Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Internships and getting your feet wet

Two more sidenotes. The first is that I apologize for the ugly-looking blog. I spent hours this holiday weekend trying to load a fun template, but couldn't seem to do it right. If anyone has any tips or wants to help me out, I'd appreciate it.

The second note is about celebrity quarterlife crises. More and more are admitting to it. Zach Braff, Mandy Moore, and now even J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, admits that she was suicidal when she was in her twenties. At least we know we're not alone, I guess.


And now on to internships. For most of us, it's probably too late to consider being an intern. Most interns are unpaid, and money is necessary for bill-paying. But, if you're still in school, going back to school, or have enough saved to be able to afford to be an intern, it's a definite must.

I interned in "Hollywood" during my time in Los Angeles for a film production company. Since this company was located on the Warner Bros. lot, it was pretty much awesome. I walked past the set of "ER" every day, saw actors and actresses milling around their trailers, and saw parking spots with names like "F. Prinze Jr." labelled on them. I got to read absolutely awful (and some decent!) scripts, sat in on a meeting with a writer for a sci-fi/action movie, got to drive a producer's car around the crazy Los Angeles freeway system, and apparently had Will Smith say hello to me (but I never looked up from my magazine!).

Circumstances and life in general got in the way of me getting a job from this internship, but it was an amazing opportunity none the less. Friends of mine have interned for publishers, weather departments of news shows, and city architects. Interning is a wonderful opportunity to "try out" a career field, to get some experience, and to enhance your resume.

If you're like me and it's too late for you to apply for an unpaid internship, try the next best thing: volunteering. If you're interested in carpentry, architecture, or landscape design, find your local Habitat for Humanity. If you're interested in media, PBS always needs volunteers for their telethons. If you enjoy writing, send in an article to a small publication or nonprofit organization. For all of these activities, you'll get the same benefits as an internship, plus the added benefit of knowing that you helped a community, organization, or individual out using your particular skills.

What are some other volunteer activities that could act as your "grown-up internship"?

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