Internships

Internship Resources

Why sign up for an internship?

Undergraduate film studies students are eligible for internships in a variety of film, visual arts, and media areas as soon as they have completed 36 credits toward their degrees. They can then earn either 3 or 6 credits toward their degrees by successfully completing an internship (see below for how to do this).

We strongly encourage students to participate in internships early in their film studies careers. Internships can provide invaluable experience by introducing students to the career possibilities open to them upon graduation. They also allow students to determine exactly what aspect of the film and video or media field they would like to work in after graduation.

Internships also open doors with future employers by introducing students to the institutions where they might later find employment. Most organizations or businesses would rather hire someone they know and like than take a chance on an unknown.

Internships also look good on resumes; they can be a good source of references for a prospective employer and they generally represent the students' proactive attitudes in a positive light. Finally, there is no substitute for a real-world experience that allows a student to put into action the skills acquired in one's academic pursuits.

Notice to all Students Interested in Internships

Please note these internships may require students to work at a facility outside the university, and these facilities may or will require a criminal background check, and an act 33/34 clearance (if applicable), and perhaps a drug screen to determine whether the applicant is qualified to participate in the internship. 

Additionally, in order to become licensed (when this is applicable), many states will inquire as to whether the applicant has been convicted of a misdemeanor, a felony, or a felonious or illegal act associated with alcohol, and/or substance abuse.

How do I set up an internship?

Several Web sites within the Pitt community list internship possibilities for students. Students should check these sites first.

  1. The Office of Experiential Learning (OEL). Located in 209 Thackeray Hall, the OEL has a Web site within the Pitt system that lists internship opportunities for all undergraduate fields. Film internships are listed in the Media and Communications categories in their system.
  2. Pitt in Hollywood. This student club regularly invites former Pittsburghers who now work in Hollywood to return to Pittsburgh and give talks and presentations on various aspects of the film business. These guests often have specific internships available for students.
  3. The Sprocket Guild. This student club helps student filmmakers obtain the help and resources needed to produce their own films. The organization works with local production businesses and local directors, cinematographers, camera operators, etc., and offers on-the-job help from these experts as well as workshops and presentations on the film industry.
  4. Students are also invited to check out our list of internship options.
  5. In addition, we encourage students to look around on their own both in the real world and on the Web for other possibilities. If a student does find a suitable organization that is not on any of the University's Web sites and that is willing to hire the student for an internship, the student should follow the procedure outlined above. The organization will then be added to our listings.

When a student finds a promising internship, he or she should:

  1. Contact the business and set up an interview or submit a resume. Some businesses will ask for both.
  2. Get an internship form from the Office of Experiential Learning (OEL) in 209 Thackeray Hall and then contact Ellen Bishop (517Q CL, ebishop@pitt.edu), the faculty intern sponsor.
  3. If the student is offered an internship position, the student should contact Ellen Bishop and draw up an exact description of the number of hours the student will work and the type of work, both academic and on the job, that the student will undertake. Usually a student works between 10 and 20 hours a week for not more than 12 weeks, keeps an ongoing weekly journal, and writes a 10–12-page paper at the end of the internship reflecting on the student's experiences. In rare cases students can earn 6 credits for an internship, but this must be negotiated with the faculty sponsor.
  4. The student and faculty sponsor can then fill out the OEL form and the student can return it to 209 Thackeray Hall and prepare to report to work.