Two Months In And Thriving

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Communications, Hannah, Internship, Job, Success

By Hannah Goodwin ~

After two full months I feel I can properly and efficiently tell you all about my new job. Well, at least I can tell you how I came to get this job as that is a pretty good story, if I do say so myself.

Now, I am sure you all have been hanging on to the edge of your seats since my last post, which was all about my number’s game strategy. But just in case you haven’t, in short, in that post I shared that the job/internship hunt is a number’s game, meaning that the more people you reach out to, the better your chances are at achieving success. I utilized this strategy once again when it came to finding a full-time job.

I reached out to as many public relations, marketing, communications, etc. companies I could find in Indianapolis. Much like previous experiences, I heard many “Thanks, but no thanks” and “We are looking for someone more experienced,” in addition to the multitude of crickets that did not get back to me at all. Thankfully, the positive responses I got boosted my self-esteem and boosted me right into the interview process.

One of my positive responses came from a communications company owner who said that while his company was not currently hiring, he would be happy to meet with me anyway. I took him up on that, as I am not one to turn down the opportunity to make a connection. By the time we met up, a former colleague of his from the Indiana Lieutenant Governor’s Office had reached out to him inquiring if he knew anyone who’d be a great fit and available to apply for a communications role that had become available.

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Signs on the wall right above the reception area depicting the agencies housed in the office.

Lots of emails, several phone conversations and one influential, mutual connection later, the job was mine! I will now get to the point of what this job actually is. I am Communications Manager for two of the five agencies that fall under Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb; these agencies make up the “Family of Business.” The two agencies I work with are the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) and the Indiana Office of Defense Development (IODD).

I will be the first to say that I never pictured myself working in the public sector, but the way this position presented itself to me, I knew it was too good an opportunity to pass up. Because of the way I came to hear about and then interview for this job, I had not seen the actual job description until after I had been offered the job. I was very pleasantly surprised when I was offered the job, but slightly wary as I did not know what all it included. Upon reading through the description, primary duties and qualifications, I was instantly reassured. I thought, I have been studying for this, practicing all of these duties in my internships and this is what I want to do!

I have my own cubicle with my boss’s office on one side and the OCRA project managers next to me. I am along a wall and can see out a window, with a parking garage taking up most of my view. But, as I look to the left, I can see the dome of the State House. My boss and I comprise the communications team for the Family of Business, placing us in high demand and causing me to dive right in to my position.

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Panorama of my desk. It can always be found with 3 screens, 2 phones and 1 hardworking me.

Being an integral member of the centralized marketing and communications team, I am constantly in contact with members of the agencies I work with, the communications staff within the other agencies and many others. I get to do everything from coming up with communications strategies to managing the social media and creating internal and external newsletters as well as all things press releases, media alerts, talking points, etc.

I am doing the kind of work I knew I wanted to do upon graduating. It feels like work in the sense that I have to work hard to get everything done and to have my work be the best quality possible, but the work itself is interesting to me and fun. Two months in, and I think it is safe to say I am thriving in my new position.

by Hannah Goodwin | email | website | linkedin | instagram

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Goodbye, LA!

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Entertainment, Happiness, Internship, Kate, Success, Uncategorized

After two months of writing, reporting, and ceaseless movie and TV discussions, I’m officially done with my IndieWire internship. I’m incredibly sad to leave the friends I made there behind, but hopefully I’ll find myself back there at some point in my career (sooner versus later, please!).

I ended up with 65 published bylines on the site, with a few more pieces scheduled for publication as the year goes on. I covered and/or attended seven or eight premieres, screenings, or other events for the site, as well as some just for fun.

The cast of “BoJack Horseman” at their Season 3 premiere panel.
The cast of “BoJack Horseman” at their Season 3 premiere panel.

My final week was pretty busy with events and goodbye parties, but my favorite was a premiere screening for “BoJack Horseman” Season 3. For those who don’t know it, it’s an animated comedy on Netflix that satirizes Hollywood and celebrity culture. The premiere had a panel with the show’s stars, including Will Arnett, Alison Brie, Aaron Paul, and Paul F. Tompkins. I got the chance to meet most of them at the after party, which was super fun.

