Intern Talk: Entertainment Industry (Part Two)

The entertainment industry is often one of the most sought after for students and young professionals, motivated to be on the screen or behind the scenes. Six PRSSA members, introduced in part one of this article series, share how their experiences in their internships, jobs, and PRSSA helped them plan their careers, and give advice to students looking to go into the entertainment industry. In part one, the interviewees shared their job responsibilities and how their PRSSA experience helped them to earn their roles and within their job responsibilities. 

Learning Career Preferences

Any internship opportunity could teach you something new, affirm your current beliefs, or make you discover something unexpected. Daphne shares, “Despite many of my internships being in different industries, there are significant overlaps between almost every industry and being able to have experiences in multiple environments can be incredibly advantageous.”

In addition to industry perspectives, internships can help students understand how the skills they learn in class apply in the real world to determine preferences for when they officially enter the workforce. My internship has allowed me to find the similarities between marketing and PR, and see how beneficial the creative side of the industry is for me. I know for a fact now that I need to stay within creative industries, whether that be music, fashion, gaming or arts.”

Matthew imparts valuable knowledge on this topic after having worked in the industry as both an intern and coordinator. He stresses the importance of becoming involved, saying “I think there’s no substitute for getting your hands dirty. Taking some of the hard skills I’ve learned in my classes and applying it in real world is something I think is crucial to any college student. Experiencing first-hand what a job in a chosen industry looks like is a valuable learning experience. I was able to get a feel for what I would truly be doing and I was able to continue to learn from the numerous teams I worked with to understand what I liked and didn’t like. That’s something people don’t always say, but doing any internship is valuable because you can also realize what you don’t like whether it be the job, industry or company culture which is just as important as finding something you do like.”

Place to Be

The members featured in this article are all based in or near major cities, including Los Angeles, New York City and Philadelphia. As they are the hotspots for the industry, I asked them how important they thought it was to be located in a popular area for a role in the entertainment industry. 

They mainly agreed that being in a major city is pretty important when looking for opportunities, whether you study there or plan to move there for a role. Los Angeles and New York City were noted as top locations, though multiple students noted that other major cities may offer many opportunities as well, including Nashville, Miami, Atlanta, Toronto and Seattle. They also emphasize that you can make a name or place for yourself wherever you are, a sentiment that was especially echoed by Matthew and Khalia.

Advice for PRSSA Members

As PRSSA members, leaders and now seniors and alumni, I asked them if they had any advice for students that may want to follow in their footsteps. They each shared valuable insights that have impacted their own careers, as well as experience within their own pathways. 


“If you want something, go for it! When you’re looking for career opportunities, cast a wide net and really put your name out there because you never know who might see it.”


“One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that it is okay to make mistakes. Making a mistake doesn’t make you bad at your job, it makes you human. The best thing to do sometimes is just say mea culpa and move on. Accept responsibility, don’t make the mistake again and move on with your life. Even the biggest mistakes don’t matter as much as you think they do – this is PR not the ER.” 

“Take whatever experience you can to get your foot into the door, because you never know where it might lead. There’s no substitute for hard work and personality – I believe it’s 50% hard work, 30% personality and 20% luck. Show how passionate you are about your work because anyone can be taught how to send an email or use MuckRack or Cision; passion and ambition are qualities that can’t be taught.”


“I was asked a million times during my recent job search what words I would use to describe myself, and “hungry” was one I found myself using often. It’s all about a balanced diet: growth and exploration are vital components of life when you’re just beginning a career, and saying “YES” to everything can be life-changing. But, take the time to identify the work you’re passionate about and good at, and don’t be afraid to move on to something different when you’re feeling full.”


“Your Network is Your Net Worth, invest in genuine relationships and connections because it can take you places. Don’t be afraid to try and take a leap of faith. Also, research everything. Research housing, internships, supervisors, salaries across the industries and whatever is tossed your way. Don’t forget to advocate for yourself and stand for your beliefs. You do not have to lose some of your morals to be in this industry, take them with you and change it for the better.”

Thank you to the participants in this article for sharing their expertise and experience. It is amazing to see what our fellow PRSSA members have accomplished with a little help from PRSSA and a lot of motivation. I look forward to seeing what they continue to achieve.

If you are interested in the entertainment industry or were inspired by this article today, feel free to connect with the participants on Linkedin, linked in their introductions in this article. Your network truly is one of your greatest assets; join PRSSA’s LinkedIn group and check out Champions for PRSSA to connect with more students, professionals and possible mentors. 

The PRSSA Internship Center shares many internships in the entertainment industry and beyond, including some listed exclusively for PRSSA students. Be sure to take advantage of this platform as many internships are now open for applications. 

If you’d like to be featured in a future article, make sure to follow VP of Career Services Melina O’Neal on LinkedIn to be notified when she is looking for PRSSA members to interview about their experience in various industries. Thanks for reading.

Melina O’Neal currently serves as the vice president of career services for PRSSA National. She is a fourth-year student at West Chester University of Pennsylvania pursuing her master’s degree in communication studies after graduating in 2023 with her bachelor’s degree in media & culture. Previously, she has served as a District Ambassador and National Publications Committee member for PRSSA National alongside her responsibilities as vice president and treasurer for her collegiate Chapter. You can connect with Melina via LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter

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