Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Harder than Harvard? Stats show that Hollywood Internships are getting more competitive than ever before.


Harvard University has an astounding 5.9% acceptance rate, depending on the program. Yale University has a 6.3% acceptance rate. Princeton a 7.4%.

Last year, my younger sister applied to all those Ivy League schools. She was attempting to fulfill the Cinderella Story, literally, that was instilled in her by a Hillary Duff movie, a revolving door of College Counselors, and an elitist private school education. She didn't get in to Harvard or Yale or even Princeton. People were shocked, college counselors were angry, and she was disappointed. That's not to say she didn't end up at an amazing school that, in my opinion, has a heck of a lot of Ivy too and a House of Cards aesthetic to match.

I feel like this set up, the idea that there are only a few internship programs worth applying to and getting, is similar to the whole Ivy League idea. It's why every year these same seven programs get more and more competitive until they are shutting THOUSANDS of people out each semester. First time internship applicants apply and wait for months only to hear they didn't even get an interview. People with internship experience get eliminated by digital video interviews, where you're talking to a camera and not a real person. It's suddenly all about taking your chances with ABC or Discovery, not about finding an internship that fits your EXPERIENCE and INTERESTS. 

I can't pretend I'm not to blame. Every year I get thousands and thousands of hits on Application lists I post. I urge people not to apply to these programs if they haven't had some Entertainment Internship experience prior. I tell them to apply for the somewhat less competitive Fall and Spring Internships. Although their acceptance numbers are getting increasingly similar. Discovery Communications in the Summer of 2015 had less than 1% acceptance rate. Yet, this Spring, 'the less competitive season', saw a 1.6% acceptance rate. Not that much of a difference.

Every year my FRIENDS get stuck without one of these major studio internships or even an internship at all - summer plans ruined. It's happened to me, believe it or not. My first year applying, the very reason I created this website in the first place. I urge you, even if you have had some internship experience, to apply to internships on EntertainmentCareers.net or on the company websites of companies you admire. For instance, Tastemade (a YouTube Company), Yahoo!, Hulu, Awesomeness TV (YouTube), etc.

In the year I've been creating these application lists, I've helped many people get their dream internships. Yet even the concept of a 'Dream internship' is as unhealthy as a 'Dream Ivy League School'. The internship application and hiring process is a series of factors, most of which don't speak to your abilities at all. Most require 1-2 solid entertainment internships before applying, however that's not all! You could be cast aside because of your film school, your availability, or because the hiring person just had a greater connection with another applicant.  I urge you, as the seasons get more and more competitive, to not only make yourselves more competitive by making a specific Cover Letter and eye-catching resume, but to apply to as many AWESOME places as humanly possible.


Just remember the truth. You could end up with a fantastic internship or even a job offer (!), even if you never interned with the Major 7 programs. I'll let you in on a little secret, almost everyone in Hollywood has interned, but once you get hired - it doesn't really matter where. I was riding in the elevator with a famed Showrunner the other day, he said it was so great that I was interning at *********. He then said, I interned somewhere, can't for the life of me remember the name of it.

 Look out for a SPECIAL First-time Internship Entertainment Careers in the coming weeks. For those of you with 1-3 internships under your belt, let the odds be ever in your favor.

Carry on fellow interns. I believe in you!

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