 

The IndieWire television team all set for Emmy nominations to begin.
The IndieWire television team all set for Emmy nominations to begin.

We were also overrun with Emmys coverage during my last few weeks, since nominations were announced a few weeks ago. We gathered in one of the conference rooms early in the morning on that Thursday with our PMC provided “Emmy NomNomNominations” breakfast and got to work! It was sort of a chaotic morning at the office, but thanks to some great organization and extensive prep, it all went smoothly.

The Last Bookstore is half museum, half bookstore, all awesome.
The Last Bookstore is half museum, half bookstore, all awesome.

I also got the chance to do a bit more sightseeing during my last week at work. I tried out the Metro bus system and ventured downtown, visiting The Last Bookstore and other famous spots. I probably could have spent the entire day just at the bookstore, but I forced myself out the door after just an hour or two.

I liked my time in LA due to my awesome job and great coworkers, but I wouldn’t put it at the top of my favorite cities. The lack of a decent public transit system is baffling to me, and I just couldn’t get used to spending hours and hours in traffic every day. I also hated the parking situation — paying to park everywhere from Target to the public library? Come on! That said, I would be happy to live in LA upon graduation if it meant I could return to IndieWire, or even somewhere like it. As long as I get to do this type of work, I’ll be happy!

 

Don’t make me go!
Don’t make me go!

All in all, I’m so glad I chose IndieWire over my other summer internship choices. I really felt like I was a useful contributor to the site, rather than just another intern used for fact checking and research.

The list of things I learned this summer goes on and on, but I think the most valuable lesson is that confidence and personality go a long way. I’m a pretty good writer, but I think it was my personality that really endeared me to the IndieWire staff. I made some really good friends in the two months that I was there, which has really upped my chances of being rehired in the spring. Sure, being good at my job will also help my chances, but endearing myself to the team has given me an edge over unknown candidates.

And that isn’t to say that I went in with the goal of making friends — I just found my people there. Anyone who knows me will attest that I’m far from an extrovert, but I really hit it off with some of my coworkers and found it easy to go from colleagues to friends. Obviously my work will go under the microscope if I ever get the chance to be rehired there, but I feel comfortable that I have at least two or three people in the LA office who will fight for me!

It feels really strange to have spent a summer working as a professional, doing my dream job … and now going back to school for one more year! Hopefully my last year at IU will prepare me even further for a job in entertainment journalism, thanks to my work at the IDS and my full schedule of film and journalism classes.

Thanks for keeping up with my Hollywood adventure! Here’s to many more.

by Kate Halliwell | email | twitter

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Halliwell in Hollywood: Bylines + Beach Volleyball = Bliss

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Entertainment, Internship, Kate

When I wrote this, it was July 4th weekend, which meant I have only three weeks left in my internship at IndieWire. And now only two!!

How is that possible?

Time here has flown by, mostly in part to really loving my work and the people I work with. I started my second month here with a slight change in routine, as IndieWire hired a new TV editor and therefore ran out of room for us on the sixth floor of the PMC building. We started last week on the eighth floor, which is the primary one for Variety Magazine.

Another example of Variety’s office décor.
Another example of Variety’s office décor.

I was a little nervous about getting to know a whole new group of people, but it helped that I had already made some Variety friends at a networking event the weekend before.

And by networking event, I mean the company beach volleyball team. I’ve been looking for reasons to get outside and be active, and when I heard PMC had organized a weekly beach volleyball team for all interested employees, I signed right up! I played volleyball in high school and still play recreationally at IU, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to get to know people.

After a decisive victory on Sunday at Santa Monica beach, I had no trouble getting settled on the Variety floor last week. I’m also working closely with one of my beach volleyball teammates on a project concerning the recent additions to the Academy voters index.

I’m not one for formal networking events, so I jumped at the opportunity to meet people in a beach volleyball league!
I’m not one for formal networking events, so I jumped at the opportunity to meet people in a beach volleyball league!

Even though I’m enjoying getting to know people at Variety, I do miss my IndieWire friends, and I’ve tried to use any opportunity to go back down to the sixth floor and visit.

