Saturday, December 27, 2014

FREE RESUME: Happy Holidays from THID


As a belated Christmas present and as a celebration of our one year anniversary, I designed a FREE (usually $10!) word resume for friends of The Hollywood Intern Diaries. 

Change the font, change the colors, or leave it as it is - it's all yours! 

Find your Free Resume here. Too late! Check out our other resumes on Etsy below.

Friday, December 26, 2014

TREAT YO SELF: Business Casual Appropriate Shoes

You know the drill: no flip flops, scrappy heels, or exceptionally high heels. But what exactly is 'Business Casual Footwear?' 

Most heels are impractical for the high demands of Development, Production Management, and god-forbid Production internships. Even in other less strenuous internships like Entertainment Marketing and Digital Media, Interns spend a lot of time on their feet. With the amount of runs, meetings, presentations, and the often large distance from the Intern parking lot to the actual building you're working on, heels can be a painful investment.

So what shoes should you wear based on the demands of your Internship department? Glad you asked.

Also, sorry boys, get some leather converse and some broken-in dress shoes. As far as Business Casual goes, you're pretty much golden. This one's for the girls. 

Development Internships: Ballet Flats

Sam Edelman 'Felicia' flats. Online and at Nordstrom Rack.

(TV/ Film) Development Internships are notorious for the amount of runs, communal intern desks, and coffee and lunch pickups. However, unlike Production interns, Development interns are expected to adhere to a typical business causal dress code while remaining in motion and comfortable all day long.That's where Ballet flats come in. 

The Why: Once broken-in, ballet flats allow you to run, stand for hours, and look professional enough to fit in to the business casual environment. One good pair of ballet flats can be worn everyday of your internship and can even add that 'designer' touch' so important in the New York and LA entertainment industries. 

Where to Buy: Nordstrom Rack carries designer ballet flats from Sam Edelman, Tory Burch, Michael Kors, Steve Madden, and Dolce Vita. Prices usually range from $20-60, up to 80% off the retail price. Although, a pair of the famed Tory Burch ballet flats can still set you back up to $150 - the most you will ever pay for anything at this department store outlet.

Tory Burch 'Reva' flats. Currently at Nordstrom Rack for less than $150.

Production Management Interns: Booties

Sam Edelman 'Petty' Booties in Putty. Can be found at Nordstrom, Urban Outfitters, Zappos, and Sam 

Production Management Interns often work in slightly more casual environments and their runs could take them anywhere: on set, law offices, delis, the NYC subway, groceries, and (my friend literally was sent here) a sex toy shop. Although ballet flats may still work, the on-set possibility can possibly basically eliminate them due to nails and other dangers not unnoticed by the First AD. Enter the trend of Fall 2015, the bootie.

The Why: Comfortable. Fashionable. Closed-toed. Can be dressed up or dressed down.

Where to Buy: Unlike Ballet flats, since Booties are very in style, they will set you back about $120 dollars on average. The best place to find these are online at Sam, Nordstrom, and Urban Outfitters.

Production Interns: Boots 

Steve Maddens.
Production Interns often split their time between on set production and office pre-production work. The amount of time on set requires some heavy duty footwear. Although tennis shoes are okay, something more professional and/or fashionable may gain you some points among your co-workers. Ridding Boots and Combat Boots do just that. 

The Why: Boots are comfortable, supportive for all day wear, more Fashionable than Tennis shoes, and have closed/reinforced toes. They provided further protection against nails and heavy filming equipment. 

Where to Buy: Nordstrom Rack, Urban Outfitters, Steve Madden, Doc Martens, and most department stores. 

Digital Media and Entertainment Marketing Interns : Sperry Top Siders, Keds, and J. Crew Flats

J.Crew Flats, can be found at J.Crew and J.Crew Outlets.

Digital Media and Entertainment Marketing interns often enjoy a more causal office environment where individuality is embraced and encouraged. Sperry Top Siders and bright-colored Keds and J.Crew Flats can often be found. 

The Why: They are both comfortable, unique, and 'cute' with a wide range of fashionable yet causal outfits. 

Where to Buy: Nordstrom Rack, Journeys, J. Crew, Delias, and most departments stores. These shoes will set you back $30-90 dollars - yet often last for years. 

Sperry Top Sider 'Audrey', buy at Macys and Dillards.
Keds. Buy at Delias, Journeys, Nordstrom Rack, and Department Stores.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Debrief: Why the Spring 2015 Application Season Was Incredibly Weird

Welcome to the end of the Spring Application season. The major studio's have all extended their offers (except Sony) and many of you are already beginning the task of filling out the tiresome pre-hire paperwork. P.S. If you are with DisneyABC, try filling it out on a Windows- suddenly gets 85% easier. 

