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Harvardwood Summer Internship Program (HSIP)

2024 Update: Though some in-person internships may return for Summer 2024, virtual internships are still quite common.

Please see below on how to enroll in the program. 

Each year, Harvardwood publishes internship opportunities, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The internship list is updated several times throughout the year, so students should check the list periodically for additional opportunities. Positions may be filled on a first come first serve basis, so we encourage students and companies to submit their materials as early as possible.

FOR COMPANIES OFFERING INTERNSHIPS

 

If your arts, media, or entertainment company offers summer internships and would like to receive applications from current Harvard students, we invite you to participate in the Harvardwood Summer Internship Program! Companies can reach current Harvard students by posting their internship opportunities to Harvardwood.

HOW IT WORKS 

1) We post your company’s upcoming summer internship opportunity on our HSIP list.

2) Harvard students submit applications to Harvardwood per your company’s instructions, and Harvardwood forwards these applications to the designated contact person. (If you prefer that students submit applications directly to your company, please note that on your submission form in the "How to Apply" section.)

3) Your company interviews and/or potentially hires summer interns from the HSIP pool (we are not involved in this part of the process, unless you would like us to be).

4) Your company notifies Harvardwood if and who you have decided to hire through HSIP, so that we can include the student(s) in our summer events.

5) The interns participate in your company’s summer internship program, and Harvardwood provides HSIP interns with additional career-related events throughout the summer.

6) If your company wishes to host or sponsor a summer event for all HSIP interns, please let us know. We welcome your participation!

Questions? Contact HSIP

FOR STUDENTS SEEKING INTERNSHIPS

 

 

1) Only current Harvard undergraduate/graduate students who are Harvardwood Members may apply to HSIP internships. Please refrain from forwarding the listings to friends who are not current students at Harvard.

2) All application materials (i.e., cover letter and resume) sent through Harvardwood will be reviewed by Harvardwood Programs Director to ensure compliance.

 

3) Positions may be filled on a first come first serve basis, so we encourage students to submit their materials as early as possible. Applicants may apply to an unlimited number of HSIP opportunities.

4) Internship Credit - Some employers may require that students receive course credit to be eligible for the internship they offer.  Please see here for more information about Harvard College’s policy.  Many community colleges also offer Independent Study courses (for example, Santa Monica College in Los Angeles). 

5) Click here to view interview best practices and resume/cover letter resources.

 

Note: Students often ask about opportunities to work in physical production (i.e., "on-set") or in the offices for particular TV shows or films. These opportunities usually come up on short notice and are therefore difficult to include in the context of a planned internship program. However, if you wish to pursue an opportunity in this area, we would encourage you to take the initiative to contact and/or submit cover letters and resumes directly to the projects in which you are interested. You can find out what projects are in pre-production or production through various industry resources: Production Weekly publishes weekly reports of films/shows in production; DeadlineVariety, and The Hollywood Reporter (aka "The Trades") are vital for staying up to date with industry news.

HISTORY

Started in 2003, HSIP provides a list of summer internship opportunities in the arts, media, and entertainment to interested Harvard students. In addition, HSIP facilitates career-related activities throughout the summer for participating students and companies both virtually and in-person in Los Angeles and other cities with multiple students. Past program events have included film screenings, industry panels, and speaker events.

"I’m so grateful to the Harvardwood Summer Internship Program for giving me the opportunity to have intimate chats with industry executives as they gleefully debunked Hollywood myths and confirmed others. As they charted the twists and turns in their careers from college to where they are now, I learned about the surprisingly numerous entry points to the industry. I took tours of production companies and even watched a studio live-stream an Australian boy-band performance. Harvardwood events were also a great way to connect with other Harvard students taking their first tentative steps into entertainment jobs and get a glimpse into the vast alumni network that awaits us in the industry. It helped to know that I’ll never be alone, and I came away from the experience feeling wiser and more hopeful about the future."

- Claire Park AB '20, HSIP 2017

 

"Attending the events organized by HSIP has been one of the highlights of my summer internship experience. They are a fantastic way to meet and learn from new people, and offer an invaluable opportunity for exposure to countless unique sides of the entertainment industry. Only halfway through my internship I have already had the chance to talk with people throughout the business from both Harvard and beyond whose passion, work, and missions equally inspire and motivate me. I look forward to growing these relationships and continuing to make new ones for the rest of my time with the Harvardwood Program. Extra special thanks to Marie Kim for making it all come together!"

- Max Moulton AB '18, HSIP 2017

See below for a list of participating companies from previous years. If your arts/media/entertainment company is seeking interns for the summer, learn how your company can participate in HSIP by contacting Harvardwood.