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Free food truck day at PMC!

PMC has provided various opportunities in the past week to get employees together, from free food truck days to the last round of Emmy campaigns, so it’s been fairly easy to hang out with IndieWire people at work despite the change in location.

As the last few weeks of my internship approach, I’m doing my best to learn about the ins and outs of interviewing celebrities and covering events. My boss is working on setting up an interview for me with Walton Goggins of HBO’s “Vice Principals” (you probably know him from basically every Tarantino movie ever or “Justified” on FX), so hopefully that will happen in the next week or so.

Hanging with coworkers in the Amazon FYC trailer.
Hanging with coworkers in the Amazon FYC trailer.

For the project on Academy members that I mentioned above, I also have been given access to contact information for all AMPAS members, and we have to add contact information for all the new additions. It’s the weirdest thing — I now have a spreadsheet of contact information for everyone from Brad Pitt to Cate Blanchett.

Granted, about 75% of the numbers and emails are just for their publicists, but about a quarter of the AMPAS members on the list have their home or cell numbers listed, along with personal email addresses. And it’s not just the B-list celebs that have their home numbers on there: people like Ben Affleck and Will Smith have their personal cell phone numbers listed!

So yeah, that was a weird day at work.

I currently have 45 bylines for IndieWire in the 5 weeks I’ve worked for them, which is way more than I expected. I’m looking forward to adding to that list and starting some new projects in the time I have left here.

Ava Duvernay messaged me directly on Twitter to thank me for this article. She’s one of my favorite directors working today, so that was pretty exciting. What a lady!
Ava Duvernay messaged me directly on Twitter to thank me for this article. She’s one of my favorite directors working today, so that was pretty exciting. What a lady!

I’ll keep you all posted on all the new, hopefully exciting things that happen at work before I head back home to Indiana.

by Kate Halliwell | email | twitter

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It’s A Numbers Game

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Hannah, Internship, Public Relations, Success

I have heard my father say the phrase, “It’s a numbers game” to me countless times throughout my life in reference to everything and anything. Applying to college was a numbers game in that the more schools you applied to, the more acceptance letters you were likely to get. This helps to explain why I applied to 10 schools (with a special shout-out to Indiana University for winning me over).

It was this same numbers game mentality that came into major effect when I was applying for internships for the summer after my junior year. Having growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio, and then attending school in Bloomington, Indiana, I had become a well-seasoned (no pun intended) Midwesterner, prompting me to want to see what else was out there. Aside from my desire to go somewhere new, the delicious tacos and having an older sister living there drew me to Austin, Texas.

During the early spring of my junior year, I was open to anything communications oriented including public relations, advertising, marketing, branding, etc. Although Austin may seem very specific in and of itself, I wound up reaching out to more than 100 companies in search of an internship. Some of the companies said they wanted an intern and had an official application; others I contacted by sending an email to their “info@” or “hello@” addresses saying who I was and what I wanted to do.

After the first batch of applications and emails, I heard back with a yes or no from only about 20% of companies. This was not the most encouraging statistic I have ever achieved, but being the youngest of three daughters, I was not to be ignored. I reached back out and followed up with all of the companies I hadn’t heard back from originally in hopes of getting more replies. I kept track of all of this by creating a document with the name of the company, information about them, the date I contacted them, date of follow up, etc.

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I sent yet another email in the form of a reply so that the original email with my resume attached was convenient for the recipient. This email was just a follow up in which I also mentioned that I would be making a trip to Austin in the near future and would appreciate the opportunity to meet with them, even if it was just for the sake of making a connection. To my satisfaction, this sparked more interest and promoted more responses. I guess the fact that I went to school in Indiana also confused some people as I also received several emails making sure I knew their company was based in Austin.

I did wind up making a trip to Austin at the beginning of April and managed to line up 10 meetings throughout the Friday and Monday I was in town. Of those 10, seven were for internship interviews and the other three were simply about networking. By the end of that week, I had four offers of which I wound up choosing two. Neither internship was going to pay me so I figured I might as well get twice the experience and make twice the connections.