If you have not yet gotten an internship for the Spring, please turn your attention to Entertainment Careers

We are about to go over several reasons why you possibly didn't get an internship at the Big Studios and how and why things were so different this time around. 

An Abstention and a Late Adopter

First off, there was less total internships this season available to those willing to intern in California. Sony totally abstained from hiring interns this semester (see more info on the connections between Interns and the Sony Hack here). 

Lionsgate switched over to a Paid Internship program and became the last major studio holdout no longer! This wasn't particularly surprisingly as I gave them a year last June, although I figured they would wait till Summer. This is obviously an awesome move, but one not without consequences. Lionsgate used to hire more interns in more departments (i.e. Alternative TV Development and Scripted TV Development), now there is one to two interns in the entire TV department. 

Combined with the fact that Discovery Communications, TimesWarner, and Fox offered less total internships- there was less internships to be had. 

Early to Start, Late to Finish, and a Whole Lot of Waiting

ABC started recruiting early this year, earlier than ever before. I'm talking August/September. An aggressive Facebook and video campaign was topped with more applications than ever before. However, around October to November, all communication from ABC dropped off. Applicants are just now being notified.

They weren't alone. Discovery Communications started interviewing via recorded video in September. With second in-person and Skype interviews not happening until early December. A large gap of uncertainty that has been unparalleled in recent years. 

Fox just started interviewing for its Spring Internship program after accepting applications in September/ October. 

Surprisingly, Viacom and newcomer Lionsgate were more on the ball*. Having a second round (phone and survey respectfully) in October and final interviews in Novembers. Offers were given in early December. This ideal calendar was utterly dismissed by their competitors who seem to just have been overwhelmed with applications this fall. 

*I don't currently have any information on NBCUniversal. Although I have found that their HR is usually pretty on top of it. Please comment/email with your experience. 

I would like to say that this will change during the Summer Application season, which is typically longer. However, as they were overwhelmed with the number of applications for Spring, the nearly triple number of applications for Summer are unlikely to result in a quicker selection process. Be prepared for some serious waiting this summer. 

Push Back the Date for Offer Letters

Most offer letters are now going out in late December to early January, when they used to be released in late November to early December.

Did I mention Fox just started interviewing?

There are a lot of things wrong with this. As smaller production companies generally have a faster application process and you may already have an internship lined up by the time these larger companies get around to interviewing you. Or you will be freaking out during finals and holiday breaks that you haven't yet heard back from a single internship. 

The Increasing Implementation of Double to Triple Step Processes 

Long gone are the days of one in-person interview. A trend that started with Disney ABC and NBC Universal sending their HR persons on phone interviews to potential applicants, most studios have implemented a new tri- or dual-system of interviewing. These steps may include preliminary phone calls with HR, filling out worksheets, short essays, and even calling or emailing your REFERENCES. 

Yes, Lionsgate and other companies are now checking your references. To be prepared, make sure to have at least 2 solid references and 3 possible backups. These can be former internship supervisors or favorite professors. Just, let them know before that you listed them as references on the application and follow up with them if the company says they are contacting your references. You can even offer to write sample paragraphs if your references don't have time to answer the company's long questioner. 

These systems obviously take much longer than one step processes used by most entertainment careers listings. It also requires more data which can lead to the HR department becoming easily overwhelmed. 

Less Personalization 

For the first time in my entire life, I got a second interview offer letter with the starting words "Dear Applicant." This has generally been a "no-no" in the industry. However, the sheer amount of applicants for such few positions may have finally resulted in a less personalized interview experience. Seen in the implantation of worksheets and mini-essays now required by many companies (and always required by HBO, ironically). 

Final Thoughts

Although we can hope that these trends will not continue in the Summer Application Season starting in January/ February - the sheer amount of applications and the limited amount of spaces are likely to continue causing HR delays and "weird" application seasons. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Must Read for Anyone Interviewing While Studying Abroad

If you haven't guessed it by now... The 'Intern Queen' is abroad. That's right for the first time in a long time, I don't have an internship. And although there is a lot to be said about enjoying your college experience that can fill up a whole another blog post, chances are you are abroad as a Junior/Senior and NEED an internship next semester.

If you don't believe me...just take a quick look at this graph by The Chronicle. 

Still think you can put off internships? Here's another. Take a quick look at the far right hand side.

In order to get an internship next semester (or summer for you spring semester kids). You're going to have to interview abroad. A challenge that is daunting, yet can be rewarding - if you can stay awake. There are several problems, or things you should keep in mind.

Time Change

This one is a bitch. Interviews normally take place in the afternoon pacific standard time, so this can leave you staying up until 2am for one Skype/phone interview.

