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#Emtern Spotlight: Learning the Ropes at Conscious Minds Production Studio

Jess Niazian in Public Garden
Jess Niazian ’22

Emerson interns (#emterns) work for amazing organizations and do fascinating things. One in a series of conversations with #emterns, republished from Careerbuzz.

Jess Niazian ’22 is a Media Arts Production major who interned at Conscious Minds, a production studio based out of Pasadena, California, from May to August 2020. We asked Jess about her role there.

How did you find out about this opportunity, and what drew you to it?

I really wanted to try and find an internship the Summer of 2020, but due to COVID-19, I wasn’t sure that was a reality due to all the restrictions and unknowns. I’d search around constantly trying to find internships. I looked on Handshake, studio websites, LinkedIn, Glassdoor, but ultimately found one on Indeed that really caught my eye.

It was for a small production company in Pasadena, California. It caught my eye because it was 30 minutes from my house, it was remote, and the position sounded like something I could handle and be comfortable doing during a global pandemic.

What were some of your responsibilities during your internship?

I did a little of everything. At the beginning, it was totally remote, so I mostly just made phone calls and made spreadsheets. But once Los Angeles cleared filming rights during COVID, I would be allowed to work in the office space. There, I met the team and worked as an office production assistant and took care of office tasks, such as printing, mail services, coffee – the usual things you think of when being an intern. I was assigned to certain projects and would have bigger responsibilities, such as researching and picking up equipment for shoots, working closely [with] the production crew, and helping them out with all types of tasks, such as helping sort clothing with stylists, drop[ping] off equipment at talent’s house, etc.

What accomplishment were you most proud of during this internship?

One of the projects I got to work on was Nike’s Athlete’s Cookbook, season 2, a YouTube series which features Nike athletes and professional chefs [who] meet and cook a meal together. For this season, it was a bit different; it was all through a new software that was sort of like Zoom, but for filming, and had special features for directors and producers to use while filming.

I got to meet the chef this season, Kia Damon, a successful chef in New York, and cook a meal with her. I was selected out of all the interns for this rare opportunity, and got to work alongside the head producer, Madeline Saporito, of Conscious Minds, and director of the shoot, Blaine Hogan. It was an amazing opportunity to meet and get to know Kia, and learn how to cook shakshuka.

What advice do you have for people interested in this internship or opportunities similar to yours?

Take the chance, apply for everything – you never know what could happen. Ask questions. I feel a major reason I got this internship is by asking questions. You know at the end of the interview when they ask if you have any questions? Ask away. Even if you don’t, ask them everything from ‘How’s the atmosphere at the studio?’ ‘What’s your favorite project you’ve done with the company?’ etc. Asking questions shows you’re interested!

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