Recent TCNJ Graduate Discusses Her Job In The Television Industry, Gives Crucial Tips

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Jaqueline Ilkowitz (right) with co-workers.

 

After graduating from The College of New Jersey in May 2015, Communication Studies major/Interactive Multimedia minor, and former executive station manager of Lions Television, Jaqueline Ilkowitz, landed a pretty awesome job at a pretty well-known company.

I reached out to her and she happily answered my questions.

You work at Comedy Central! What do you do there?

I’m a production coordinator on the Multiplatform Content Strategy team at Comedy Central! This means working on different shows (like Inside Amy Schumer, Key & Peele, Tosh.0, Workaholics) and turning them into an experience for people on different platforms and sites. This involves anything from helping run their social media accounts to creating online-only content for the shows or figuring out what the funniest GIF or meme is going to be in the episode so we can generate social buzz around the show when it airs!

How did you land that job?

I interned in the same department I work in now! When I graduated, I reached out to my former boss and he said that they have a position open and asked if I’d be interested in interviewing for the position.

Coolest Perks? 

It’s really fun to watch comedy shows all day! It’s also fun to work with the people who create the shows to figure out how their show is going to look on all these different apps and platforms (digital is the future of TV!)

You’ve had some pretty impressive internships. What were they and which was your favorite?

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My first internship was at a small beauty PR firm where I learned how to draft press releases and talk to clients. Then I interned at WPST creating commercials, and helping out in the promotions department. Then I interned at Comedy Central and my final internship was at CNN/HLN in their programming department.

For me, Comedy Central was the most fun but I learned very important and valuable lessons from all of my internships!

 

Follow up to that: Can you walk me through the application process from sending in the application to actually getting hired?

I got my beauty PR internship through a family friend so I sent over my resume and spoke to an account executive and a manager and started the following week. I applied through WPST through an online application and an in-person interview. I applied to my Comedy Central and CNN internships online through the Viacom + Turner websites and went through multiple phone/skype/in-person interviews until I finally heard back. Those internships have a lot more applicants so often you’ll have to talk to HR so they can place you in a department that you best fit, and then you interview with those specific departments.

Have you experienced (or have you been aware of) any cons of working in the broadcasting industry? Any Pros? (I certainly hope so!)

It can be a lot of fun but it’s also a lot of hard work and very fast paced. Working on the multiplatform side of it, you learn just how quickly things can change and you have to try to stay on top of topical news so you don’t miss an opportunity.

It can also be hard to get your foot in the door, most people get their jobs through references from people from other places so you just have to be persistent and nice to people!

Which TCNJ classes do you think benefitted you the most in regards to your industry? (This can mean experience/qualifications you’ve gained)

All of my COM classes were certainly helpful in learning about the TV industry and how everything comes together on the TV side. My IMM classes were crucial to me getting my internship in this department in the first place, when I was being interviewed, my interviewers were very impressed with everything I learned in my classes and my ability to combine both the digital and tv sides of the industry.

Any tips on securing an internship?

Do your research before going into an interview!! Also- do something you’re genuinely interested in, it’s a lot more fun when you have passion for the work you’re doing!

Any tips for a college student trying to break into the broadcasting industry?

Internships are CRUCIAL. You learn a lot in the classroom, but you learn the industry by being a part of it.

Any other knowledge you’d like to pass on to the people of the internet?

Love the internet! Keep up the good work with the cat videos, internet.

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