Jasmin Guzman '15 and Ryan Ross '14 are both interning at HBO in Los Angeles this semester. (Courtesy Photo)
Two Emerson College Los Angeles students are gaining valuable experience and building key connections through interning at one of America’s most original television networks: HBO.
“I’m learning a ton,” said Ryan Ross ’14, a post-production intern at HBO. “I went in thinking it would be one thing, but it turned out to be different.”
For Ross, a Visual and Media Arts major, the internship has been an enormous learning experience. Among the different tasks he has completed: viewing raw footage, assistant work, and helping with quality control on a few unreleased projects.
“I would have assumed that post-production is a lot of editing,” said Ross. “What I’m doing now is a completely different side of post-production that I never would have been exposed to had I not been interning at HBO.”
The Santa Clarita, California, native says he was given a lot of work during his first few weeks at HBO, but learned to adapt quickly.
For Jasmin Guzman ’15, interning at HBO has been just as challenging, but equally rewarding. A Visual and Media Arts major specializing in producing, Guzman is learning the ropes by doing development work in HBO’s programming department.
“I was kind of worried just because development is not in my nature and I’m more trained in production,” said Guzman, who was born and raised in Los Angeles.
Even though Guzman aims to work in production after graduating, her eyes are now open to working in development. As an intern, Guzman has been able to read scripts—sometimes two or three a day—and share her thoughts with high-level executives
“After I read a script, I write a synopsis and paragraph of comments. Then executives and assistants read what I think,” said Guzman. “I feel a lot of pressure, I won't lie, but it’s amazing that these executives care about what I have to say.”
Despite the pressure, Guzman says she feels lucky to be able to interact with the executives who decide what story-driven content will end up on HBO.
“It’s kind of amazing to have those moments,” she said.
Both Ross and Guzman say that even the interviews they conducted to land the internships were incredible experiences.
“It was the best interview of my life,” said Ross. “It was an hour and a half and I was talking the whole time.”
“It was unlike any other interview I’ve ever had,” added Guzman. “It was mostly me telling them about how I got to this place in entertainment and the experiences I’ve had in my life.”
Both students say they have developed good connections with staff at HBO, including Emerson alumni. As for advice on landing an internship at the network, both Ross and Guzman say you should network, have previous internship experience, and be persistent.
“Sometimes, it’s just luck,” said Guzman.