The pursuit of an internship in any field can be stressful, but the pursuit of an internship in an industry that is so biased towards connections and networking can be almost impossible if one does not work relentlessly to form those necessary connections. While my internship search was exciting, it was also kind of terrifying; I submitted at least 70 applications to positions that may very well have been reserved for a VP’s nephew or a coordinator’s roommate’s younger sister. Consequently, I quickly learned the importance of reaching out and introducing myself to everyone I could attain access to.
Fast forward to the internship itself–I did my homework and planted myself in the comfortable position to be able to select the offer that I thought was most beneficial to my career plans. Once I got my foot in the door, however, it was my responsibility to (once again) meet everyone I possibly could, and leave knowing that I developed connections with all of the right people. At a company as big as CMT, there is always someone new to get to know. Moreover, there is always someone else who you should want to know who you are. As a result, I made an effort to shadow every department outside of my own that I thought would be somewhat of interest for me. By spending time with the Music/Talent department, Social Media/Digital department, In House Production department, and the Development executive, I was able to leave with skills and knowledge that transcended the walls of what I would have learned had I only spent time in the Programming Strategy department. Furthermore, I now have a list of contacts that will allow me more flexibility as I search for my next internship and–later on–first job.
The ability to network with and learn from so many professionals within one company was a privilege that I am extremely grateful for. I would advise anyone in a similar position to meet with as many departments as possible, and to make the most of out of the company as a whole, and not just the specific department that one was hired by.