was probably the errands I went on. Whenever the show needed a prop or anything like that, they sent an intern out to get it. I had never been in a cab before, but I was riding around in them all the time, picking up things from videotapes to fake knives to watches. One one particular errand, I was sent way out into Brooklyn to pick up a telephoto lens, which took well over 2 hours total.

There's was a lot of stuff going on around the office as well. Once a week I worked with the audience department, and we handed out tickets and sat over 200 audience members who came to see the show that night. Then we got to see the show live, which is a really cool experience.

I also did a lot of stuff that supported the show, like working with the show's accountants. It was much more interesting than I expected because you could see of all the things that people bought for the show and how much things really cost (quite a lot). I also worked in the control room and in the tape library.

Did you have any personal objectives while you're there?

To be as attentive as possible.  I wanted to really learn from the staff and pick their brains about what strategies are useful in the film business.

What were some of the steps you took to find this internship?

I applied for a lot of internships in the TV/Film area (probably around 60). After all those applications, I ended up getting 3 interviews.  For the Daily Show, I just sent in my resume & cover letter and got called for an interview a few weeks later.

Over time, were there things you did personally to help you prepare for this internship?

I think that my previous internship at KHQ in Spokane opened a lot of doors for me. When I applied for internships in 2009, I got no response, but after doing the KHQ internship, I got more responses after that. I also have been working off-and-on at KHQ, so I'm sure that work experience helped a lot as well.

Got any personal advice for students who may be a bit nervous about stepping into larger internships or internships in general?

Don't be afraid to start small. Even if you have big plans, don't be afraid to take an internship at a smaller/local business. You can meet some great people and learn about things you didn't know you had an interest in before.

What's your Personal Mantra (7 words or less)?

Nothing worth doing is easy.


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