I've found the best times for those studying abroad in England/Western Europe to interview for Cali-based positions are as follows:
9am PST = 5/6pm your time.
10am PST = 6/7pm your time.
11am PST= 7/8pm your time.
12pm PST= 8/9pm your time.
1pm PST= 9/10pm your time.
2pm PST= 10/11pm your time.

I usually cut off interviews at 2pm PST, any later and you won't be at your best cognitively.

The No Phone Game

As you've realized by now, you can't use your US phone number/ sim card abroad. Between rooming charges, having to turn it off airplane mode at certain times, and the difficulties that arise if you bought a UK sim, it's just not worth phone interviews. Always alert the interviewers immediately of your abroad situation ! They have likely dealt with it before. 

Suitable Alternatives: Skype is the best. 
If the interviewer insist on calling you via a US Phone Number: You can purchase one via Skype for about $4 a month! Interview season is also only about 2 months long!

If the interviewer wants to talk on the phone: You can call them by just adding credit to your Skype account ($5-10) max. 

If the interviewer is okay with video chatting: Skype is the best! As you can see...I'm a fan of Skype. 

The Refusal

If the interviewer refuses to interview you because you cannot come physically into the office. That really does say something about how they treat their interns. Large companies such as ABC/ Discovery/ Lionsgate/ and NBCUniversal make accommodations for all their abroad intern applicants. 

Phone Interviews Are Different

The reason I obviously love Skype so much is that the majority of the interview is usually the interviewer telling you about the company. This makes phone interviews very impersonal if they are conducted in the same way- as they often are. You can't show that you are listening without making annoying noises. You also can't show your personality except in the very meager questions they ask. You can't take cues for when to stop talking either. 

There is a very special art to phone interviews on behalf of the interviewee and the interviewer. I can't even say I have mastered it myself. Just be wary and careful. 

No pressure, but a person that interviews on the phone will almost always lose out to those that interview in person. This isn't true to Skype interviews, but for audio only I've seen it happen numerous times. Just try your absolute best to show your interest and act as engaged as possible. Thank them for taking the time to speak with you, focus on your state-side life and not the one you are living abroad. They don't want to hear about Paris and how cold it is, they want to hear about how you will fit in their internship program come January. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Apply for Spring 2015 Internships Now! The Complete Application List

Yep, it's that time again! Application season is upon us.

UPDATED: 10/25/14 

Want more info/ everything you need to apply....CLICK HERE. This includes resume tips, cover letter advice, interview how-to's, and even housing advice. 

This page will be updated when more applications are posted. I recommend bookmarking it. 

Most studio applications are due late October to late Decemeber. However, I would reccomend applying now! 

Notes about SPRING SEASON: Spring season is the 2nd most competative season! However, there are less internships in some departments of the major studios as opposed to Summer internships. 

NBCUniversal Campus2Career Internship Program Spring 2015. 

APPLY West Coast (LA)
APPLY East Coast (New York City)
APPLY NBC Sports (Connecticut)
APPLY CNBC (New Jersey)
APPLY Maury, Springer & Wilkos Show (Connecticut)

VIACOM Internship Program Spring 2015: 

-NEW YORK CITY LOCATION : Apply here for the General Application (most departments, except for listed below)

            -General Application

-CHICAGO (Ad, Sales, Marketing) LOCATION: Not posted yet. 

          -Spring 2015 (General- Due October 31st)
          -SUMMER 2015 ! (General)

       Spring 2015 General Application

Disney ABC Internship Program. Spring 2015. 

Disney ABC Internships (Publicity, News, Digital Media, Development, Programming, etc.) in New York, LA, Burbank, and Orlando. Apply here. 

Intrested in Disney Parks Internships in Anhiem, Orlando, and Burbank? Click here.

SONY Internships. Spring 2015. NY/LA/CHICAGO

There are internships in Corporate, IT, Televison Creative, Home Entertainment, Motion Picture, Acquistions, Fiance, Development, PR etc.

Not posted yet.

Discovery Communications (Discovery/ TLC/ Animal Planet) Internships. Spring 2015. NY/LA/CHICAGO/SILVER SPRING

You will find all the internship postings here. 
Expect more to be posted in the coming weeks. 

Spring 2015 Internships in Time Warner Properties (LA/ NY/ ATLANTA). 

*HBO only offers internships in the summer.

CONAN FALL 2014 Internships (due Nov 30th!)- LA

Apply here.  Unpaid. 

FOX/ National Geographic Channel Internships. Spring 2015

Califorina Internship Program Spring 2015, apply here.

New York Internship Program Spring 2015, apply here.

National Geographic Channels, D.C Spring 2015, apply here. 

