Internships are a great opportunity to build a resume, make vital contacts in the industry, gain experience, and get access to decision-makers while you explore your career options. Internships are crucial to your future in the entertainment industry because if you impress your employer during your internship, you have a good chance of being offered a full-time position. Also, many students widen their career network and find mentors and other valuable contacts during an internship that will give their emerging careers a major boost.
Columbia College has strong relationships with quality internship companies that offer a variety of both paid and unpaid internships with studios, production companies, networks and independents. Because CCH employs a practical method of instruction, our students are in demand all across the entertainment industry. We have more than enough quality internship opportunities year-round to fit the needs of all of our students.
Additionally, our film internship program enjoys generous support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences which grants the College the funds to provide six to eight Columbia College students annually with the funding to turn their “unpaid” film internships into a paid internship. For many CCH students, the AMPAS film internship grant is their first “Academy Award” in the industry. Columbia College gratefully acknowledges the special support provided by the Academy Foundation.
It’s never too early and never too late to participate in internship opportunities as all students can benefit from the freedom of exploration and the increased marketability that internships provide. Here is a partial list of recent internships our students have obtained:
Q: Are internships mandatory at CCH?
A: No. While internships are not mandatory for students, they should and must be part of your college experience if you want to gain entrance into an entertainment career. Employers rate internship experience as a top factor in evaluating candidates for employment.
Q: What is the value of an internship?
A: From a career standpoint, internships are invaluable. Students do not typically have the kind of direct access to industry players outside of internships. Internships provide students with something employers desperately seek - experience in the field. Many employers also use internships as a pre-hiring assessment and training tool. Often companies hire entry-level personnel directly from their internship pool. Internships also provide students with additional network contacts that often assist in finding a related position. Successful interns can gain valuable referrals and references from intern employers that carry real weight in entertainment hiring circles. Statistically, a student is more likely to complete their degree and become employed in the industry if he or she engages in film and television internships.
Q: Can I get course credit for my internship experience?
A: Absolutely. Many internship departments will only hire enrolled students eligible to receive course credit for their internships. The College offers two or four credit courses for entertainment industry internships. Any sophomore, junior or senior student in good academic standing with a minimum GPA of 3.0 may seek permission from the Career Development Office to enroll in an internship course up to two times during his or her academic career. Credits earned depend on the number of hours involved. Remember that credits earned from an internship are subject to tuition and fees, like any academic credit earned at Columbia College Hollywood.
Q: Can I engage in more internships if I’ve completed my two for credit?
A: Yes, the College encourages students to do numerous internships until graduation for the experience and contacts.
Q: When can students do internships?
A: Internships, for credit or just for the experience, may be taken during any academic quarter. As soon as the student has enough training and skills to be an asset on set or in an office, often as early as the student’s second or third quarter, we encourage them to begin applying for internships. Students are encouraged to participate in internships continuously throughout their academic career.
Q: How do I obtain an internship?
A: The first step is to discuss your interest in an internship with the Career Development Office. They can provide you with valuable information regarding the internship program policies, what skills you will need for the internship you want, and how to get started drafting your resume which you will need to apply. They will also guide you to the College’s top internship resources, teach you how best to apply and even in some cases give students personal referrals to certain companies who have specifically asked us to provide them with more great CCH interns.
Q: Where can an internship be done?
A: Internships may be done in any setting that provides supervised experience in areas related to the student’s learning objectives. Examples of recent internship sites include: post-production houses, studios, camera houses, casting, literary and talent agencies, networks, production offices, television shows and film sets.
Q: Can I take an internship in a department different from my major?
A: Yes. If an internship is available outside your major but you have the experience and skills necessary to be hired, go for it! Often, we find that students use internships to “test drive” their career aspirations by sampling a variety of internships, thus enabling them to figure out what they want most to do in their careers. The internship must be related to the entertainment world in some way, but may include the business side of the industry, such as marketing, business affairs, legal, film fundraising, distribution and so on.
Q: Who approves and supervises the internship and how is it graded?
A: The Career Development Office approves, tracks and assigns “Pass” or “Fail” grades for all internships for credit at CCH. Either 96 or 192 internship hours are required on the job for a two or four credit internship, respectively. A 3,000 word essay detailing what the student learned and gained from the internship experience is due at the end of the quarter in which the internship was performed. The essay and a written evaluation from the internship supervisor at the internship company comprise a student’s grade in the internship course.
Q: What are the work requirements for an internship?
A: Each internship company has its own internship requirements and duties that typically entail entry level responsibilities. The College makes every effort to promote the best quality internships to students that include at least some real industry access to meetings and department heads, as well as some hands-on industry tasks, such as evaluating script submissions or assistant film editing. All interns are expected to function on the job as professionals. Interns represent the College at work in the community, and their performance on the job directly influences the attitudes the entertainment community will have of the College and its graduates. Students who violate our code of work ethic may lose the right to participate in future internships.
Q: Do internship companies who hire CCH students as interns have access to the school’s production resources?
A: The College’s equipment and other production and post-production resources are reserved for student film productions only and are not available for use as part of a student’s internship.
More information about internships can be obtained by visiting or calling the Career Development Office at (818) 401-1034 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.