Brooke H

Internship Spotlight – Brooke Hitchins, Viacom

Eller PDC Coordinator Student Stories

Brooke is a Marketing major graduating in May 2018. This summer, she interned with Viacom as their Integrated Marketing Intern in New York, New York. Housing and moving expenses where at Brooke’s own expense since the entertainment industry has such a high demand.

How did you land this internship? My timeline and how I landed my internship at Viacom is very unlike the typical internships that other students receive, and I knew this from the beginning because my goal was to work in the entertainment industry. I applied to many internships from December to mid-March, but I only started to hear back from a few companies late March. I revised my resume so many times to fit the “entertainment criteria,” but I had to learn quickly that every company works and hires their interns differently. Viacom’s intern portal was for a generic intern pool, so when I applied for the position, I sent in a resume and cover letter for “Viacom Summer Intern 2017,” online with no specific department. My first interview was scheduled with HR for 15 minutes of time to share who I was and give my interests. It was very quick, but I moved on to a second interview with my manager in the department that HR had suggested for me – Integrated Marketing. Prior to my phone interview, I did my research on the job and made a few connections on LinkedIn, asking professionals in Integrated Marketing about their day-to-day life and what to expect. From what I learned, I took the initiative to create a pitch deck for the channel, CMT and the integrated marketing opportunities for a campaign. I didn’t exactly know how to create a typical IM deck, but I went out of my way to do something different, and it really impressed my manager. I received the job offer mid-April, about a month before I was to be in New York City. Everything is fast-paced in the entertainment world, but it’s all worth it. My boss hired me because I took the initiative!

There really was no “typical day” at Viacom because every day was different in so many ways. The company culture was a constant reminder that working in the entertainment industry has some unexpected surprises and the greatest work/life balance. Throughout the summer, Viacom would host celebrations and intern events on weekly occasions, giving me exposure to different departments of the company while socializing and networking with other employees. Each week the company threw network-themed parties (i.e. Nickelodeon, MTV, CMT) for all employees to attend and enjoy, sharing the love across the whole company. As an Integrated Marketing intern, my day-to-day tasks varied, but my job was broken down into two parts: Pitch and Execution. My department is responsible for coming up with the creative ideas on how to merge a client’s brand (i.e. Pepsi, AirBnB, Starbucks) with our network (CMT, TVLand) in some form of advertising, and once the pitch sells, we would move forward on making the campaign a reality. Every time a new client requests a proposal, our team would sit and collaborate on brainstorming ideas. Then, one of us would individualize and design a pitch deck for the client. On the execution side, our team would organize, hire, and attend the production of a shoot, making sure that the client is represented at its best. I worked closely with all areas of marketing on both the pitch and execution sides: Social Media, Talent, Production, Sales, etc., and I was able to truly learn hands-on how to integrate all aspects of marketing.

What was your favorite part of the experience? There were SO many amazing things I could share about this summer and my experience at Viacom. Overall, I’m grateful for the experience and my favorite part was the exposure I had. Viacom invests so much into their interns and really makes sure that each employee is valued. I was not only exposed to that side of the culture of the company, but also the skills and knowledge necessary to be able to succeed in a career in something I never knew I was interested in. I saw so many different opportunities within myself because my leap of faith and taking a chance on an internship like this. Additionally, I was able to test the waters and experience life in the Big Apple. I now know exactly where I want to live after graduation, and I wouldn’t have known that if I didn’t try something out of my comfort zone. An experience is an experience, whether it was amazing or not — it all becomes a life lesson in one way or another. Luckily for me, I have no doubt in my mind that I loved the company and department that I worked for, but I owe it all to my willingness to adapt and try something new.

What advice do you have for other students looking for a similar internship? Finding a job in the entertainment industry is no easy task, especially when it’s all about “who you know.” That doesn’t make it impossible. Through my experience at Eller, I’ve utilized my career coach, Marisa Allen, as a resource, mentor, and friend to help me get to where I am today. She introduced me to other students looking to work in the same field as me, and I was able to look to them for support and outside knowledge. Marisa also contacted me when there was an opportunity related to my career path available for me throughout the school year. My advice for anyone looking to work in a similar industry/career:

  1. Say yes to everything. You never know when an opportunity could lead to another connection, mentor, or another way to learn something new.
  2. Network. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone on LinkedIn for an informational interview. People love to talk about themselves and would be more than happy to share more information to you, and it helps you learn about their career while making new friends!

3. Stand out. No one will ever hire someone because they meet the minimum requirements or because they can “just get the job done.” Go above and beyond and prove yourself and why you are unique – such as taking the initiative to create a deck before your interview!