Television Academy Foundation Executive Director Jodi Delaney moderates a panel with Kristen Bartlett, Marco Esquivel and Brittany Chapman for the “Intern to Industry Professional” Panel
The “Intern to Industry Professional” Panel
Michael Busza and Daniel Barnes
Michael Mulvihill and Ian Busch
Kaela Lavin, Carissa Liu, Karly Perez-Arevalo and Evelyn Lim-Garcia
Atmosphere at the Television Academy Intern Summer Networking Night
Peri Michael and Carissa Liu
At this year's annual Summer Networking Night for Television Academy spring and summer interns, Carissa Liu, a USC student interning in public relations/publicity, had not encountered another guest from that category or career — which was fine with her.
"I wanted to join this networking night because I wanted the chance to meet people outside my own category — there's so much [more] in the entertainment industry," she said. "It's been really great. I've even met a former intern who is now an actor, straying away from their initial category, which I think is a really cool thing to do. We're all still so early in our careers, as interns, so to be able to come here and see how people's journeys have changed is really awesome."
The interns were shown the list of attendees ahead of time, to see whom they'd like to meet, noted Liu's friend Peri Michael, an American Film Institute student interning in scripted development. "A lot of us are from different places" — she from Massachusetts, Liu from New Jersey — "so we don't have an established network yet," she said. "This gives us the opportunity to start that, in a really casual but professional setting."
The physical setting for the August 9 event was the greenery-filled Reunion restaurant at NeueHouse Hollywood; the professionals included former interns, intern hosts, judges and other Academy members, leadership and staff.
Longtime intern judge Bambi Moé attended because, as a music and animation executive, "I was often the only woman in the room in a creative position of authority," she said. "As a result, I think it's really important to encourage and inspire young people." Moé, who will be a first-time host of a children's programming intern with a show she codeveloped for local PBS network KLCS, working title Mr. Clown and Friends, met with interns and made introductions to contacts.
"They seem so eager to hear what my experience is, and I'm happy to share it, but I really want to encourage them on their journey," she said. "It's a lovely event, and they're a great group."
As it happened, the 2014 children's programming intern Daniel Barnes, now a host in the category at Cloudco Entertainment, was also at the party, both to reunite with others in his intern class and check on his current intern. "I wanted to make sure she's good, and networking!" he said. "And it's great to reconnect with former interns and other professionals that I've met at these events in the past."
As Liu had suggested, the evening meant networking, but also a glimpse into the recent and current interns' potential futures. Foundation executive director Jodi Delaney, in a short speech praising and encouraging the class of 2023, had noted the presence of former interns who had been Emmy nominees and in the case of producer-director Rich Preuss, an Emmy Award winner, for producing an interactive-media program related to the Oscars. "What is the rule when you win an Emmy?" she asked him in jest. "You thank the ..." ". . . Television Academy Foundation Internship Program!" Preuss responded.
There was even an attendee, Michael Mulvihill, who in 1993 had interned in network program management for Fox — he is now president, insights and analytics, at Fox Sports — and began a relationship with intern Dionne Nosek, now a DreamWorks Animation executive. Three decades and two children later, they are still together. "[My internship] was an incredible chance to come in and get a toehold in this business," he said later. "And I have no idea where I would be or who I would be with today without it."
Not every Foundation intern may find lifelong love, but as for the Summer Networking Night, summed up Peri Michael, "This is a great opportunity that we're extremely fortunate to have."