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Top 5 internship tips for college students

(Amy Hirschi/Unsplash)

Students at the School of Dramatic Arts have interned in various areas of the industry, from casting to social media — including at companies like Mosaic Media Group Inc., Netflix, The Walt Disney Company, Center Theatre Group, A24 and more. Our Career Center shares the top five tips they give to students to help them land that internship.

  1. Create a work resume. This is different from your acting, design, or college application resume! Your resume should not only look polished and professional, but it should emphasize your skills that would be a good fit for the internship you’re aiming for. Don’t forget to proofread your resume several times before you submit it!
  2. Brush up on your interview skills. Take the time to research potential questions they may ask you (both general and specialized) and practice your answers. Make sure to dress appropriately for your interview.
    Tip for USC students: Did you know you can schedule a mock interview with the USC Career Center? To schedule, simply log in to your connectSC account.
  3. Plan ahead. Searching for, applying and securing an internship while carrying a full academic load takes time and planning. Include your academic advisor in the conversation. Allow enough lead time to research and prepare so you understand what the commitment requires and have materials ready in advance. 
  4. Take advantage of available resources! Find out what support is available to you — such as resume preparation tips, interview coaching, networking opportunities, etc. Be sure to check out what your college or university offers, too.
    Tip for SDA students: The School has a Director of Internships on staff to support students and the student portal has a page devoted to resources/information for SDA majors only. Plus, the USC Career Center has career advising, programming, and databases available to all USC students, but you must be proactive in jumpstarting this process.
  5. Do your research. If you “don’t know where to begin,” think big and broad. Make a list of the types of current creative projects you like and could see your (future) self being a part of. Who developed it — or were there production companies behind it? Who was the casting director? Looking at those details will give you direction in your internship search. Remember: In the modern world, you are not limited to just theatre, film and television. You will enjoy interning and get more out of the experience with a company/office who is creating work that means something to you! The possibilities are endless.