A guide to TV internships for graduates

A guide to TV internships for graduates

We look at different types of TV internships roles on offer to graduates and what you need to land one.

The television industry is a fast paced and exciting industry to work in at the moment. Booming in popularity, television now comes in numerous packages allowing for access to hundreds of channels. With more jobs to fill there are many TV internships positions being sought after.

TV internships are a great way to gain access into the television media industry. Particularly for entry level graduates, a TV internship can lead to a permanent position or the possibility of gaining valuable contacts.

Types of TV internships on offer

There are several different aspects and roles within television production and there are specific internship programmes to suit a wide variety of roles. From technical crew roles such as camera work, behind the scenes production such as writing and directing to helping with props, make up and hair. Office roles are also common for interns and could involve assisting with research and assisting with pre-production transcripts and logs.

Choose the role you’re most interested in and apply to every production company to make sure every avenue is covered. It’s also a good idea to apply to student or budget film companies as they’re more likely to be taking on free help. Be prepared however for some hard graft as interns are notoriously low paid (if at all) and are expected to help out in a wide variety of roles, including fetching and attending to crew and cast’s needs.

While this may seem overwhelming at first, an internship programme is very beneficial in the long term and is the best way to get your foot on the ladder. TV internships are fantastic for hands on experience, whether you’re working beneath one particular person or area. Since interns will generally be called upon to help out anywhere they’re needed, this allows you to gain invaluable experience. Make the most of the contacts you make. Talking to others in the industry means you’ll get excellent background information. Hard work is the best way to get noticed (slackers and those who complain will be quickly replaced by someone else more willing!).

TV internships or work experience?

TV internships are generally more of a training role than that of a work experience role, or a runner. The knowledge you’ll get will make stepping into a film or TV production job a lot easier.

Companies such as the BBC offer a wide range of work experience, placements and internship programmes, and you can apply online and find information to answer a variety of questions. Keep in mind enthusiasm and keenness to learn will be vital for communicating your desire to work in the TV industry.

It could also be a good idea to approach television production groups such as Shed Media, who work on particular programmes and is a distributer of television content.

Persistence is key for securing TV internships and with high competition for positions, it is vital to apply to several channels, production companies, and even reapply if you haven’t been successful on your first time.

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