I was a public relations intern for Giant Noise, a lifestyle PR agency, every morning of the summer and an intern at Do512, a media promotions company, every afternoon.
I was a public relations intern for Giant Noise, a lifestyle PR agency, every morning of the summer and an intern at Do512, a media promotions company, every afternoon.

As you can see it really is a numbers game. I started off contacting 100+ companies, ultimately received responses, both positive and negative, from about 40, met with 10, got four offers and ended up having two internships in one summer. If you limit the number of people you reach out to, companies you contact, etc., then you in turn are limiting yourself of potential opportunities to thrive!

 

by Hannah Goodwin | email | website | linkedin | instagram

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Halliwell In Hollywood: Greetings From The Green Carpet

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Entertainment, Internship, Kate, Uncategorized

Hello from Los Angeles!

It’s the end of my third week here, so the halfway point is quickly approaching — way too quickly, if you ask me. Work at IndieWire is great, and the days are flying by!

Mid June in Hollywood is Emmys campaign season, and there are FYC billboards everywhere you look. FYC stands for “for your consideration,” which is a fancy way of saying, “Hey Emmys voters, please watch and vote for our show!!”

This particular FYC billboard features a quote from Ben’s IndieWire review of “The Leftovers,” which is an amazing show that you should all start watching immediately.
This particular FYC billboard features a quote from Ben’s IndieWire review of “The Leftovers,” which is an amazing show that you should all start watching immediately.

Along with the billboards, we’ve been inundated with free food, shirts, pencils, and pretty much anything networks think will make us write about why people should vote for their shows and actors. I’m not complaining, but the idea that a cup of ramen or a pencil is all it would take to sway us is pretty funny. I’m never one to turn down free stuff, though.

I don’t watch “Ash vs. the Evil Dead,” but their Emmys campaign for lead actor Bruce Campbell has been pretty fun so far. New favorite pajamas shirt!
I don’t watch “Ash vs. the Evil Dead,” but their Emmys campaign for lead actor Bruce Campbell has been pretty fun so far. New favorite pajamas shirt!

My personal favorite part of Emmys campaign season has been being able to attend some of the premieres and panels that are held all over LA. I’ve only attended two so far, but there seem to be more every week, so hopefully as my bosses see that I can handle covering them by myself I’ll be able to go to more.

The event began with a tour of the exhibit, where costume designer Terry Dresbach showed us all of her amazing creations.
The event began with a tour of the exhibit, where costume designer Terry Dresbach showed us all of her amazing creations.

The first event I attended was the “Artistry of Outlander” exhibit, panel, and red carpet at the Paley Center for Media. The event was held to honor the costume and set designers of “Outlander,” which is a romantic period drama on Starz. I’ve been an “Outlander” fan since before the show even aired (I read the first book), so I was thrilled to be able to interview the main players involved in bringing the show to life.

This was my favorite dress from the show, and it was one of Terry Dresbach’s favorites too. All of the designs and flowers were either embroidered by hand or handpainted.
This was my favorite dress from the show, and it was one of Terry Dresbach’s favorites too. All of the designs and flowers were either embroidered by hand or handpainted.

I could talk about the gorgeous costumes and sets forever, but I already did that in my write up for the event, which I’ll link at the end of this post.

It looks like I’m earnestly listening to Caitriona Balfe in this picture, but I’m really just admiring how perfect her skin is.
It looks like I’m earnestly listening to Caitriona Balfe in this picture, but I’m really just admiring how perfect her skin is.

The best part of the evening was the red carpet! Technically the carpet was green, but as I learned from my fellow reporters, any sort of carpet event like this that includes short interviews, photographers, and a press line is called a red carpet. Since it was a fairly low key event, I got about 5 minutes with each person, including the executive producers, the creatives, and the lead actors! Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan are amazing in the show, especially Caitriona, and they couldn’t have been nicer. (They were both taller than me, which was amazing and unexpected, considering I’m about 6’ in heels.)

Sam Heughan’s Scottish accent briefly made me weak in the knees, but I think I pulled off a professional façade pretty well.
Sam Heughan’s Scottish accent briefly made me weak in the knees, but I think I pulled off a professional façade pretty well.

