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Any US M'netters who can advise about applying for internships over there?

(9 Posts)
Finbar Mon 11-Apr-16 12:09:34

I get the feeling that the US job application process in general is different to the UK one - more use of resumes and CVs etc. ( and maybe less self-effacing?!)
Do you have any tips for my DD who is hell bent on securing an internship in the film/TV industry ?
Many thanks

Terramirabilis Tue 12-Apr-16 20:59:48

I live and work in the US but not in film/TV. May be able to offer some helpful tips about cultural difference though.

Why does your DD want an internship in the US? (Is it because of the US as the leading country globally in that industry or some other reason)
Does she understand she can't be paid unless she has a work visa? (which there is no likelihood of her getting if she's at the internship level)
Where (geographically) is she planning to work?

VimFuego101 Tue 12-Apr-16 21:03:54

She would need an employer to sponsor her for a visa (J1). It's a very costly process for an employer to go through, so to have any chance she would need to be really, really good.

She might have more luck going to study there (again, will need a student visa but that's probably easier than a J1). It is extremely costly to study in the US, but it might be worth it for her to make the necessary contacts to get into the industry. The Fulbright Commission offers advice and information on scholarships and requirements.

MyFriendsCallMeOh Wed 13-Apr-16 00:09:10

I live and work in the USA but also not film / tv. However I used to work in the uk securing internships for students on sandwich courses. We used to send 700 students a year on work placements and probably 50 or so to the USA, mostly on hospitality and tourism courses. I don't recall anyone securing a film / tv internship, this industry works more than most in networking and is notoriously difficult to crack.

I don't know if your dd would be interested but the Disney internship scheme is great, will sponsor J1 visas, pays (unusual for USA internships) and offers great insight into the parks (remember, everyone at Disney is "on stage"). Internships run for up to a year and all our students went to parks in Orlando, often rotating round departments. I remember that accommodation was included in campus type blocks with catering and pools, seemed fun. Might be worth looking into?

VimFuego101 Wed 13-Apr-16 01:25:42

That's a really good idea - I know the Disney college program is very highly regarded.

Baboooshka Wed 13-Apr-16 20:43:21

Is she already in the US? Does she have US citizenship/green card/a visa with permission to work?

Whatever she does, make sure she's on the correct visa (even if the company involved is dismissive about it).

As Vim said, formal internships are usually on the J1 visa. But the US is also very restrictive about less formal voluntary work, which can rule out a lot of the more casual 'work experience' opportunities for overseas people. You can't work for free when the work would usually be paid. You can't accept any alternative recompense (including, I think accommodation). There are many grey areas.

If she sees herself eventually working professionally in the US, any misuse of the VWP, overstays, non-permitted work etc will really mess up her prospects.

This would also be an incredibly expensive undertaking, if she doesn't get on an paid program. Film/tv will invariably involve New York or getting out to the west coast; very high living costs. It will help her to build contacts, but if she's entry-level then I suspect that there's little to no chance that a company would sponsor her for a work visa, afterwards, even if they were really impressed with her, so she should be realistic and recognise that she'll probably need to build up experience and credits in the UK before the US becomes a viable professional option.

Echoing Vim again, a reputable US-based course might be better value for money, giving her both contacts and a qualification.

And, judging from my time in LA... nope, self-effacing is not a successful application strategy here!

Finbar Mon 25-Apr-16 22:55:35

Thank you all for such detailed and helpful info. Going to have a big rethink with her.
That should be fun! confused

Finbar Mon 25-Apr-16 22:55:43

Thank you all for such detailed and helpful info. Going to have a big rethink with her.
That should be fun! confused

ledgeoffseason Fri 29-Apr-16 12:56:44

Look at Mountbatten institute - she could do a year long paid nyc internship there, might not be in preferred field (the companies really vary, I hated mine but it was life changing in a good way and the overall experience was brilliant). They def had some production companies when I was there but that was nearly fifteen years ago!

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