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5 in 5! with Matt from Warner Brothers

September 10, 2010

5 Questions. 5 Minutes. 1 Employer. This week: Matt from Warner Brothers.

1. What do you look for when you hire an intern?

With us, we have standard expectations.  Interns, like anyone, are expected to do what is asked of them.  They’re not required to have an extensive knowledge of entertainment/TV, but there are certainly bonus points for that knowledge AND even more for the amount of learning they demonstrate during an internship.  So interest in the business always goes a long way.  However, most interns start with fairly base level tasks as they learn how the business works.  So we look for people with a basic set of project management, teamwork, and communication skills to handle the 2 or 3 projects we throw at them during any given cycle.  Can you complete tasks as requested?  Can you ask for help when needed?  Can you take direction and apply it to a project?  Can you problem solve?  These are some of the questions we ask when looking at interns.

2. How did you get started in the industry? How can I get started?

At the bottom.  I had a BA from a top 10 university where I chose a hard major.  And I came in as a temp employee sorting paper for 3-4 hours a day.  But I was the best sorter you’ve ever seen, and I took on and sufficiently completed tasks until I eventually got hired full-time.  I used the same recipe of learning, networking, and working diligently (and smartly) to continue to advance.  Unless you have entertainment-specific experience, it seems hard to get in any other way.  Unless you’ve got a strong network of people inside the studio who are already hiring.

3. What is the future of your industry?

Uncertain.  TV is moving online,and studios are working to move with it.  Our studio is the leading distributor of shows to cable and major networks and the CW has developed a great brand by adeptly using emerging media.  It seems no one has it figured out yes,but the TV business is still profitable for the studio, and we’re looking at how we can continue to develop audiences on new and emergent platforms.

4. What is one main thing an intern can do to make a favorable impression? To make a negative impression?

Work hard and do projects to the best of their ability.  And then be cool, make friends, dress appropriately, don’t sass the elders, etc.  That’s more than one thing…

5. Give us a positive intern story? An intern horror story?

An intern we had earlier this year came in and took on whatever projects he could — ones that were assigned to him, and some that others didn’t want.  He performed them all well and with an incredibly positive attitude.  He sought help when needed, and took advice when given.  Then he got hired for good a month ago.  Another intern came in overzealous.  He asked too many people about how to move up in the company. Missed the vibe of the group completely.  Subsequently he didn’t get hired with our group.  However, he was able to network during his time and ultimately get hired on with another group within the studio.

Interested in a career with Warner Brothers? Check out some of their internships!

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