The “Outlander” event has been my favorite so far, but I also just attended another Paley Center Emmys event last night.

Since “Aquarius” isn’t one of NBC’s better known shows (and honestly, it isn’t very good), it was far from a packed house. Mostly press in the front and a few scattered fans.
Since “Aquarius” isn’t one of NBC’s better known shows (and honestly, it isn’t very good), it was far from a packed house. Mostly press in the front and a few scattered fans.

Ben Travers, the IndieWire TV Critic, had a plus one for the NBC “Aquarius” premiere and panel last night, so I tagged along for the night. We were supposed to interview David Duchovny before the panel, but he had just flown in from New York and apparently arrived too late to do interviews. I’m not really an X-Files fan, so I wasn’t disappointed, but I would’ve liked the chance to make my sister super jealous. 🙂

Gethin Anthony, who played Renly Baratheon in “Game of Thrones,” plays Charles Manson in the show. He was rockin’ the DOUBLE man bun, which is honestly reason enough why he was never worthy of ruling Westeros. He and David Duchovny accidentally dressed like twins.
Gethin Anthony, who played Renly Baratheon in “Game of Thrones,” plays Charles Manson in the show. He was rockin’ the DOUBLE man bun, which is honestly reason enough why he was never worthy of ruling Westeros. He and David Duchovny accidentally dressed like twins.

The “Aquarius” event was pretty lame, to be honest, but it was all worth it in the end because I ran into someone I used to work with in Lafayette! Taylor Gates and I worked at a candy store together in high school, and we ran into each other covering this panel for our respective entertainment news sites in Beverly Hills. Small world!

I’ve never even run into Taylor in Indiana. What are the odds?
I’ve never even run into Taylor in Indiana. What are the odds?

Overall, I’ve been loving writing up these events and can’t wait to go to more! I was supposed to cover an “American Horror Story” panel earlier this week, but it got canceled, rightfully so, because Lady Gaga wanted to go speak at a vigil for Orlando victims instead.

By the way, if you’re curious about the “Outlander” event and what Caitriona, Sam and I were actually talking about, you can read the article here on IndieWire!

Until next week!

by Kate Halliwell | @kate__halliwell | khalliwe@umail.iu.edu

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The Better Of Two Goods

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Communication, Experience, Internship, Interview, Job, Nonprofit, Olivia, Public Relations, Success

It was the last semester of my college career, and I found myself in an interesting predicament. I had to decide, quickly, between two dream jobs. But first, let’s back up and figure out how I got to that point.

I started my college career wanting to be a sports broadcaster. I had an extensive background in theater, was an avid sports fan and a great writer. I even created a sports broadcasting club in my high school, the Future Broadcaster’s Initiative, or FBI for short (yes, that was intentional).

After spending the first two years of college getting my feet wet at internships with USA Track & Field and Run-Fast in London, England, I realized the sports life was not for me. My realization of this came after talking with several women in the field who told me, “You give up your weekends, holidays, family, friends and basically life. But I promise it’s all worth it!”

Or not.

I am a relationship-focused person. I learned at an early age that relationships are some of our most valuable assets in life, and I wasn’t about to ruin those just to cover some sweaty guys who chase a ball around a field.

So, I changed my course of action my junior year. Instead of a journalism degree with a specialization in sports and broadcasting, I picked up a specialization in public relations. This switch, amazingly, didn’t force me to graduate any later than I had planned, and I actually could have graduated a semester early if I wanted. But I didn’t, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

By the spring semester of my senior year, I had all but one of my required courses completed, and I was free to take a number of electives that greatly enhanced my skill sets and made me a more competent public relations practitioner.

With only three months left in school, I needed a job. I decided to stay in Bloomington for two reasons. The first is because my boyfriend of two and half years was graduating with a degree in biology, and he decided to stay in Bloomington and take a gap year before grad school and work in a lab on campus. The second is because I love Bloomington as a town and had absolutely no desire to move to a huge city where all of the PR agency jobs are. I’m a country girl, remember? I like clean air and nature.

Me and my boyfriend Seth.
Me and my boyfriend Seth.

