This summer, I am interning at a commercial production company in New York City called Humble. I am the assistant to the marketing director, but my responsibilities vary from day to day. This unpaid internship has provided me with several valuable experiences. My passion does not lie in commercial production, but I can apply my skills in public relations and effective communication to my daily tasks.
Usually, a client will come to Humble with an idea for a spot (industry term for commercial), and the directors at Humble will write treatments for the spot. A treatment looks like a proposal where the director pours out creative ideas for the spot, and the client decides if they want to hire that director. It’s like a written audition. Treatments often span between two and six pages. I proof-read every treatment before it gets sent out, often catching multiple grammatical errors.
Due to the volatile nature of the TV industry, my supervisor occasionally gives me random assignments. One day, I was asked to simply park a van. I ended up driving the van around NYC for 4 and half hours. I guess that was a valuable life experience…
On the other hand, I get to participate in some cool assignments. Humble has many notable clients, such as Axe, MTV, and McDonalds. I had the opportunity to help in the shooting of an Under Armor commercial. I performed menial tasks and lifted many heavy boxes, but I really enjoyed being a part of the commercial making process.
Additionally, I engage in some research projects, one where my efforts were unfortunately fruitless. My supervisor asked me to compile a list of celebrities, musicians, athletes, etc. with the most followers on Vine. The company was planning to launch a big campaign for a new product on the 6-second video app. Literally the next day, Instagram launched its video recording addition, and the company dropped the Vine idea. We can’t win them all.
I will walk away from this internship with a greater appreciation for commercials and the labor that goes into their production, less likely to skip the ad before my YouTube videos. A bit of advice for those with internships: don’t be afraid to speak up. Let your supervisor know what you’re interested in doing at the start of your internship, they are not all mind readers. Make the most of your internship, and try not to get stuck doing something you don’t enjoy. It should be a learning experience for you!