At an internship dinner

Have you ever wondered what it would look like to intern for the company that has brought us Barbie, Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, Succession, and so much more? Over the past couple months, I was an intern for Warner Bros. Discovery HBO | Max Awards team. A long title, I know. So, what exactly does an Awards team do? The team has many responsibilities ranging from collecting and organizing movie and television show credits; nominating actors, actress, directors, producers, and other guild positions for awards; working guild ceremonies like the Oscars; and working alongside the Events, Public Relations, and Talent teams. My name is Derrick Davidian, and I am a senior Strategic and Corporate Communication major with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Growing up in Los Angeles, California, you would think I have always had a passion for the entertainment industry, especially because I am writing to you about an internship with the legendary studio, Warner Bros. Quite the contrary. Growing up and even through my first two years at Chapman, I wanted to be an international law attorney, starting my Chapman student career majoring in Peace Studies. However, I soon realized I was meant to follow another passion and path. In my junior year I started a college film festival called Orange Film Fest, which changed my career and life forever. I began spending a lot of time networking, researching, and learning about the entertainment industry, thus leading to a phenomenal opportunity in the way of my internship for Warner Bros. Discovery HBO | Max Awards team. 

At HBO | Max, most of my responsibilities as an Awards team intern were to organize film and television show credits into excel grids, communicate with different teams both within the company as well as external companies and talent, work events like the Producer Guild Awards, and help organize and work the For Your Consideration (FYC) events. I utilized skills and knowledge from several of the Strategic Communication courses I took during my time at Chapman: Business and Professional Communication (COM 310), Conflict, Negotiation, and Power (COM 440), Influencer and Social Media Marketing (SCC 315), and Message Design II (SCC 400), to list a few. For example, in the Business and Professional Communication course, we learned how different work environments warrant different managerial relationships and how you must navigate those situations. I think being introduced to these different styles allowed me to be prepared for the unique style and approach the Awards team uses. In addition, in Message Design II, we got to create a campaign and actually implement it. The skills I learned through that process, such as event management, team coordination, organization, and problem solving, came in handy when I was tasked with helping execute the FYC events. Overall, I think both my time at the University and taking these specific classes helped prepare me with intangible and tangible skills. My time at HBO | Max was amazing and it allowed me to learn firsthand about the entertainment industry, network, grow, and reap the rewards of hard work and dedication. 

At an event for Conan O’Brien

A word of advice: networking is vital to getting internships and jobs, especially in the entertainment industry. I would recommend updating your LinkedIn, connecting with and reaching out to people through LinkedIn, finding events that companies are hosting, and being persistently active in any industry environment you hope to find success in. Chapman University has been a great environment to learn, network, and grow in, but I truly believe in the idea that no matter where you are, your success depends on your work ethic and perseverance!