So, I began my job search using LinkedIn and a number of other websites, which actually worked surprisingly well. I applied to approximately 10 jobs, heard back a solid no from about five of them, interviewed with three, never heard back from one*, and politely declined another interview because the company’s Glassdoor ratings were absolutely abysmal.**

My first interview went okay, but I definitely didn’t leave feeling super confident about it, and I never heard back from the company. My second and third interviews were much better, which led me to my predicament.

One job was with Centerstone working on a grant. I’ll honestly admit that the night before the interview, I was looking over the job description again and turned to my boyfriend and told him I had made a terrible mistake and didn’t think I was right for the job because it didn’t sound like anything I wanted to do. In retrospect this is really funny. But I’ll save that whole story for another blog post.

The interview turned out to be fantastic, it was just the job description that was bad, and I was told I would hear back in about a week. I interviewed on a Friday and was called back on Tuesday with an offer.

Which was great, except it also wasn’t.

You see, I had interviewed with another nonprofit organization on Monday that I knew would be a great opportunity, but I was still waiting to hear back from them. I asked the guy at Centerstone for a week to think about things, and then panicked and emailed my Career Success in PR professor, Maria Heslin, for advice on what to do. I was still waiting to hear back from the other organization, and didn’t expect an answer for a few days.

To make a long story short, the other organization finally emailed me on Thursday asking for a second interview, but by then I had made up my mind thanks to my handy pros and cons list. I decided to work for Centerstone on the Community Capacity for Prevention and Education (CCPE) Grant, because the only con I could come up with was that I may not have a window in my office. Obviously, as the picture below points out, I was so very wrong.

: I have four full length windows in my office! Just look at all that natural light!
I have four full length windows in my office! Just look at all that natural light!

In a situation where there was no wrong choice, I know I made the better one for me personally because I absolutely love coming to work. Every single day.

My first day of work photo I took for my mom.
My first day of work photo I took for my mom.

* If you are a hiring manager, at least have the decency to email those you interview and tell them if you want them or not. It’s the polite thing to do. Also, kudos to Cook and Oliver Winery for doing that already.

** If you’re a hiring manager and not checking your company’s Glassdoor rating, you’re making a huge mistake, because people take those reviews seriously.

 

by Olivia Humphreys | oliviahumphreys4@gmail.com | LinkedIn | @ohumphreys4

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To The Recent College Grad Or Rising Senior: Go Get Some Skin In The Game!

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Advertising, Communication, Experience, Internship, Interview, Job, Public Relations, Skills, Tibet

Nothing, and I mean absolutely no-thing, can prepare you for what happens after college.

If you have your act at least somewhat together (which kudos to you, friend — you can stop reading now) hopefully you have some sort of income lined up for your post grad situation. If you REALLY have your act together, then you’ve scored that stellar first job or internship and you are charging hard right out of the blocks, and you can also stop reading this post right here (major kudos).

But if perchance you’re like most of us, which I’m thinking you are because you haven’t stopped reading, you probably don’t have that dream position lined up. Heck you might not have any employment lined up at all.

Well I’m here to tell you it’s going to be okay. Take a deep breath and recite after me, “I’m 20-something years old and I have a college degree—I’m going to be okay.” There. Feel better?

So if that worked, great. You also can stop reading here.

Ah so you’re still with me. Okay, I can tell you are going to need a little more convincing.

I want to talk about a little thing that I believe holds far more value and potential than any paycheck will offer you, and right now you are at the perfect time in your life to dive head first into this great thing called, wait for it, experience.

That last little word carries a lot of baggage. It comes in all shapes and sizes, big and small, bad and good.

It peaks its head out of your suitcase as it rolls up the conveyor belt into the belly of a 747 heading to Australia while you board a plane to Ireland, forced to spend the next two weeks of your Eurotrip wearing the same two T-shirts and few pair of undies you stuffed in your carry-on.

And oh does experience show itself in that post-grad job the first time you speak up in a staff meeting and immediately insert your own foot directly into your mouth. Yeah, that’s experience alright.

But experience isn’t just fumbling around and making mistakes waiting for the smoke to clear and then proclaiming, “Ah! I’ve learned something.”

