Tag Archives: internship program


Tips on Saving Money as an Intern by Diane Ly


The cold, hard truth is that most internships these days are unpaid or paid very little. That’s why as an intern, it’s crucial to be smart with your money and only spend on things you need. Here are some tips that got me through my unpaid internship days:

Bring your lunch: An average lunch costs at least $10, and if you’re interning three days a week, that’s $30 down the drain. A good way to take care of lunch is to make a big dinner the night before and save some to pack for the next day. Sandwiches are another filling and affordable way to make sure you’re eating a lunch everyday – a trip to the grocery’s worth of supplies can last you weeks!

Drink your morning coffee at home: There’s really no need to stop at a café every morning for your coffee. Buy some coffee grounds for $5-7 and have a morning cup of joe without shelling out cash at the start of each day. Spending that early in the morning will only limit what you can buy for the rest of the day.

Ask if your company will help with transportation costs: In New York City, it’s typical that a company will help you out with transportation by giving you a Metrocard to cover your trips to and from site; if they’re extra generous they’ll cover the entire month (which costs about $105 for an unlimited pass). Outside of NY, I’ve heard of many places offering reimbursements for gas to and from the workplace.

Unsubscribe from shopping e-mails: This one’s definitely a personal tip 🙂 Ever since I opted out of e-mails from websites like Gilt Groupe and Fab.com I haven’t found myself shopping online at all, which, let’s be honest, is a downfall for many of us. Getting rid of opportunities like that helps more than you think. Out of sight, out of mind…and nowhere near my wallet!


Ending Your Summer Internship

goodbye summer internship

As the summer days wind down and we prepare for fall, summer internships are coming to a close. You rocked your internship – especially given the internship tips we provided earlier in the summer – and it is time to end it with a bang. Here are some tips to end your summer internship the right way.

Ask for an Evaluation

What good is an internship if you can’t learn from it? Even if it isn’t required, ask your internship supervisor for an evaluation of your work all summer. With an evaluation you will be able to know the areas you did well in and what you may need to improve on as a growing professional.

Create a Portfolio

All summer you have been working on so many projects and you wouldn’t want this hard work to go in vain. Save all your projects and documents from the office desktop onto your personal drive so you have endless access to all your work from the summer. At the conclusion of your internship, you will be able to make a physical and online portfolio.

Send a Thank You

Many interns leave their internships without sending a mere thank you email to their boss. Be sure to thank all those who played an influential role during your internship – those at the company/organization you worked for and even anyone who may have helped you to land the internship. A thank you never goes unnoticed.

Stay in Touch

With all those relationships we encouraged you to build, it is now time to keep those relationships pass your internship. Stay in touch with those you have connected with at your office. Always remember your network determines your net worth.


Isabel Herrera: VH1 Production Intern

VH1 Intern

Isabel Herrera was born and raised in Manhattan, New York and is a senior Television, Radio and Film major at Syracuse University. Throughout her educational career, Isabel has successfully aligned herself with different production opportunities working with PBS, HBO and now… VH1.

Creative Interns: How did you land your internship at VH1?

Isabel Herrera: I applied for the Vh1 position through the Viacom Company by submitting my résumé online. I listed three companies I thought would be ideal for me depending on my interests, skills sets, and order of preference. I chose Vh1 as my first choice, because I believed it would be an excellent place to learn about the television production process. A few weeks later, a Syracuse Alumna contacted me and we scheduled a telephone interview. I immediately followed up with him and within three weeks I was offered an internship in their Digital Production Department.

CI: What is a normal day like for a VH1 production intern?

IH: The Digital Production Department is one of the smaller divisions at the VH1 channel, and because of this I was able to learn a lot more than I initially expected. Another plus is that I was the only intern within the department, so I did not split responsibilities with other interns. My daily duties vary depending on my schedule. The days we are scheduled to shoot, I am on set assisting with equipment-set up, camera and audio check, emergency errands for the producers, and breaking down after the day’s wrap. On other days, I will help the producers with editing cuts, or select clips I considered to be useful for smaller videos of on-air shows. My experience at VH1 has been incredible, and so pertinent to the production background I am beginning to cultivate.

CI: What specifically motivated you to go into video and media production?