PAST HSIP COMPANIES

Over 100 companies have participated in HSIP since its inception, including 2929 Productions, ABC, Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Archer Entertainment, Benderspink, Blumhouse Productions, Collab, Delirio Films, Digital Domain, Dimension, Disney, Dreamworks, Echo Lake Entertainment, The Firm, Furst Films, Heyday Films, HBO Films, ICM, Icon Productions, Intermedia, Lin Pictures / Rideback Ranch, Lionsgate, LivePlanet, Mandeville Films, Mirabai Films, Miramax, The Mission Entertainment, National Geographic Feature Films, Red Wagon Productions, Samuels Media, Simmons Lathan Media Group, Spirit Dance Entertainment, Untitled Entertainment, Valhalla Motion Pictures, and The Young and the Restless.

DISCLAIMER: Please note that each state has different labor laws regarding internships; it is the responsibility of the participating companies and the individual interns to inform themselves and ensure that the relevant labor laws are not being violated. Harvardwood disclaims any and all legal responsibility in these matters.

Resources for HSIP Applicants

Below are some tips for crafting a strong resume and acing an interview in the entertainment/arts industries.

Resume 

  • Limit your resume to one page.

  • Keep it uncluttered and concise, and feature skill sets that the employer is looking for. 

  • Take the time to tailor each resume for each distinct position.

  • Quantify information from your job description (e.g., supervised student staff of five, increased revenue by 20%, assisted in marketing and publicity for 500-seat theater)

  • If you’ve worked or interned for a recognizable name in the industry, it’s safe to include it in parenthesis in the description.

  • Content can be organized in a chronological format, or experience can be categorized by type of work

Sample Skills to Highlight on Your Resume
(Appropriate for Entry-Level Positions)

  • Assist in development, critically reading script submissions to generate coverage

  • Collect, review, and organize scripts, manuscripts, treatments, and other submissions

  • Participate in creative meetings with development executives, writers, and producers

  • Answer heavy phones, manage rolling calls, update call sheets, maintain calendars, make appointments for meetings, travel, dinner, and other plans

  • Draft and execute company correspondence, contracts, or agreements

  • Coordinate information and communications across internal departments and/or with external entities

  • Organize and maintain office supplies, inventory, filing systems, and archives

  • Run office and personal errands (in your own car) under tight time constraints

  • Troubleshoot computer, photocopier, and fax problems; Make photocopies (you will make hundreds of copies, so if you are good at clearing paper jams, dealing with toner issues, misbehaving files, etc., and you can smile while you do it, they will love you)

  • Design decks and slides

  • Manage and create content for latest social media platforms

Click here or here to download sample industry resumes.

Cover Letters

Like the resume, your cover letter should be brief. A cover letter is a great opportunity to express your enthusiasm for the job and/or to display that you’ve done your research.

  • Use the trades (Variety, Hollywood Reporter, IMDB.com) and do research to learn more about the individual or company. 

  • Always include why the position appeals to you, and be honest (e.g., part-time status, close location to home, exposure to the people working there, or opportunity to gain specific skills, etc.) 

This will help the reader understand why you’re motivated to work for them, which will make it easier for them to determine if you’re a good fit.

Interviews for Internships and Employment

The interview doesn’t start with the meeting; the interview starts with the phone or Zoom call. When someone calls to invite you for an interview, you’re making a first impression with them at that moment. Whether the invitation happens via phone or email, always be polite, show appreciation for the opportunity, and confirm the date and time that you’re expected to be there.

  • Show appreciation for the opportunity

  • Confirm the date and time that you’re expected to be there

  • For Zoom interviews, you can log in 1 min early

  • For in-person interviews, twenty minutes is the traditional time to show up before the appointment.

  • Be nice to everyone (especially the assistants who greet you!)

  • Do your research and be prepared

  • If you can’t answer a question, don’t try to pretend or make something up. Don’t lie!

  • Bring questions of your own for the employer

  • Never discuss money or offers on the first interview. If you’re called in for a second interview, it’s most likely they will broach the subject first. Most internships are unfortunately unpaid opportunities, but hopefully the industry is working on addressing this inequity

  • Always follow up with a thank you note to the interviewer

 

One final important note:

The entertainment industry tends to value street smarts, hard work, and people skills

over academia and education. 

Both in your cover letters and face-to-face meetings, we strongly encourage you to convey that besides being academically qualified, you are a team player, hard-working, eager to learn, and willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. 

Yes, that may mean grunt work! Making copies, coffee, running errands, walking your boss's dog, and setting up restaurant appointments certainly apply—newcomers to Hollywood are not above these tasks. Just relax, be professional, and approach each interview with appropriate preparation and respect.

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