No, it’s a little more complex than that. Experience is this wonderful little thing that allows you to take chances and risks while investing in yourself. It allows you to validate what might seem to others like a foolhardy decision, but to you it is a step toward fulfilling your dreams and accomplishing your goals.

Experience is ever changing — that’s what makes it so glorious. It’s not confined or restricted by any set parameters, but rather delicately tied together by a single, bonding, golden thread. Good or bad, grand or modest, that thread — the commonality of all experience — is the notion that it holds value only if you choose to extract the marrow from it, find the benefit or lesson learned, and then tuck it away in your memory bank so that later you can recall it and put it to work. In plain speak: learning from experience is about your perspective, and every situation has a silver lining if you look hard enough.

Take for instance my own circumstances. I decided I wanted to work for a specific ad agency in Indianapolis, so I worked furiously to prepare myself for the interview and hopefully for the offer.

The interviews came and went and I felt that I did well. After the final round I parted ways on good terms, reassured that I had made a solid final impression.

A week or so passed, and the agency got in touch with me.

They regretted to inform me that they had filled the position. I didn’t have enough experience.

But they had another offer for me. They had an internship opening up for the summer, and they thought I would be a perfect candidate for the role.

Well, at first I was pretty put off. In my eyes I was the perfect candidate for the full-time position for which I applied. Plus an internship meant I would be paid hourly, which wouldn’t be enough to pay rent on an apartment in Indy. I would have to commute two hours every day in my old beat up Jeep Wrangler.

My first thought was there’s no way I could say yes to that offer. There had to be other jobs out there for me.

I took a day and thought about it.

I came to the conclusion that hey, this agency is willing to take a chance on me and give me the opportunity not only to prove myself, but also to gain priceless experience in the process. Plus I had wanted so badly to work at this agency, to say no to any offer would be ludicrous at this point.

So I said yes.

Within the week I traded my Wrangler — which just so happened to be my dream car — for a Prius, and began to prepare myself mentally for the early morning drives, long days of work and late evening commutes home.

I am just over four weeks into my 10-week internship, and to tell you the truth, I couldn’t be happier. Every day is something new — whether it’s a fresh podcast on the drive up in the morning or a new task at work — nothing is ever stagnant.

Of course there are limits to what you can say yes to and what you must turn down, but I offer you this: those limits are not as restrictive as you might think. There is always a way to get what you want, and trust me, the experiences will be worth it.

by Tibet Spencer | tibetspencer14@gmail.com

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Halliwell In Hollywood: Hello From Los Angeles!

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Communication, Entertainment, Internship, Job, Kate

Hello from Los Angeles!

I’ve now been here for two weeks, which thanks to work, have absolutely flown by. This is the first real breather I’ve had, so I wanted to take the opportunity to write my first post and tell you all about my internship.

IndieWire updated its layout on the day I arrived, which I like to think was in my honor. Really it was to celebrate its 20th year, but I like my explanation better.
IndieWire updated its layout on the day I arrived, which I like to think was in my honor. Really it was to celebrate its 20th year, but I like my explanation better.

I’m working for the next two months at IndieWire, which is an entertainment news website that focuses on film and TV news. The name comes from the site’s original focus on independent cinema and television, but its scope has grown in the 20 years that the site has been live. I’ve been a big IndieWire reader for years due to their smart and in-depth take on Hollywood and the entertainment industry, and the opportunity to work here was a dream come true!

My official title for the summer is “Editorial Intern,” which means that I get to do fun things like write and cover events, rather than just do research and fact checking.

It looks pretty boring in this picture, but this is where I work. IndieWire is brand new to the PMC building, so everyone is still in the process of getting settled and moving in.
It looks pretty boring in this picture, but this is where I work. IndieWire is brand new to the PMC building, so everyone is still in the process of getting settled and moving in.

Despite being an unpaid intern, I chose this internship over a paid one with The Hollywood Reporter just for this reason — I think experience and professional skills are way more valuable than being paid minimum wage to sit at a desk and check copy that other people have written. I am loving my job so far, and I haven’t regretted this decision for a second!

