College

Summer Internship in NYC (Disney PI w/ Marvel): Go Big or Go Home

So I recently accepted an offer to be a summer intern with Marvel Studios this summer in NYC! I could not be more excited!

It’s been a long process, but absolutely worth every minute, and I’d love to tell you all about it. This post will be the first in an internship series, and I’ll be writing about what I’ve learned regarding resume revision, cover letters, interviews, and more.

I think internships are great because they give you real-life experience in an industry. Most likely, an industry you’re hoping to pursue post-graduation.

Obviously, interning is about building your resume, but it’s also an awesome opportunity to “test-drive” a particular career. For example, it might be really helpful to discover your aversion to blood while interning at the hospital, rather than in med school 4 years later.

Maybe you realize you hate office life (you’re super claustrophobic in a cubicle).
OR (and let’s hope this is you) you love what you do and feel assured that you’ve picked the right path.

Anyway, you get the idea!

I’ve known what I want to do, and who I want to be, for a very long time. It’s changed a little over the years, but not significantly. And since high school, I’ve looked for ways to gain practical experience in my field.

Last summer, I interned with Tallahassee Woman Magazine, and had an awesome experience working with a group of talented, inspiring women. I honed my writing and copyediting skills, contributing 3 articles to the Aug/Sep issue.

So, this summer, I thought I’d do something similar. College graduation is looming ever closer, and the more real-world experience I can get under my belt, the better.

But you may be asking… why Disney? Why Marvel? Why NYC? (Hang tight – there’s a practical answer and an idealistic answer).

Disney offers the Disney College Program (DCP) as well as Professional Internships (PIs). My mom did the college program back in her day, and I have several friends who’ve participated in the college program. I decided to pursue a Professional Internship because I could target the departments that matched my skillset (copywriting/copyediting).

Originally, I hoped to find something in Orlando, thinking I’d stay closer to home. But when I began searching for internships, scrolling through the long, long list of possible positions, I couldn’t find any “editorial” internships in Orlando. The site lists all possible internship positions across all Disney locations – Orlando, California, Connecticut, New York. I flagged internships with ESPN, ABC, and Marvel, because these were the positions I was best qualified for.

That’s the practical answer.

My other explanation is this: The more I dug in, the more excited I felt about these opportunities, and the more I began to think “why not?”.

I mean, if not now, when?! There’s no way I could afford to live in NYC on my own post-graduation, but I could certainly make it work for a summer semester as a student. It’s similar to my study abroad experience in London. I lived in one of the most expensive cities in the world for four months, and it was totally doable because I took advantage of a program offered by my university.

Guys, if you take away nothing else from this post, I urge you this: Take advantage of your student status!

I’ve made very specific choices throughout my college years, many of which are nontraditional and probably even unpopular. I chose to live at home. I chose to commute. I don’t have a meal plan. I haven’t joined a sorority. I’ve decided not to move out until I graduate.

But it’s precisely these choices (choices that, trust me, aggravate even me sometimes) that have given me the freedom to do all the “big” things I’ve wanted to do, including studying abroad, and, now, moving to NYC for the summer.

And if you’re someone who has the financial resources to do it all – move out, attend an out-of-state school, sorority/fraternity, study abroad, big city internships, etc. – that’s awesome. Seriously, so cool! Good for you.

And if you’re someone who has limited resources and has chosen to move out-of-state, join a sorority/fraternity, rather than studying abroad or interning in a big city, that’s ok too.

I am certainly not trying to shame you for your choices! What I AM trying to say is that it’s totally a matter of preference. There is no “right” way to allocate your funds.

A lot of what I do in life is all-or-nothing. I’m not entirely sure why that is, so don’t ask. 😉 Anyone who knows me would THINK I’d be the toe-in-the-water type girl, but that’s just not the case. One minute I’m cowering beside the diving board, next minute I’m diving straight into the deep-end.

That said, I’m not sure I’d be as confident about New York if I hadn’t experienced a semester in London first.

So, I decided to go ALL IN. Go big or go home. Etc.

Once I’d chosen the positions I’d like to apply for, I began revising my resume and researching cover letters. My resume was seriously outdated and pretty embarrassing, and I’d never written a cover letter in my life. But I’m a writer, so I was fairly sure I could get the hang of it with some practice.

Of course, I didn’t have all the time in the world. Something that’s intimidating about the Disney Professional Internships is that applications are continuously posted online, and the timeline for some positions are shorter than others. There is no application “deadline”; the positions are “open” till someone decides they have an acceptable pool of applicants and then it’s taken down. No deadline dates! No warning!

So I had to strike a balance between being quick to submit my apps, and taking just enough time to put my best foot forth.

I began submitting the applications late February / early March. I learned a whole lot about the process and about resumes/cover letters, and this is the kind of stuff I’d love to cover in future blog posts. So if you’ve got questions, I’d like to give you answers! Leave a comment or shoot me an email so I can be sure to address your questions. 🙂

And then it became a waiting game. Which, let me tell you, is worse. I almost preferred the frenzy/stress of working on my applications pre-submission, because at least I was DOING something. After I’d submitted my apps, I logged into my dashboard almost daily to check for updates.

It was a BIG DEAL the morning I received an email from a recruiter saying they’d like to interview me for Marvel’s Print Production internship.

We set up a date/time and then I needed to prepare for the phone interview. If you want an idea of what this was like, picture the “training” scenes you see in almost every movie. You know what I’m talking about… the motivational Legally Blonde “not-gonna-give-up-til-I-get-what’s-mine” montage of Elle Woods studying to keep up in law school. Yeah, that was me.

I’ll fast-forward here, because after my phone interview (and I’ll write a full post about the interview / interview prep!) it was all-quiet-on-the-western-front for another several weeks.

But then, on April 12, I received a phone call from an NYC area code and the Marvel recruiter offered me the Print Production internship! She was super, super nice and told me I could “think about it,” but that I’d need to let her know very soon, and I was like, “um, no, I’LL ACCEPT RIGHT NOW.”

And honestly I couldn’t even tell you what she said after that because I was internally screaming.

My head has sort of been in the clouds ever since. Because, hello, I’m moving to NYC for the summer and IT’S ACTUALLY HAPPENING and #ican’teven.

These last few weeks of the semester are flying by, and I know my internship will sneak up on me. Since that phone call, everything has happened rather quickly. I secured housing this past weekend (another full post to come all about securing summer housing!) and booked my flight this summer. I’ll be arriving in NYC on June 2, and June 5 will be my first day on the job.

If I haven’t said so enough already, I’m so, so excited about this opportunity. I’m excited to intern with Marvel and I’m excited to learn and work alongside their talented team. I’m excited to live in NYC for 8 weeks. I’m excited to meet new friends (roommates, fellow interns, etc.).

I’m also excited to share this journey with you on the blog. It’s one of many reasons I decided to rebrand and take up blogging again, because I wanted to document this experience and to help other students navigate college/career.

So thanks for sticking around! There’s much more to come and I hope you’re as excited as I am. 🙂

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1 Comment

  • Reply Summer Internship in NYC: Housing - Marion Avenue June 22, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    […] in a previous post that I’ll be interning in New York City this summer with Marvel Studios. (If you’re interested in reading about my application process and my decision to “go big or go ho…) I applied for several positions back in early February, and I was offered the position April 12 […]

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