Lionsgate Internships. Spring 2015 (Santa Monica/ New York) 

To stay updated: Bookmark our page, subscribe to our email list (on the sidebar, super easy), or follow us on our Facebook or Twitter pages. 

Need a Resume? Check out our NEW Etsy store below. Get a new amazing resume instantly for only $10.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Rock That Interview: Verbal Communication

In our last installment of Rock that Interview we discussed the importance of nonverbal communication. Although nonverbal actions take up the majority of our communication, what we say in interviews and interactions with potential employers do have an impact. It is easy to get caught up in the nervousness and say something you do not mean. Just remember these key points going into an interview and you should be prepared to speak without fear of saying the wrong things.
1. Avoid offensive language
    Social Justice is becoming a common topic amongst our society. People have become more aware of offensive language. Anything can be offensive, but the more common (and more advertised) issues include: racism, sexism, sexual orientation and religion. Avoid these topics during small talk and avoid using any generalizations or prejudice of your own in your answers. Any opinion in these topics can be misconstrued and can lead to deeper arguments you do not want.
    Triggers are also something to look out for. Triggers are words or phrases that can spark an emotion within someone. They are unique to different people and can have negative affects on their behaviors, as well as their perspective on you. Words like, "retarded, crazy", and phrases like, "my last job was so gay" can make you appear ignorant and insensitive. They can also trigger your interviewer giving you a less of a chance of landing that job, an issue that should come second to fixing your ignorance.
2. "I don't know" is not good enough
    As you may have heard already, the phrase "I don't know" can come off as a negative answer. Stick to phrases that can give you more time to think like, "That's a good question" or "Let me think about that." Although it may feel like ages in your head, some interviewers like that you take your time to articulate your answers instead of blurting out the first thing you think of in your head and hoping it will lead you somewhere. Do not be afraid to slow things down. If it gives you an excellent answer it may be worth it.
3.  Use compliments wisely
    Compliments can be a good tool to lessen the pressure on both parties in the interview. It can make the situation much warmer and more comfortable to be in. However, it can also do the opposite. Compliments on body image can easily come off as flirtatious and make the interviewer uncomfortable. Even as a sincere comment, telling the interviewer that "they look great today" comes off as unprofessional.
    If you do feel the need to comment on something, compliments on the companies values or work ethic can make you look like a promising employee who shares similar views with the company.
4. Bad talk is bad
    Remember to never bad talk any of your previous employers, especially if they are your reference. References are important and calling them mean and incompetent lowers their credibility, which, in turn, lowers yours. Bad talk against former employers can also lead the interviewer to believe that this will happen again, but with their company the next time you interview for another job. It comes off as unprofessional and no matter how bad your last job treated you it is irrelevant to the interviewer and should be information you keep to yourself or your parents and/or lover(s).
5. Ask questions
    Asking questions may make you seem uninformed, but asking the right questions can make you appear inquisitive and ready to learn. Questions like, "how much is pay?", and "when can we take vacation days?" make you appear like you are only in it for the money and only in it if the job is easy. Again, avoid the superficial.  
    Try asking questions that show that you have done research about the company, which you should do, in order to both display your knowledge and your willingness to learn. Questions like, "I understand my job entails that I work with the camera crew, but are their any other duties with other crews that I should be aware of and prepare for?" or "I saw that you are partnered with 'Company B', will we be doing work with them as well while I am here?"
    For more questions, you can check out this article on asking questions, which is also on our site.
    Although one slip up may not totally hinder your chances of landing that internship, know that they do pile up and that mistakes are easy to spot. Just do your research, practice what you will say and your non-verbals, and rock that interview!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Important Info If You Want to Intern at Disney or ABC in Spring 2015

Disney is jumping on the Spring internship bandwagon super early this year.

It's not even September and they have plenty of internships posted on Disney Careers, are updating their Facebook page like nobody's business, and even have a live chat with a recruiter coming up on September 4th. This is likley due to the large amount of internships they must process and interview per year, more than any other company.

What Does This Mean?

Now this is kind of freaky since they are completely ignoring the standard Internship Application Seasons for the first time ever. But what's freaky for me is both a good and bad thing for you.

The good is that you can apply for Disney internships early this year and take special care with the applications. The bad being that I have no idea when the internship you want is going to be posted. Which may mean you will have to check DisneyCareers everyday for the next month and a half.

The "When" of Disney Internship Postings

The internships currently posted are mostly centered in the Orlando area and deal with the Theme Parks. There are a couple internships posted for CA Theme Parks as well, and one for Imagineering. So if you're intrested in that, I would apply right away. The applications are expected to close and interview much sooner than usual, due to their early posting.

