Frankly, if you hate the place you're interning at, don’t be too hard on yourself. You are afterall at the very bottom of the food chain. There is a huge upside to being an intern though….enjoy it!
This is perhaps the only phase in your career you CAN'T be held accountable for what you do. If you do it well, you’ll walk away with all the praise. If you screw up…someone else will have to hear “How could you leave it to that intern. I mean he/she is JUST AN INTERN”. And it’ll end there! So go ahead..make mistakes..learn from them..and get some people screwed in the bargain ;)
No one likes getting anyone coffee, and if you think people make interns do that- you’re wrong. No one actually does that! They might want to…but they don’t. A large part of your job will be to log tapes, a task I personally hate. (and never really do!). The good part about logging other people’s tapes though, is that you know exactly what NOT to do! Its hard being objective when you’re going through your own footage…its easy to hate something that’s someone else’s. Just remember… if you’re thinkin “Jeez! This guy is so cheezy!” , chances are you might not want to do anything even remotely similar.
Network. You’re there for one reason alone..to build contacts. Make them fall in love with you. Be eager to help. Spend a few extra hours at work. I hate to brag (actually, that’s a lie..i was born to brag!), but my career actually began with interning at Bombay Times and I ended up getting quite a few eyeballs. Youth brings tremendous energy. So every other old fart who’s trying to shrug away work…volunteer to do it..and you’ll realise you’ll end up doing pretty well for yourself.
Lastly, if and when you do go with someone on assignment.. analyse the person you’re going with. Some people enjoy answering questions..some don’t. The one thing that’s universal though..is that NO ONE likes to baby sit. As long as you’re good company…you’ll be fine.
The worst mistake an intern can make..is to think they’re lesser mortals. While that might be true..(!) most people in entertainment are a lot less uptight than standard news fellas..
(Disclaimer: I said MOST. Author cannot be held accountable for your bad karma that blesses you with one of the four jerks in entertainment!).
Enjoy the internship. The industry needs young people who can have fun. No better place to see the world. Get paid..and go home and say..”I’m so tired. Too much partying tonight!”