My first two weeks at IndieWire have been fast-paced and fun so far, and things have only picked up as I’ve gotten more comfortable with my daily tasks. IndieWire has a fairly small team, smaller than you would think for a site with their kind of reputation, but I really like how close-knit it is. I was allowed to choose between working at the New York or LA office, and chose LA for a few reasons.

First of all, I had never been to LA and a summer surrounded by sunshine and palm trees sounded pretty great.

The Penske Media Building is between Santa Monica and Westwood, and houses a bunch of different entertainment publications. Since Variety is the major PMC money-maker, they get a sign outside the building.
The Penske Media Building is between Santa Monica and Westwood, and houses a bunch of different entertainment publications. Since Variety is the major PMC money-maker, they get a sign outside the building.

Second of all, the LA office is primarily TV news based, while the NY office is the unofficial film office.

Since the Emmys are coming up later this summer, I chose the LA office because I was assured there would be plenty of Emmys events for me to cover. (This has proven 100% true already, but more on that in my next post!)

My boss here in LA is Liz Shannon-Miller, who is the TV Editor for IndieWire. She’s super nice and helpful, and she shares an office with Ben Travers, who is the Chief TV Critic.

If you’d asked me three weeks ago whether I preferred TV or film reporting, I would have said film, but they’re already converting me to a major TV geek! It’s so fun to be around people who nerd out about TV and movies as much as I do.

Pictures like this one of Berenice Bejo are all around the building, mainly on the floors belonging to Variety.
Pictures like this one of Berenice Bejo are all around the building, mainly on the floors belonging to Variety.

There are quite a few others in the LA office, but Liz and Ben are the two that I’ve been working with most closely. Steve Green, the special projects editor, is also great. I work next to Steve and one other intern, who is a LA native and is majoring in film at UC Berkeley. Since he watches very little TV and has no interest in reporting on the Emmys, we’ve been splitting the TV and film coverage between us.

Excuse the Snapchat format- Amazon brought a trailer full of food, coffee, and free stuff to the office for us and the Variety reporters. It’s pretty common practice for networks to do this around Emmys time, sort of a “Please write about why our shows should be nominated!” bribe. Hey, I’ll take it.
Excuse the Snapchat format — Amazon brought a trailer full of food, coffee, and free stuff to the office for us and the Variety reporters. It’s pretty common practice for networks to do this around Emmys time, sort of a “Please write about why our shows should be nominated!” bribe. Hey, I’ll take it.

Our daily tasks consist of a few general entertainment news stories, usually followed by a transcript or two. For those of you who don’t know, a transcript is a word-for-word document of a recorded interview. Most reporters hate transcribing, and therefore they give it to us to do. While the transcriptions are definitely the worst tasks we have to do, it’s not like we’re working for a general newspaper and transcribing interviews with normal, boring people.

Since we work with entertainment reporters, all of the interviews are with famous people, so it makes the task 100 times more interesting! To date, I’ve transcribed interviews with David Schwimmer (Ross from “Friends”), Viola Davis (an actual queen among women), Jay Duplass (“Transparent”), Michael C. Hall (Everyone’s favorite serial killer on “Dexter”) and many more! The only downside is that usually they’re talking about a show that I haven’t finished yet — so many shows and movies have been spoiled for me in just two weeks at this job!

When my eyes are going blurry from staring at my computer for too long, I tend to nip on down to the cafeteria on the 5th floor for a snack. The IndieWire office is in the Penske Media Building, who also owns Variety Magazine and a few other publications.

I’ve spent way too much time in the Variety cafeteria experimenting with different concoctions from this drink machine.
I’ve spent way too much time in the Variety cafeteria experimenting with different concoctions from this drink machine.

Since Variety is the big dog in the building, they get their own cafeteria that comes fully stocked with a breakfast spread every morning, a cereal bar, constantly changing snacks, and one of those cool drink machines. (Yes, we are allowed to use the cafeteria, although I’m not above stealing free food if it comes to that.)

All in all, I’ve been loving my job so far and genuinely look forward to every day at IndieWire! My further adventures with Emmys events will be documented in an upcoming post — stay tuned!

by Kate Halliwell | @kate__halliwell | khalliwe@umail.iu.edu

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