Paxton Rome (BFA/FP ’19), currently a senior at Dodge College majoring in Film Production, was a full time Social Media Intern at Tesla, Inc. in the Bay Area last summer. We had a chance to ask Paxton a few questions about this exciting experience:
1. How did you find your internship?
I discovered the internship on Tesla’s careers website. Technically, I applied to the communications internship but they were in quick need of a social media intern so they used the people that applied to communications.
2. What was a typical day at your internship?
A typical day for myself was a combination of drafting and pitching social media posts for Tesla’s different social media channels whether that be Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube. On top of that, I distributed daily social media reports to top executives, identifying trends and highlighting relevant posts to respond to. This meant I was a member of a small and trusted team with full access to Tesla’s social media profiles.
3. What was the highlight of the internship?
The highlight of the internship were the days I got to join the content team on their film shoots. We went to the abandoned air force base in Alameda to shoot the performance version of our newest vehicle, the Model 3. I got to operate a camera-crane that Tesla had custom-fitted to be attached on top of one of our Model S cars. On that day, I really got to use the set-experience I’ve gained at Chapman in tandem with the newly gained knowledge of the electric car industry.
4. What courses, professors or skills learned at Dodge were most helpful in your internship?
I’d say without a doubt my experience as a director at Chapman prepared me for a position working in digital messaging. While directing, you’re constantly managing communications with a lot of different departments so how you say something is almost as important as what you’re saying. Taking that skill with me, I was a natural fit for understanding Tesla’s brand voice and then projecting it onto our social media platforms to our millions of followers.
5. What advice would you offer students looking for internships in the industry?
The biggest piece of advice I’d offer for Dodge Students is don’t sell yourself short by only thinking there’s opportunity’s for you in Hollywood. Dodge prepares you with some of the best hands-on experience with the business world too, from budgeting to communications to management. There’s a lot of opportunities for filmmakers to make huge impacts in industries outside of Hollywood and I’d love to see more of us take that route.
Thank you, Paxton, for sharing your experience and advice with us!