IH: After completing several internships with large media production companies, I’ve realized that my dreams of becoming a producer are not as far-fetched as I thought. My seed for motivation stems from a place that as a storyteller, makes me physically, emotionally and mentally invested into the career path I want to pursue.  I specifically chose production, because producers oversee the unfolding process of a vision from beginning to end, and that’s exactly what I really respect about this career. Sometimes, I step away from my work after a long day and really think “I can’t believe I’m really part of a such a cool job” and I want to continue to extend this feeling. So my motivation is the rush I feel when I am invested and part of a vision larger than myself.

CI: What tips would you offer an undergraduate looking to apply to a post-graduate internship or entry-level position in your industry?

IH: Undergraduates should look into smaller departments, because they often result in the most rewarding professional experiences. You will eventually get to the large position you want to attain, but it’s important to tend to the small steps NOW, while you’re young and still growing than backtracking at a later point in your career. Also, working in a smaller department will help you prove yourself to your boss and provide many more opportunities to step up to larger responsibilities. This can help you become much more independent and grant you the kind of professional growth you aspire to have. I also want to stress the importance of following up with someone after an interview, and being sincere with the kind of work you want to get into when you have the opportunity to do so. Never fill a position for the sake of its title, because you will ultimately end up with less that what you’ve bargained for.


Life + Times of Christen V. Westbury: Discovery Communications Development Intern


Christen Victoria Westbury is a recent Bachelor of Science and Masters graduate of Syracuse University and current intern at Discovery Communications in the development department. Born in Columbia, South Carolina but “bred” in Silver Spring, Maryland, Christen adapted the art of persistence and dedication making it easier to land this internship. Explore with Creative Interns on how Christen landed the internship at Discovery, what a normal day is like and her advice to future graduates.

Creative Interns: What are the steps you took to land your internship at Discovery? 

Christen Westbury: I have been fortunate enough to been given my third internship opportunity at Discovery Communications. I attribute this to not only maintaining relationships within the company, but also continuously putting my best foot forward every time I have stepped foot into Discovery’s Headquarters. Additionally, when applying to this internship I made sure to not simply rely on being a previous intern, but to rather focus on what more I had to offer the company for this specific summer.

CI: Tell us about your internship experience at Discovery. What is a normal day like for an intern?

CW: A normal day as a Discovery Development intern is fast-pace, exciting, rewarding, but most importantly all about storytelling. No matter if you are working to help develop a current project, or striving to create your own, it is always about what you can add to a story. In addition to helping create great narratives for TV, I am also constantly absorbing everything I can about the Television world.So while working on my daily projects, I am also reading trade magazines, news websites, as well as watching the trends on social media. Essentially on a normal day, I am doing all I can do to help my team, while simultaneously being a sponge, soaking up whatever knowledge about the industry that I can find.

CI: What specifically motivated you to go this direction in your career?

CW: I graduated from Syracuse University with a B.S. in Advertising and ultimately thought that this was the world I would live in. However, one day I really sat back and did some soul searching to really figure out what my gut was telling me. I began to realize that the art of selling a product to consumers wasn’t my passion, but rather the television programming itself. It was undeniable to see that my heart really lied with the stories that I had seen over the years on TV. Whether it was the many conflicts and resolutions in ‘Degrassi’, or Jack Bauer racing against time in ’24’ it was always about the story. With that said, my love for great narratives, is what ultimately motivated me to pursue a career in development. It is where the initial spark occurs, and it is where good things become great.

CI: What tips would you offer an undergraduate looking to apply to a post-graduate internship or entry-level position in your industry?

CW says:

  • Shy away from “networking”, and focus on building true relationships.
  • Be consistent and proactive because most people give up their pursuit far too soon.
  • Pick up the phone and call people. Our generation has gotten too comfortable with technology, emails are not the only option.
  • Absorb every ounce of knowledge about the field you are entering, because knowledge is power and whatever you don’t know, someone else in your same position, does.
  • Most importantly, have faith in yourself. Know that you are capable of accomplishing your goals and understand that everything takes time. Just because you do not immediately fall into your ideal job/internship, doesn’t mean it wont come at a later date. Timing is everything and great things take time.

CI: What’s your dream job?