I feel that ABC, Marvel, ESPN, and other DATG (Disney ABC Televison Group) internships won't be posted till at least the 2nd week of September. However, due to their vering off schedule, I have no idea. When I hear about them, they will be posted in our annual Spring Internships Applications list. So not to worry.

What to Do Now?

If you are planning to apply, I would suggest checking out the live chat on September 4th at 1-2 EST.  Their facebook page even includes an easier way to search their huge application database for internships, which I would check out as well.

Personal Note

I was a Disney Intern at ABC and it was one of the best internships I've ever had. They have a very social internship program with lots of fun events, weekly intern lunches, and a true support staff. I would highly reccomend a Disney Professional Internship to anyone willing to do real work and make an impact at a company. You will not be getting coffee here. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Prepare For Spring Internship Applications Now!

There's no time like the present!

I know you just finished an exhausting fall application season, or summer internship, or....not. Either way, now is the best time to make sure you have everything prepared for the second most competitive internship season- Spring.

Spring Internship Season stars in October, so it may seem like we're jumping the gun. We're not. Fall semester can get a bit crazy, espically if you are taking 300 or 400 level classes for the first time (holla fellow Juniors and Seniors). Before you know it, it will be deep into October and you may even miss internship deadlines. We've all done it.

Now, fresh over your summer internship and before school (or another internship) starts, is the best time to work on getting everything prepped for spring internship applications. To do so, it's best to think in threes:
1. Branding
2. Updating
3. Polishing 

The Essentials

Scary words! I know. However, it's really simple. You just need to focus on four things: your resume, your website, your cover letter, your business cards, and your linkedin. If you only have two or three of those things, less work for you. Just kidding! Make sure you get a personal website, business cards, and a linkedin if you haven't already. If you need help on how to do that or what these should look like, check out our posts on building a FREE personal website and getting some professional business cards. 

1. Branding

First thing first, branding. You can have an awesome resume, linkedin, website, and business card. However, if they aren't matching it can make you seem a bit scatter minded to an employer. For example:

You see how that comes across? Messy, no attention to detail, design crazy. All things you don't want to portray to a future employer- espically in your first impression.

To avoid this, make sure your resume, cover letter, website, and business cards match. Yes, that means buying (hello etsy) or creating a design, color sceme, or typeface that will exist across all platforms. Think of yourself as a product you're trying to sell. What if McDonalds have a different logo in every city? You would never be able to pull over off the interstate and treat yourself to a McFlurry and some fries. Creating a personal brand, is the same idea.

The simplest way to do this is picking a single bold font, a color sceme, or (if you're more design inclined) your own logo- a circle, a location/globe, etc.

It will make a major difference in how you come across to future employeers. We'll use my personal branding as an example:


Business Card:

Business Cards:

Soon, we'll be lauching complete branding packages on our etsy page. If that interests you, check us out.  However, you can always do this yourself by just making the top bar of your resume, website, and business cards pink or blue or green.

2. Updating

Make sure you update your resume. Thinks to consider updating are:
  1. Experience on Both Your Resume and Linkedin. Though this may seem like a bit of a "duh" addition. Consider taking the OWN recuriters advice and updating your bullets to acomplishments rather than duties. It gives your experience a much stronger edge. You can see I have done the same in my resume above. Make sure whatever changes you make are reflected in your Linkedin.
  2. Delete Non-Relevant Experience: The more experience you get the less you need that camp counselor position on your resume. Though your linkedin can have a more complete list of your positions. Keep your resume streamlined with only your best, relevant, and more recent positions. Normally, this is about 5-6 positions. 
  3. Skills. If you've learned Final Cut Pro, Pro Tools, or the agency databases, make sure you write that on your resume. Tip: Use industry lingo like "rolling calls". 
  4. Links/ Email. Please make sure all your links and emails are up to date. If you have an address, and I hope you don't, make sure that is up to date as well.
  5. Production Experience. Update your list with your most recent films. However, if you have more than 8 films, select the ones that have notarity, won awards, shown at film festivals, or have the best sounding position (i.e. director, production designer). You can even note if it's shown at a high-ranking film festival- as I have done.
  6. Study Abroad: Be sure to include if you've studied abroad. It can give you that international edge that is so important in the industry.

3. Polishing

Give your resume to a friend, a past supervisor, or even a HR contact you have. Tell them to give you ideas on the design, experience bullet points, and just proofread your work. It will ensure you have the perfect resume and branding package to wow the recuriters in October. 

Best of luck!
More information about Spring Internships to come in September. Check back then, and update update update!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Housing Hunt: The Problems With Subleasing

Now, I'm what you call an expert subleaser. As a former RA, exchange student, and Craigslist connoisseur, I can't remember the last time my name was actually on any sort of lease. However, none of that could prepare me for a summer of living in east LA with 6 complete and total strangers.

