Let me start by saying I’ve never had to go on a coffee run. I’m not asked to make thousands of copies and I always have PLENTY to do. The urban legend of the lowly intern has never been true for me. My name is Kelsey Balimtas, and I’m an intern here at Spectrum.
Spectrum marks my third internship in the communications industry. These internships have been a slight departure from what I had pictured, like planning (and attending) fabulous events, developing huge campaigns for mega corporations whose billboards would be plastered in Times Square, or managing A-list celebrities.
My internship experiences thus far, although they haven’t involved copying or coffee runs, haven’t been all about movie premieres and fancy parties. Krystal Lin, an intern at Weber Shandwick Seattle, says it best: “No, Real PR Is Not Like Samantha Jones’ PR [From Sex and the City].”
Last night, I had the opportunity to host an event through PRSSA at my school called LA @ AU: How to Break Into the Entertainment Industry, featuring a star-studded panel of AU alumni and entertainment professionals in various fields including:
- Russell Williams, two-time Academy Award winner for sound work on “Glory” and “Dances With Wolves”;
- James Middleton, executive producer for the Terminator franchise;
- Janet Janjigian, president at DC Media Group LA, Inc., former senior vice president of corporate communications for MGM Studios, and Emmy Award-winning television news producer for NBC Nightly News, ABC News Nightline and CNN; and
- Vincent Cirrincione, longtime manager for Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry.
I thought, gazing around the bright, crowded theater: this is what I’ve always imagined PR to be. But all of my excitement was short-lived as I ran around with my battle rattle of notepads, masking tape and a ticket scanner. Of course, our opening soundtrack wasn’t playing, there was another event going at the same venue that was encroaching on our space, and the audience was restless. Awesome.
Of course, eventually, everything fell into place. Before I knew it, Tweets were flying, the audience was laughing and our panelists were inspiring.
As one of the panelists said, “In this industry, you have to wear a lot of hats. Be prepared for the unexpected.”
The event was an evening of communication, chaos and cupcakes. It was nice to get a taste (pun intended) of life as part of the entertainment industry, but at least for the time being, I’ll stick to the writing and research “hat” that I have on. It might not be Hollywood, but it’s pretty sweet.