CW: My dream job is to be a Television Development Executive at a major cable network. I want to develop programming that audiences will remember for a lifetime. I want to be one of the people behind the shows that shatters normality, introduce innovation, and create paths that others will want to follow.


Young Entrepreneurship


JonniQue Dale, recent graduate of St. John’s University and current student of Berkelee College of Music, is a fine example of young entrepreneurship. Jonnique established The Victor E. Group in 2011 to promote self-awareness, self-efficiency and self-improvement through art production, artist management and multimedia endeavors.

Creative Interns: What specifically motivated you to go this direction in your career?

JonniQue Dale: I knew early on I always wanted my own business. I wanted to start applying everything I was learning in college instead of waiting until I graduated. I was also motivated towards this path because of my desire to influence people, especially women of color in underserved areas. My goal is to touch people who are often overlooked and ignored – motivate them to seek better and do better altogether.

CI: What is an average work-week like for you?

JD: An average work-week would entail working on a few projects and meeting with a few artists that I manage (at least once a week). I also go to a lot of networking events in New York City, as well as attending a lot of workshops to self-educate. Currently, my main focus is my website and recruitment for interns and actual staff positions including a graphic designer, assistant editor and videographers.

CI: What books would you recommend for talent in your industry? What online resource do you read on a regular basis to get industry news and knowledge?

JD: I am big on self-help books and there are three that I would definitely recommend: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey; The Secret by Rhonda Byrne; and The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success by Wayne Bretworth. I also read books that relate to my respective field. At present, I am reading Ahmir Questlove Thompson’s Mo’ Meta Blues, a book providing a non-mainstream chronicle of Hip Hop history.  

For online resources, I read Variety, mediabistro.com and Bloomberg media. Eventbrite is also a great resource as well. If used properly, Eventbrite can be a “hammer in your toolbox” for any professional, especially budding entrepreneurs.

 CI: What tips or advice would you give a recent graduate or someone who is switching careers?

JD: Do a great job in networking. Networking is more about quality (than quantity) and being open to meeting new people and doing so in a genuine way. Also, don’t ever stop educating yourself and continue to stay sharp. The more that you know and the more areas you feel confident in, the better. Having an online presence is also very important and it is necessary to know when to self-promote and how to do it tastefully.



Insider View on Public Relations: This is not Sex and the City


The public relations industry is a creative, strategic industry that is always evolving and because it is always changing, you often come across variations of what PR really is.

In the television series, and now movie, Sex and the City, the “glamorous” life of public relations is portrayed. The witty, out-spoken and over-sexual character of Samantha Jones provides viewers with a façade of public relations. The movie has amazing fashion and a great storyline, but that’s just it – fashion and a story. Sex and the City by no means is a clear indication of what PR is, so if you want to start a career in the field based on what you see on TV you will definitely be disappointed.

Recent grads and career switchers, here is what public relations really looks like:

  • Public relations is reputation management, in which you work overtime to ethically and strategically manage a client, company or organization’s various publics. Public relations can be filled with management of the media (press release writing, pitching and scheduling interviews/appearances); crisis communications management (in the case of Penn State); or now – social media marketing and engagement.
  • Thinking about a long lunch break? They don’t exist. Your lunch break is often taken at your desk while you continue to compile that media list for your client’s event or cold call journalists to gain media placements.
  • Like any industry real monetary reward comes with hard work. In Sex and the City, Samantha seemed to have endless amounts of money early in her career. Many entry-level jobs within public relations may be very rewarding but don’t necessarily offer the Prada bag, Manolo shoe life. Dedication and continued career development helps you to rise the ranks and get the monetary reward you desire.

So to those entering this dynamic industry (whether as a recent graduate or one who is switching careers), remember there is way more to PR than what is portrayed in movies and television shows. As a growing professional in the field, I am always learning and I have learned that this industry isn’t an easy walk in the park. As you and I journey through PR, our walk won’t become any easier but certainly more satisfying!


Inspiration from Jessica Styles

Jessica Styles

Some students go through their collegiate experience unaware of what they want to do in life and conventional ways of career advancement aren’t enough. This is where Jessica Styles steps in. Jessica Styles, South Carolina native, created The FAB Network out of a need to foster out-of-the-box thinking for career development.