That some-what trying experience has let me clearly see the problems with subleasing. Despite my obvious past subleasing love, I've started to long for a lease and apartment of my own- even though I've signed a sublease until next Summer. 

Let's just say I look up studio apartments on a pretty regular basis. But if you are moving somewhere (LA/NY) for as semester-long internship, it's your best bet for affordable housing. 

Problem #1: You Are Not On The Lease

Now, this is equal parts obvious equal parts surprising. Let me explain, you are not on the lease. That partly means the Landlord might not even know you're there! 

It also means, you can't call with maintenance issues. Cause, they'll be like "who the hell are you?" 

You can also really get into trouble. If for instance, the lease the person you're subleasing from doesn't allow subleasers. Or you don't know the rules of the place you're living in if the person doesn't tell you. For instance no pets, no couples sharing a room, or no overnight stays. 

Just be sure to ask these questions about these issues when you sublease. And always go for the sublease that requires a credit check and a meeting with the landlord, it just adds that sense of legitimacy. However, I've done it both ways and never had any crazy problems with it. Although the maintenance issue did come up and I may or may not used the name of the person I was subleasing from (a much older Asian girl). 

Problem #2: You Have No Say

Since you are not on the lease, not in charge of getting the rent payment in time, and just a "temporary resident"- you really don't have a say in a lot of real issues. A sample of these real issues are dishes in the sink, all standards of cleanliness, boyfriends everywhere (seriously everywhere),  and people breaking the rules (pets, couples sharing a room). 

Along with this comes with a general inconsiderateness towards the subleaser or worse, when everyone is a stranger, towards everyone in the house/apartment.

This can lead to a lot of passive aggression on your part. This is your home as well! 

The best way to deal with this is having a roommate meeting. This serves to discuss the problems, standards of living, and allows you to gain equal footing. This is especially effective in environments where everyone or most people are fellow subleasers. 

For environments where you come in to an existing roommate situation. You might just have a to adapt to their environment and standards. If you really have a problem, just discuss it with the roommate you feel closest too. They likely want you to feel comfortable in the home as well, but are often not as open to compromise. 

Problem #3: You Don't Know These People

Another problem with subleasing, the root of the problem if you will, is that you don't know these people. The person you are closest too, the one subleasing the apartment, will not be there to ease the transition. 

You may be lucky if you get to stalk them on Facebook, much less get to meet these people before you move in. In fact, I hate to admit this, I didn't even learn all my roommates names despite living with them for 3 months. 

The very fact that you are living with strangers leads to lack of confrontation, lack of communication (my roommate moved out and gave her keys to a friend without telling us), and inconsiderateness.

Also, since the situation is awkward, most people keep to themselves. No pow-wow's or movie nights for the most part. Which was actually a huge disappointment if you are coming to LA/NY, not knowing anyone. If you each have your own rooms, the living room will likely become a barren storage unit.

They also might be crazy, loud, or just terrible people- and you're stuck in a sublease for 3 months. I mean, you're not going to move again with only a couple months left. 

The best way to avoid terrible roommates is to just ask as many questions as you can before you sign the lease. Get there names, stalk them on Facebook. If they live a party lifestyle and you would rather just watch Netflix, it might not be a great match. Even if it's only for a couple months. 

Problem #4: Stuff if Everywhere

If you are living in a space with 4+ roommates, there will be stuff everywhere. Especially if most of these people are subleasers, dragging their stuff from their previous fully furnished apartments. This is fine in the majority of the rooms in the house: your room and shared bathrooms. However, the living room and kitchen areas tend to EXPLODE with things. I mean four sets of pops and pans, utensils everywhere, food everywhere. 

As much as I hate to suggest it, the only way to combat this is to designate storage places in the apartment in order to whittle the pots and pans down to one set. You also should collaborate on buying food essentials, more so if you only have one fridge. That means one person buys the butter one week, another buys milk, another buys eggs. Three sets of eggs, milk, and butter fill up a fridge very fast. 

If you can't keep all of your stuff in your bedroom, you'll have to get rid of some of your stuff or get a storage unit. Please please please do not dump it in the living room and say "sorry". You have everything you need in your room and you will never need those things. Preventing your roommates from using the living room is not cool. 

Problem #5: Borrow and Ruin

If you have a lot of roommates, it can be very easy for people to borrow your things without blame. I mean, how will you know who did it? You aren't Sherlock. 

This no-fault borrowing can unfortunately lead to them not taking very good care of your things. For me, this happened with my brand new pans. They are burned, charred, and dirty despite my constant efforts in cleaning them. I honestly do not know how this happened or who did it. 

