School of Communication & Journalism

Tori Chancellor: AwesomenessTV

Tori Chancellor (MDIV) spent an awesome summer with AwesomenessTV:

This summer, I worked as a creative producing intern at AwesomenessTV, a digital subsidiary of DreamWorks Animation. While living and working in the heart of Los Angeles, I finally put into practice everything I’ve been learning in the visual track of Media Studies. While I had a TON of daily office tasks (I’m a total pro at Google Sheets now), I often got to work closely with our producers on set to create some of the coolest and funniest online shows. Between writing scripts for unscripted content (counterintuitive, I know) and researching zany topics like vegan paleo Whole 30 recipes for future videos, I really jived with this network of amazing creatives that are changing the very definition of digital media.

On the first day of freshman year at Auburn, I made it my highest priority to have an extraordinary internship outside of Alabama and not settle for anything less than that. To get here, I built up my resume over the last few years with a ton of smaller internships and jobs to ensure that when employers considered hiring me, they would see a hardworking individual with a ton of experience who’d make a great asset to their team. After many unpaid media internships and jobs, I finally landed a paid internship in California and spent my last academic semester soaking up the sun! 

My advice for others who want to branch out of Auburn for their official academic internship is to network, network, network. Go to every media-related event in the area, even when you’ve had 5 classes and work that day, and simply talk to people. Email the filmmaker that spoke to your class whose card has been at the bottom of your purse for 3 months. It might seem awkward, but you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Another important thing to understand is that no experience is too small. That unpaid internship where you can hardly pull yourself out of bed in the morning because you don’t believe in the work you’re doing? It might seem difficult now, but it’ll totally be worth it in the long haul. 

The most important thing I’ve learned here is that it’s simply not enough to just be “good”—you should strive to be better every day and work up to being the best. It speaks volumes when the producer you’re working for asks you for 10 potential interview questions but you deliver 20. 

Out of the office, I’ve had to learn to be patient with myself in terms of adjusting to life in a big city. As someone who lived in Alabama for 21 years, California is basically another country; the culture shock has been harder to adjust to than when I studied abroad in Europe! I wanted to be really hard on myself when I was getting homesick or having anxiety over driving across the city (I’ve never had to parallel park before and it’s kicking my butt), but I gave myself a break and came to terms with the fact that setting down roots takes time. 

Be flexible and remember that no task is beneath you. There have been less than ideal days in the office where I’ve sat in front of a computer for 8 hours and pulled clips from The Bachelorette for Facebook content. But those long days eventually transitioned into really neat opportunities to go on set and see how all the components work together to make up a show. 

Don’t be afraid to talk to the people you work with—not just your fellow interns! It might seem intimidating, but your coworkers have a ton of valuable experience and advice that they’re more than willing to share. In the communications realm, knowing how to navigate the company hierarchy can occasionally be more important than what you learned in the classroom. 

Work for a company that has an office dog. Statistics have shown that giving a Golden Retriever puppy 20 belly rubs a day can drastically improve an intern’s quality of life.

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Information

Ric Smith

Prof. Ric Smith

School of Communication & Journalism
232 Tichenor Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849
(334) 844-2757
smithrw@auburn.edu

Last Updated: July 26, 2018