I first heard about The Hollywood Reporter internship program in the back of an Uber. I had just joined a sorority and some of the older members had invited new members out to dinner to get to know each other better. We were covering all of the typical bases: what year we were graduating, where we were from and what we were studying. When I mentioned I was studying journalism, the girl sitting next to me suddenly became very excited.
“You have to intern at The Hollywood Reporter!” she told me. She was in the USC School of Cinematic Arts and currently interning there herself. She couldn’t stop raving about it. Just like that, I had stumbled upon my dream internship.
Of course, getting the job was a little more difficult. I applied to intern at The Hollywood Reporter the following summer and interviewed for the position, but I was not selected. The head of the internship program told me to apply again in the fall, but my schedule was already set and I had no room for an internship, so I tucked The Hollywood Reporter away in the back of my mind, intending to apply again for the spring semester of my junior year. This time, I was chosen to be an editorial intern. I remember how much my cheeks hurt from smiling the night I found out I had been selected – but I still had no idea how much this internship would change my life.
The Hollywood Reporter is the first place I have ever worked that really confirmed I made the right choice studying journalism. Every morning started with a lively editorial meeting to talk about the latest entertainment news and brainstorm stories for the magazine. Though editors and writers handed out assignments through the intern manager, they almost always worked with the interns directly, allowing us to interact with and learn from some of the best journalists in the entertainment industry. And even though, yes, I did spend some time transcribing interviews, I also had the opportunity to conduct important research, cover red carpet events and write articles for the website.
Even more, the editors and writers didn’t just treat us like interns. They took a genuine interest in us, always saying hello in the kitchen or even asking to grab coffee. Many also took time out of their busy schedules for “intern interviews,” a part of the program where interns have an hour of uninterrupted time to ask the people behind The Hollywood Reporter how they had reached this place in their careers. Many of them also asked about our career goals and experiences as interns. The magazine’s photo and video director even invited us to shadow the filming of The Hollywood Reporter’s award-winning roundtables after her intern interview.
I can honestly say I was lucky to have received the amazing experiences I had at The Hollywood Reporter. I am walking away with more to show for the last five months than I ever could have imagined: a byline on a data-driven Oscars story, interviews with stars like Selena Gomez and even an article in one of the magazine’s Daily Editions for the Cannes Film Festival. That’s the best thing about interning at The Hollywood Reporter – if you put in the effort, you have the opportunity to shine.
– Caitlin Plummer, Print and Digital Journalism