Creative Interns: In the well-known novel “The Alchemist”, author Paulo Coehlo talks about following your heart through self-discovery as you find your personal legend. Do you define The Fab Network as your personal legend? 

Jessica Styles: Yes for me it’s not a job and it’s more than just a company. The FAB Network is a movement. There’s a problem in education where self-awareness is lacking. I have a special affinity for people thinking outside of the box and for me The FAB Network helps others to live out their truth and identify what their passion is about. It is career coaching infused with life coaching.

The ultimate goal is to get paid to do what you love and if I can help others do that then I feel like I’ve made a huge difference.

CI: What’s a normal work week like for you?

JS: For years, a work week would be any where from teaching, setting up meetings and going to events. Some days I may be on the computer at 1 or 2 A.M sending out emails. At night, I would create my to-do list for the next day.

I just recently transitioned from Adjunct Professor at LIM College to full-time staff as a Career Advisor, in which I will be teaching career development courses in addition to conducting one-on-one career consultations and managing 200-300 student caseloads (among other responsibilities). With this new title, my days will be a little more structured. Being a career advisor just enhances what I do with The FAB Network. My work week is like an octopus where each thing may function differently, but in the end leads to the same goal.

CI: What is one crazy work experience you remember that taught you an invaluable lesson?

JS: I just moved to New York City to work for MTV and at the time they were doing major layoffs during my first 3 weeks on the job. While I didn’t get laid off, I was freaking out thinking what would I do being in a new place with no job. My supervisor took me into her office and calmed me down. She quickly helped me learn that it is not about the job, it is about you.

I was always in a guerrilla warfare mind set at work. No matter what the job was, even if it was just getting coffee, I was going to do it well however I always remembered what my former boss taught me….I always viewed my job/career as a piece of me, not a piece that defines me.

CI: If you were able to talk to the younger Jessica Styles, what would you say to her?

JS: I’m 29 now and there’s so much I’ve learn since being the 22-year old that just moved to New York City. At 28, I really began to get on the cusp of fine-tuning who Jessica Styles was. Something happened this year where I started looking at myself more closely than I ever have. This year, I started looking at who I am as a person – who do I want to be on a more holistic level. My spirituality became stronger, I looked at my relationships, career and myself more. Everything in my life has to be an asset and must contribute to the person I want to be in all areas of my life.

You have to be willing to walk in darkness, to be able to walk in light. If you can get through those rough moments, you will be greatly rewarded.

CI: What advice would you give a recent graduate entering the career world? 

Set up a lot of informational interviews and talk to a lot of people. You will do yourself a huge service if you start picking people’s brains. When I wanted to switch from MTV to beauty, I interviewed and met with over 100 people. I was able to build relationships and learn at the same time. While I was building relationships and learning, I made myself memorable. Everything you’re doing, builds a brand for you. Those informational interviews had a tremendous impact on my career – knowledge you can’t learn in a classroom or just working a job and doing it well. You have to challenge yourself to not only work hard, but make sure the “right people” take notice of your work and dedication.


Tips For Developing Talent

Image credit: flickr

As an employer you want to have quality employees in your company and finding the most qualified person from among a pool of job applicants is not always easy. You should consider hiring an intern – this is a great way to bring in fresh talent that can be molded into a great employee. Here are some tips for developing intern talent:

Find out what motivates your intern?

This will give you ideas of ways you can bring out the best in them. For example, if you learn that your intern is motivated by music allow them to listen while they work.

What are your intern’s goals?

What can you do to help them achieve these goals? Knowing what it is that your intern plans to do in the future is a good way to figure out how they will best be put to use working for you. Maybe you can find a way to combine their goals with the job to make it work to the advantage for you both.

Encourage creativity.

Be open to new ideas that your intern may have. Allow them some freedom to explore new ways of doing the job as long as the end result is the same. This gives the intern the opportunity to use what they know or have learned in school.

Build on skills the intern already has.

Allow your intern to shadow you during meetings so they can see how you perform. This gives them an idea of how they should model themselves. Give detailed instructions on how to do things. This will help eliminate mistakes and give the intern a sense of good guidance.

Measure improvement.

Show your intern how far they have come since they first started. Seeing results gives a sense of accomplishment. If the intern feels like they are doing things right, they will be happy continue to do better. A happy intern will produce good work for you.

