Career Moves: Seminars play role in internship success
Junior Mason Sklut found that meeting early with a Student Professional Development Center staff member enhanced a summer work experience.
Drawn to Elon University because of its School of Communications, junior Mason Sklut knew almost immediately that film production was his calling. The media arts & entertainment major from Charlotte, N.C., learned his freshman year of a summer internship in his hometown and soon made plans to visit what is now the Student Professional Development Center to prepare for his experience.
Sklut interned in 2011 with Edit on Hudson, a studio that has produced videos for corporations such as Coca-Cola and Goodrich. The president of Better Together, an interfaith organization at the university that fosters interaction between people of different religious traditions, and an active member of Hillel, he most recently was inducted into the Lambda Pi Eta communications honor society for students in the top 20 percent of their graduating class.
Sklut is the latest person to be featured in an ongoing series of E-net profiles on the experiences of students and alumni who use the Student Professional Development Center to not only find job and internship openings, but to prepare for interviews and improve applications with guidance from staff.
He answered questions recently from the Office of University Communications.
Tell me about the company and your role as an intern.
Edit on Hudson is a production and post-production studio based out of Charlotte that specializes in filming and editing, green screen and post-production visual effects. They produce high-definition video for commercials, infomercials, broadcast programs, training video for corporations and marketing.
During my internship at Edit on Hudson, I worked as a production assistant. My responsibilities included checking the functions and placement of video equipment, creating distribution channels for the finished product, crafting production plans, maintaining the overall appearance of the studio for shoots, keeping an accurate inventory of necessary stock and production materials, and assisting editors and producers during projects.
How did your interest in the internship develop?
I became interested in video production when I first came to Elon and visited the School of Communications. As a photographer, I was drawn toward film production because it would allow me to explore another side of photography, “moving pictures,” which I had no prior experience with. As I began looking for an internship, I explored a variety of options in the production field. A family friend who worked in broadcast news pointed me to Edit on Hudson as a good place to learn more about video production at a corporate level. Although my interest was primarily in documentary film-making I knew that the skills that I would gain from this internship would still provide me a foundation that I could take with me throughout my college career in film studies and after college as well.
What did you learn from the experience?
My experience at Edit on Hudson gave me a whole new perspective on video production at a corporate level. Having only worked on small-scale video projects during my Digital Media Convergence class, I had no idea what producing video for corporations was like, nor was I equipped with the skills. During my internship, we made training videos for Coca-Cola, commercials for the Palm Restaurant and Motorcycles of Charlotte, and broadcast programs for the Goodrich Corporation. Working with clients of all types, including CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, has prepared me with the proper business skills for nearly any situation in the industry.
Who did you work with in the Student Professional Development Center to prepare for your internship, and what help did you receive?
I worked with Nagatha Tonkins from the School of Communications Internship Office. Through several internship seminars and meetings, Mrs. Tonkins prepared me with the necessary knowledge to have a successful internship during the summer. As I developed my responsibilities for my internship director, Mrs. Tonkins made sure that I would be getting the most out of my time by gathering the right skills for this industry.
How do you plan on using career services in the future?
In the future, I plan on using career services to help pursue internships in the film industry and eventually a career. Next year I would like to have an internship with a documentary film producer, in order to get the best feel for what type of production I am most interested in. Career Services in the SPDC can help me explore internship opportunities and get in touch with Elon alumni who are in working in the field.
What recommendations would you share with other students about career services?
I would recommend that for any student who wants an internship, using resources that career services offers is very important because they will provide you with the right skills for your job or internship. Whether that means preparing for interviews, writing résumés and cover letters, or creating a portfolio, career services offers a variety of resources. I would also advise using any connections that you may already have such as family friends before using career services. I was able to obtain my internship through a family friend that used to work with a national broadcast news station in New York and is now the producer for Edit on Hudson.