I've found this happens the most with kitchen items and essentials like dish soap, filtered water, and sponges. I would recommend just keeping your kitchenware packed away and "polite-borrowing" theirs, especially if you are only subleasing for 3 months. 


Subleasing can be a great way to find affordable housing in major cities, however it can also turn into a misinformed nightmare. The best way to avoid this is do your research, go in with a friend as a roommate, or just ask lots of questions. Having your own room and bathroom helps too! 

My sublease experience wasn't all bad, despite the above problems. Although the storage and kitchen problems were a little disheartening, I did make small personal connections with some of my six roommates. Overall, it was fine and livable- even if it wasn't the ideal experience. 

I hope I've given you the worst case scenario of what to expect, here's hoping your sublease experience will be perfect!

Need a Resume? Check out our new Etsy store and get a new resume instantly. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Buy or Lease a Car? #PostGradProblems

If you're moving to LA for the summer or post-grad, you're going to need a car. Sure there's rumors of public transportation, but trust me it's incredibly inconvenient and may leave you stranded on the seedy part of Hollywood Blvd in the middle of the night- not the best place to be. On this post we'll give you the low down on your options of buying or leasing a car and that tricky tricky auto insurance you are now responsible for. 

That Buying or Leasing Conundrum 

It's a choice that's up to the individual, of course. However, The Hollywood Intern Diaries is here to make the decision just a bit easier. 

  • Leasing Gets You A New Car: If you want a new car, a lease would likely be your best bet. As a post grad, you likely don't have the money to spend on buying a new car. Plus, with a lease you can have a new car every three years or even every year. With a bought new car, you will be stuck with the car for much much longer. 
  • Leasing= Lower Payments: Unlikley car payments where are you buying the whole car, leasing payments are cheaper. You are only paying for the difference in the car's value now v.s. its value at the end of the lease. That means the longer the lease, the lower the monthly payments. 
  • Leasing Payments Never End: That being said, lease payments NEVER end. Whereas, with a bought car, the payments will initially end. This allows you to save money in the long run (providing the cost of repairs doesn't exceed money saved). 
  • Leasing Means No Cost Repairs: Leases will be under warranty for the entirety of your lease. They will also be new and will likely not require much repair work or trips to the dealer. Bought cars on the other hand, will only be under warranty for about two years or less. Repair trips also become more frequent the older the cars become. 
  • Leasing Restrictions: Leases also have restrictions such as charging you an extra fee if you drive too many miles (a problem in LA). When you own your own car, the world is you're oyster. Who is up for a road trip to Vegas? 

Want to lease? Remember these three things. 
1. "Can't Go Lower" is a lie. Be sure to shop around and get multiple quotes. 
2. "Capitalized Costs" means the amount to be financed. 
3. "Residual value" is a fancy word for the value of your car at the end of the lease. 

If you want to learn more about auto insurance or about that awkward transition to adulthood, look out more of our #PostGradProblems articles. Need a Resume? Check out our new Etsy store and get a new resume instantly. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Response to the Weinstein Company's Internship Auction and the Media Coverage

The Weinstein Company recently auctioned off a 3-month internship for a well-endowed college student. The closing non-transferable bid was upwards of $26,000, a large sum but one that is short of the Weinstein Company's estimated value of $50,000.

Now, this is for "charity". The beneficiary being both the "student", who can receive college credit, and the American Repertory Theatre- where the co-founder of Weinstein is staging his passion project Finding Neverland next year. Funny how that works out.

What is Hollywood Intern Diaries response? Glad you asked. I would just like to illustrate, quickly, the fact that no reporters sought a comment from any source that represents or works with entertainment interns. 

This controversy is notable for the ridiculousness of the situation- paying to work. However, it is also notable because it's a window into the perception of interns at both the studio/production company level and at major media outlets.

Thanks to the Black Swan lawsuit, first filed in 2011 by former interns at 21st Century Fox, internship programs at the major studios have been quietly switching to paid structured internship programs. This, strangely, has not even been remotely covered in the media and goes unnoticed by such giants as Business Insider who states:

"The now infamous "Black Swan" lawsuit was originally thought to be game changer for the industry, but nothing has changed." 
You can read the rest of their article on The Weinstein Company stunt, here. If you'd like.

Getting internships in the entertainment industry is hard. There is even a perception that if you know enough people or have enough cash it's easier to land one of the coveted spots. This internship auction only helps further this idea- for the media and the industry as a whole. However, it is not impossible to get an entertainment internship. I have no connections nor heaps of money to speak of, yet I managed to land an internship at a local news station then a famed production company my sophomore year of college. It is all about the work you put into your applications, refusing to be defeated when you never hear back, stressing as the first day of the semester approaches and you think you may not have an internship this semester after all. I've been there.

