By Alina Tang
Anyone who lives in Los Angeles knows it’s hard to get around without a car. For the past three years, I’ve loved being at USC, but at times, college has felt like a restrictive bubble because of my lack of freedom. Despite the school’s proximity to downtown, it can be incredibly difficult to qualify for jobs, and take advantage of other opportunities without having a personal form of transportation.
This all changed, however, when I decided to drive my car down for senior year. Although the trek from Seattle was long and tiring, it was completely worth it. I can now take spontaneous trips to the beach, study in cafes when I get too distracted at home, and visit friends who live far from campus.
But the best part is I get to work at my dream internship during the school year.
Living so close to Hollywood, I’ve always been interested in exploring the entertainment industry. This year, I finally took advantage of my flexibility to commute and was lucky enough to land a position at Lionsgate, which is known for producing many popular film and TV series including The Hunger Games, The Twilight Saga, Mad Men, and Orange is the New Black.
At Lionsgate, I am a consumer marketing intern for the company’s new network, Pop. My daily responsibilities include researching competitive materials, compiling lists of social media influencers, and looking into potential partnerships and PR events.
What this basically means is I get to have a sneak peek of Pop’s newest shows, while being part of the actual marketing campaign that pushes the shows before they air. How cool is that?!
I’m also fortunate to have a boss who really cares about my professional growth. My supervisor, Chris, not only checks in on me and assigns frequent hands-on projects, but he encourages me to work very closely with senior management.
Every week, I get to shadow different departments, sit in on team meetings, and even pitch ideas to Chris’ own boss. I’ve honestly never worked at a company that values interns this much, but it’s safe to say Lionsgate has set the standard for me from now on.
Interning 25 hours a week, however, means I have an insane schedule. Every Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, I’m in the office from 9-5, which leaves my remaining two week days crammed with classes and extracurricular activities. I would be lying if I said this setup isn’t overwhelming, but I have come to love it.
I think there’s something about being busy that just makes a person more motivated, because somehow this is my best academic semester to date. Ever since I started working at Lionsgate, I always try to finish my schoolwork right when I get home, so I can make enough time to still work out, sleep early, and hang out with friends regularly.
Perhaps it’s a sign of maturity, or perhaps it’s the fact that I simply don’t have the option of procrastinating anymore, but I absolutely love my new lifestyle. I’m very proud I’ve been able to find a great balance between school and work this semester, and I highly recommend it to other college students.
You honestly never know what you are capable of accomplishing until you go for it, so take a leap of faith. Good luck!
Alina Tang will graduate from USC in 2016. She is majoring in business administration and plans to work in the Management Development Program at Mondelez International and gain more experience in global marketing.