When summer begins, Wesleyan students depart from Middletown and fan out across the country, many of them eager to trade unpaid labor for nuggets of experience or a helpful recommendation. The internships your classmates scored spanned many industries, but the coolest, obviously, were in the arts. Check it out.

 

Name: Jessica Jordan
Class: 2013
Major: English/Classical Civilization
Industry: Radio
Place of work: WDVX (Bluegrass & Americana)
Location: Knoxville, TN
Position: Syndication Intern
Responsibilities:
-Format previously aired radio programs into files for a public radio sharing site
-Manage the station’s online presence on PRX.org
Pros: I got to see free live music everyday and choose my own hours.
Cons: It was unpaid.
Best part: My boss to Shooter Jennings: “Just remember, Hank III’s the man and you ain’t shit.”
Pros: I got to see free live music everyday and choose my own hours.
Cons: It was unpaid.
Best part: My boss to Shooter Jennings: “Just remember, Hank III’s the man and you ain’t shit.”

Name: Solomon Billinkoff
Class: Upper-Middle/2014
Major: Theater-Film Studies (prospective)
Industry: Promotions
Place of work: Empire Promotions
Location: Times Square, New York City
Position: Live Promoter
Responsibilities: Promoting comedy club on the Upper East Side to passers-by
Pros: I was able to meet a lot of people and got a lot of practice honing my social skills.
Cons: The job required me to be on my feet for long hours. In addition, New Yorkers are some of the rudest people in the history of the planet.
Best Moment: One day, I approached a group of 20-something-year old girls and attempted to sell them comedy tickets. Upon asking them where they were from, they said Dallas, and when I asked how long they were in town for, they said until Tuesday. When I asked them what their plans were, they said they would be going tonight to what they called the “New York Poets Café.” Nuyorican Poets Café is where I would be performing that very same night (Billinkoff performs slam poems and even competed in Brave New Voices, an international poetry festival/competition this summer.)

Name: Gabi Bruney
Class: 2014
Major: Music
Industry: Journalism
Places of Work: amNewYork and the Fader
Location: New York, NY
Position: Editorial Intern
Responsibilities:
-Write articles and blog posts
-Do research for writers’ pieces
-Transcribe interviews
Pros: You get some fairly impressive writing opportunities.
Cons: Just the typical grunt work that comes with being the lowest on the office totem pole.
Best Moment: amNewYork sent me to Google’s tricked-out office to write an article about its NYC themed features. It was like Disneyland.

Name: Matt Leibowitz
Class: 2014
Major: Film/Religion
Industry: Film
Place of work: David Sutherland Productions
Location: Boston, MA
Position: Intern
Responsibilities:Transcribe footage into organized typed up scripts
Pros: Chance to work with a documentary director on a PBS documentary
Cons: A lot of sitting at a computer
Best Moment: Getting to see how a feature documentary is edited

Name: Zack Sulsky
Class: 2013
Major: Music
Industry: Journalism
Place of Work: Marquee Magazine
Location: Boulder, CO
Position: Editorial Intern
Responsibilities:
-Write photo captions, blurbs, CD reviews, and feature stories on local and national artists with upcoming shows in Colorado.
-Review concerts.
Pros: Free concerts, writing about musicians I respect, seeing my writing in print.
Cons: Commuting
Best Moment: Interviewing Andrew Bird about his life and music.

Name: Jenna Robbins
Class: 2013
Majors: Theater/Film
Industry: Film
Place of Work: Freelance
Location: Los Angeles
Position: Production Assistant
Responsibilities: Fetch things, keep people from walking into shots and being loud, manage walkie talkies, bring actors around, whatever needs doing.
Pros: Great experience, fun environment, awesomeness factor of being on a movie set
Cons: Little/no pay, long (14 hours or more) work days, high-stress irregular schedule
Best Moment: A full high school marching band came through our set during a take.

Name: S. Dylan Zwickel
Class: 2014
Major: Theater
Industry: Theater
Place of work: The Blank Theatre Company’s 19th Annual Young Playwrights Festival
Location: Hollywood, CA
Position: Apprentice
Responsibilities: Stage managing two one-act plays, assistant stage managing another, and assisting in various other ways on nine others.
Pros: I got to work with amazing actors and directors with years of experience in the industry, many of whom offered to help me find work later on, and all of whom offered excellent advice. Even without that, I would have learned so much just from watching them work.
Cons: I had to work 60-90 hour weeks (with only two days off in six weeks) for no pay and answer my phone at all hours of the night to solve last minute problems.
Best part: Some of the plays in the Festival were really great, especially one that was a parody of “Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark,” and there were a lot of young actors (including one of the daughters from “Modern Family”) who made the backstage experience a lot of fun . But the true highlight was working with Barbara Bain, who won three consecutive Emmys in the ’60s for her role in the original “Mission Impossible” series. She had so many wonderful stories about Old Hollywood to share.


 

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