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Intern Insider: Student secures dream internship at 30 Rock

Comedian Dana Carvey played several well-known characters during his time as a cast member on "Saturday Night Live." There's Garth of "Wayne's World" fame, former President George H.W. Bush and the Church Lady.

Stephanie Militello is working her dream internship at NBC this summer.

But it was one of his lesser-known characters—Derek Stevens, the pretentious rock star who penned the song “Choppin’ Broccoli”—who inspired junior media arts & entertainment major Stephanie Militello. She decided after watching that skit that one day she would have to work for NBC.

And this summer, she got that chance as a video intern for NBC Off-Air Advertising.

“I love waking up and knowing that I’m heading to 30 Rockefeller Center,” Militello says. “I have been dreaming about working at this building since I saw my first Saturday Night Live sketch.”

So when she received an e-mail during the spring semester telling her she had gotten the internship with NBC, she wanted to celebrate. But she decided that cutting a rug on the first floor of Belk library probably wasn’t appropriate.

“My heart leapt out of my chest and I leapt out of my chair,” she says. “I packed up my books as quickly as I could, so I wouldn’t start dancing in the library. I walked out with a big smile on my face and called my Mom, who just about fainted when I told her.”

For the last two months, Militello has been completing myriad tasks as a video intern. She creates tape logs, researches and requests video footage for NBC Universal cross-promotional videos and assists the director in producing sales videos.

She says her department, specifically, is new to video, which has made her a sought out intern.

“They are just as fascinated by video as I was when I first learned at Elon,” Militello says. “This has made me a go-to person when it comes to any video-related questions, which is exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time.”

Militello nailed down the internship through a family friend who works for NBC Universal. She sent the friend her resume and cover letter, which was forwarded to employees in the department in which she now works. But while a close connection helped her get in the door, it’s her knowledge and work ethic that has kept her there.

“It’s funny because Elon definitely prepared me for my first internship in December at a local news station, and now that first internship has prepared me for this new one,” she says.

But neither internship cultivated what must have been a knack for casting. She was asked to go to a couple of talent agency websites to listen to voiceovers for a sales video her department was creating. She listened to more than 100 auditions and whittled it down to five people whom she believed would work for the piece.

She thought that her selections wouldn’t hold up against those of the fulltime employees, but she discovered the next day that higher-ups had chosen one of the five Militello suggested.

“They told me ‘good job,’” she says, “and I felt pretty awesome.”

Militello says she wants to makes a good name for herself this summer at NBC because it’s ultimately the place she would like work after she graduates from Elon in 2012. So right now, she’s soaking up advice, seeking out feedback and doing whatever work is assigned to her.

“I am enjoying myself in this department,” Militello says. “I love the people I’m working with and they’re always willing to tell me about projects they’re working on and to give me advice.

“This internship is teaching me so much about how to present myself and be a part of a team. I have learned about the importance of teamwork, accepting constructive criticism, and not being afraid to ask questions and learn something new.”

Intern Insider will run one to two times a week during the summer and will feature brief stories about some of the interns from the School of Communications or in School of Communications programs.

Colin Donohue,
7/29/2010 11:11 AM