Brandon Charlton looks around the half circle of interns assembled in front of him. “Is there something you want to learn how to do that you haven’t yet?” he asks.
The interns consider the question carefully. They’re gathered on a soundstage on the Full Sail campus, home base of Mojo Brands Media, a nationally syndicated content company that produces programs such as morning news show The Daily Buzz and Emotional Mojo, a program that focuses on motivation, inspiration, and well being. In addition to his role as Studio Operations Manager, Brandon also serves as the company’s Intern Coordinator. After a moment, Taylor Saulsbury, a recent graduate of Full Sail’s Creative Writing for Entertainment bachelor’s program, says she’d like to learn more about editing.
“Good,” says Brandon. Together, they work out a time for Taylor to sit down with someone from the editing team. “Anyone else?” One by one, the interns speak up.
After the meeting, Taylor heads back to her desk, where she’s working on writing a few short, humorous news segments for The Daily Buzz. As she completes each piece, she sends them to a producer, who edits them and sends them back.
“Because I’m still learning, it’s good for me to see the edited version,” explains Taylor, an aspiring comedian. A month ago, she never would have guessed she’d be interning on a television show. When she received the initial job lead from Career Development, she wasn’t sure she’d be a good fit. “It was for a position as a production assistant. I went to school for writing, and I didn’t know anything about production.” Luckily, Taylor’s contact in Career Development was able to clarify the particulars of the job. “There’s actually a lot of opportunities for writers in this position,” says Taylor. “I was all set to move back to Maryland when I found out I got the job.”
Other interns agree that an internship with Mojo Brands offers dynamic opportunities for students across degree programs. One of the biggest advantages to working for a nationally syndicated content company is the vast amount of cultural territory it covers. Interns are able to experience the interconnectedness of the industry first hand.
“Music sales are not actually the driving force of the music business any more,” says Jedidiah Brown, a recent graduate of the Music Business program. “It’s brand integration, product placement, sponsorships, and things of that nature that cause the industry to thrive. Working in television helps me look at that stuff from a different perspective, and there’s a lot of overlap. You can’t separate the entities. It’s all entertainment.”
According to Brandon, the relationship between the Full Sail and Mojo Brands Media is mutually beneficial. Bringing on student help allows the company’s regular employees to focus on the bigger picture while teaching interns the nuances of the business. Because internships are interest driven, students and grads have the ability to direct their experience according to aspects of the business they’re most curious about. “The way I look at it, the program is in their hands,” says Brandon. “We’re bringing them into a structured environment, but giving them the ability to blaze their own path.”
Typically, internships last 240 hours—about three months. Because the company cycles new interns in every two months, there’s nearly a month of overlap between incoming and outgoing students and grads. This allows more seasoned interns to show newer additions to the team the ropes, and offer practical advice. While the company regularly takes on newly graduated Full Sailors as well as active students, Brandon says the best candidates for internships are students who are nearing the end of their degree program. “They already have a knowledge base fresh in their mind,” he says. “They can come in and apply what they learned in the classroom.”
For more information on internship opportunities, visit the Career Development website.