Communicate openly with your intern.

Offer them constructive criticism – this will  only help them become better. Give feedback on the work they have completed. If there are areas that need improvement, let them know. The better the work is done, the more your company will benefit.

Having quality employees working for your company is a competitive advantage. Although these employees may not come in at full potential, you can create an environment that helps to develop talent and produce the best results for your business.

Written by Monique Skinner


Grow Your Business By Creating An Internship Program

Quickstart Internship System_cover

Any size company, even a solo entrepreneur can benefit from creating and launching a quality internship program. The benefits quickly outweigh the initial time investment it takes to create a quality internship program. As an entrepreneur, you will want to customize the program specifically to your business needs.

There are many details to consider when structuring an internship program. Internship programs can be paid, unpaid, for-credit or a combination of different structures. Some companies differentiate their internship programs by providing stipends, completion bonuses and other unique perks but pay alone does not make a quality internship program.

All internship programs should have learning components or learning exercises. Any project or assignment that will teach the intern a new skill and/or allow them to shadow someone performing their job can be considered a learning exercise. Ultimately, learning exercises should add new skills to the intern’s resume and give them a better understanding of their industry. For example, if an intern works virtually part of the time then a learning exercise with written instructions for the intern would be beneficial. In addition, a few moments shadowing someone completing the required task before working virtually could assist in the learning experience.

So what actually goes into a quality internship program? CreativeInterns.com recommends including at least these components:

An internship program mission and objectives

  • Provides direction, goals and outlines other specifics about facilitating the internship program

A formal written program including

  • A recruiting plan to develop talent pipeline relations
  • An intern manual or welcome packet
  • Job descriptions with learning exercises
  • Agreements with internship program expectations
  • Time logs & other academic credit considerations

A support structure

  • Identify one person to be the internship manager/coordinator, solo entrepreneurs usually do this on their own

A formal internship program process

  • On-boarding (orientation), assessments and exit interviews (off-boarding)

Continued development and improvement of the program

  • Evaluations should be completed about the interns, managers and internship program

Adherence to legal considerations for unpaid interns

  • See the Department of Labor requirements here

At CreativeInterns.com, we have seen several start-ups create engaging and robust internship programs that benefit both the intern and business. On the other hand, if you are winging it, then you might encounter a few challenges including but not limited to:

  • You can’t find interns that want to be part of your internship program
  • Interns accept your internship program offer but don’t perform to your expectations or they leave before the internship period is complete
  • You feel like you don’t have the time to train, manage and delegate to your interns
  • Interns do not seem engaged in activities that can build your brand in a positive manner

One solution to creating a quality internship program is to utilize a system that walks you through the process, step-by-step. CreativeInterns.com created a tool for specifically for this purpose called the Quickstart Internship System. The system allows event the smallest of companies to create and launch an internship program in a matter of hours after completing the step-by-step exercises. In addition, Marc Scoleri, Co-Founder of CreativeInterns.com will provide a 60 minute consultation for any company that uses the Quickstart Internship System. Internship programs created with the Quickstart Internship System can help you business realize the following benefits:

  1. Low or no cost labor
  2. Increase productivity
  3. Give back to the community
  4. Interns bring a fresh perspective and enthusiasm to your team
  5. Interns can bring a continuous flow of ideas into your organization
  6. Employers can boost internal morale by hiring interns
  7. Employers can increase workforce diversity by utilizing interns
  8. Interns are a great resource for projects and can fill the gap during peak workloads
  9. Employers find interns to be great public relations agents or brand ambassadors; students can have a very positive effect on future recruiting and hiring efforts
  10. Offering internships enables organizations to develop strong ties with local colleges

As you can see there are many benefits to having a quality internship program. Once you create and launch your program it will be important to be flexible with the entire process. Working with interns that are still in school will require flexible schedules but if you decide to pay an hourly wage and open your program to graduates too, then you will widen the net of prospective candidates. Either way, helping the next generation of talent grow and develop is a reward in itself. Interested in starting an internship program? Feel free to contact us for assistance in creating a quality internship program.


Employers Benefit By Hiring Interns

Motion graphics animation describing the benefits of an internship program for employers. Animated by Diane Bruzzese, music by Robert May and concept created by Marc Scoleri.