As for the unpaid internship system. Business Insider is right in saying it's not ideal and still used by a major of production companies, admittedly they forgot to mention that almost all the major production companies (Fox, ABC Productions, CBS, NBCUniversal) have all transitioned to paid internship models. 

However, Business Insider is completely wrong in saying "it's nearly impossible to defend the unpaid internship structure." They use statistics like only 37% of interns end up working for their employer. Now this statistic is the result of a research survey that applies to all industries (business, accounting, mining, etc) and not just the entertainment industry. But, even worse, this illustrates a complete and utter MISUNDERSTANDING of the entire point of entertainment internships. 

The point of internships in the entertainment industry is to learn as much as you can about different studios, companies, departments, in addition to learning the skill set (rolling calls, terminology, software) required to get a job. It is not about getting hired at a small production company at the end of your internship, which likely isn't hiring anyway. It's about developing a complete understanding of the industry and becoming a valuable employee- a stark difference from a fresh faced film school grad who has spent the past years in film studies classes. Most entertainment interns move from interning at smaller production company, usually unpaid, to larger companies with defined and paid internship programs. This phenomena is all but absent in all reporting on the subject.

 As Business Insider reports, "35.2% of grads without internships receive job offers following graduation." However that is again, across all industries in the world. We all know plenty of education and accounting majors who graduated college and were employed right away. However, I know tons of film kids who spent their semesters smoking pot and making artsy short films who are skill looking for work. Now, compare that to the 100% rate of employment for those I know who graduated with 2 or more entertainment internships, you start to realize that entertainment internships are not casual wastes of time. 

Business insider is missing a statistic. Where's the statistic for the percentage of employed entertainment interns with 2 or more internships under their belt? It doesn't exist. Why? Because the media is so focused on the idea of unpaid internships being a bad thing they refuse to acknowledge that it is not only a worthwhile experience for college students but also EXPECTED by recuriters. 

Yes, not all unpaid internships are good. But the industry is changing, maybe not over at the Weinstein Company, but it is changing! Even in the past two years I have seen tremendous growth in the number of paid interns and the formation of structured internship programs designed to allow the intern to grow as a potential employee.

Blacklight Media, a small transmedia production company, has set weekly programs for interns including lunch with the CEO, a discussion of a different genre each week, and a final pitch of an independent project the intern has prepared. Even OWN, a cable network, offers interns resume workshops, lunch with the President (not Oprah, sadly), and has a dedicated HR team to insure the interns are fully supported.

Although the days of coffee "assistant" internships are not gone by any means. Hell, I've had one myself. The "tough skin", Business Insider scoffs at, is extremely essential to your success if you plan on working in an agency or hard-hitting development team.

However, that brings up an interesting point. One of the reasons I created Hollywood Intern Diaries was to prevent you from having to toil in one of these internships. On that note, may we recommend staying away from the Weinstein Company? The coffee assistant internships will help you with a tough skin and a resume booster (which I would have to argue may be worth about $50,000 in the long run), but it will not allow you to learn which department you want to work and specialize in. My internships have allowed me to learn so much about digital media, I am even on my way to becoming an expert in the digital media research field. However, none of that would have been possible without the name of that horrible coffee internship. At least the media is right about one thing, name recognition goes a long way in Hollywood.

But it is not, and never will be, worth paying for. 

Interns deserve to be respected and not looked down upon by the media or a select few production companies that skill don't understand their place or what they can do to assist these young college students who just want to work in film/ television. We are not "overworked" as Business Insider states, in fact most interns I know don't have enough to do and create projects out of the blue in order to assist a company they are so grateful for.

Maybe it would be a better story if I told you that unpaid internships aren't worth your time and that the entire joint entertainment and internship industry, one that I'm frankly an expert on, should change.  However, I already know it's changing for the better and the press would too if they would look deeper into the matter or just ask for some sort of comment from an expert like me. More and more interns are doing real live entry-level work, getting support from HR partners, and getting paid and hired than ever before. The internship is now an expectation to gain work post-grad and in an ideal world everyone would get a great one and be paid. But the entertainment industry is far from ideal, but with perseverance and hard work, I truly believe everyone can make it here. 

However, it you want to rely on money and connections to make it. The Weinstein Company is sure to have another successful bid on an internship soon. That is, until they realize that they are going to have to hire another 30k/a year assistant to babysit the spoiled brats who paid money to sit in their development office in "either NY or LA." And, I bet you anything, that assistant is a former entertainment industry intern. 
© No Experience Required Maira Gall.