As the summer reaches its zenith, so, too have I reached the halfway point in my Hollywood internship.
Over this summer, I have been fortunate enough to intern at Technicolor. Although the company is perhaps best known for its eponymous technology introducing breathtaking color into the black-and-white movie scene, Technicolor is now in the process of reinventing itself as an innovative home and entertainment industry competitor.
During the past five weeks, I have been given the opportunity to work with many people in Technicolor’s Technology Licensing segment of Business Development. Here are the top five things I have learned from my internship so far:
1) It never hurts to say Hello: Everyone in the office, even if they didn’t know who I was at first, has been very friendly when I initiated a conversation. Oftentimes, this is how I have been able to learn more about Technicolor, about lives and jobs I may one day apply for or interact with on a daily basis. Product managers, engineers, colorists, assistants, marketers… meeting all these different people makes for great stories, both personal and professional.
2) Confidence is key: Through email and conference calls, I have often had to speak with senior executives, and projecting an aura of confidence has helped to boost my credibility. When you look and sound confident, people will listen. Even when I wasn’t sure about my abilities for a couple of projects, I maintained a calm demeanor and worked on becoming familiar with the skills necessary to complete them. Because of this, many people have mistaken me to be an MBA student or graduate!
3) If something doesn’t go wrong, you’re not doing the internship right: An internship is a place, first and foremost, for you to demonstrate and enhance your skills. You can’t enhance your skills without trying new things, taking on new risks, both of which are paths that can lead to potential pitfalls. Over the past few weeks, I’ve run into problems dealing with large time zone differences, delays in organizing an international demo, and figuring out how to make a Business Requirements Document, just to name a few.
With that said,
4) Be willing to learn on the go: Just because something goes wrong doesn’t mean that you should freeze up and hope it goes away. During an internship, responsibilities should be tackled head-on, and if not knowing something is holding you back, you should make every effort to learn. I have taught myself how to use Smartsheet, asked others about how to create a Current State Workflow diagram, and picked up a lot of industry lingo along the way. All of this has helped me not only in the work I do now, but also to adapt to the challenges of future projects.
5) The little things you learn in college go a long way: College is, first and foremost, a place for you to learn. While my internship has not required me to calculate an eigenbasis or examine the validity of a historical work through an agnotological lens, a lot of “learning for learning’s sake” bits of knowledge I learned this past year have proven useful, both in conversation and in understanding how and why the business world functions today. The little things you learn can be extremely practical, too; the Excel tips and tricks I learned in an Econ class were useful to know when I started learning Smartsheet, and organizational tips for doing well in college can translate into succeeding in the work environment. It may be tempting in college to just study for the final, but in doing so you miss out on so much that your classes, and collegiate experience overall, have to offer.