Hollywood Internship Program
The UNC Hollywood Internship Program is an industry immersion experience offered by the Department of Communication in the College of Arts and Sciences each summer. Working at internships at production companies, agencies, studios and related businesses, students apply lessons learned in the classroom lecture component of UNC Hollywood while gaining practical skills and learning about careers in the entertainment industry.
The work and study opportunity provides students with exposure to renowned producers, directors, screenwriters, cinematographers and agents, as well as hands-on opportunities at state-of-the-art technical facilities.
Our program began with a handful of interns in 1992, and since then, more than 300 Carolina students have come to Los Angeles to discover their place in the entertainment industry. They have attended lectures by many luminaries in the business and learned about all aspects of film and television production–from editing to production design, directing to acting to distribution, and development to music composition to talent management. The opportunity to get the BIG picture from successful Hollywood icons and to understand how various elements of the business come together to make the final product is invaluable.
Since 1994, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has supported the program with more than $200,000 in grants (which go directly to intern scholarships) and in-kind donations. In a city where the internship opportunities may seem most competitive for students from local schools like USC and UCLA, UNC-Chapel Hill has been consistently recognized by the academy for the quality of our internship program.
Thanks to the program’s longevity, many of our former interns are now hosts to current interns. Networking through the program has provided career guidance and oftentimes employment. After 27 years, the program continues to thrive, sending around 20 students each year to fulfill lifelong goals. In 2019 the internship was founded, and leadership for the program is Director Dayci Brookshire. Assistant Directors are Kristopher Wile and Max Carraher.
To this day, through UNC-Hollywood, lives have been changed and continue to be changed. Art is being created and important stories are being told.
Read more about the Hollywood Internship Program in Carolina Arts & Sciences Magazine.
Special support is provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Gifts from private donors, including generous alumni, friends and family, also help make UNC Hollywood possible—providing support for internships, faculty and educational programming. Make a gift.
Without Paul Edwards and his support during my internship process and into my early career, I don’t know where I would have found a start to my career in Hollywood–or even that I would have a career. I’m a successful producer on two television shows now thanks to Paul, and I am forever grateful for his guidance.
– Brian Ferguson, ’03
Thanks to the UNC-Hollywood program, I was placed as an intern at the company for which I am still working. I love my job. I get to produce films and documentaries that I really care about. I am forever grateful to the program for helping me make the transition from my studies at UNC to the career I now have in the industry.
– Katie McNeil, ’08
Former intern and current mentor/intern preceptor
In a town that’s all about experience and who you know, the UNC Hollywood Internship Program is extremely helpful and important to any Tar Heel who dreams of making it in Hollywood.
– Cole Hammack, ’12
Getting Credit for Your Internship
Once you’re accepted into the program, you are required to take two courses in the 2nd Summer Session for this internship. The first course is COMM 690, Special Topics in Media Studies, for three credit hours. The second course is COMM 393, Internship, for three credit hours. You will be registered for these courses by the Department of Communication Registrar during the registration period for Summer School. You will also need to apply for Summer School financial aid, should you need assistance with paying tuition and/or living expenses.
Since you will be taking these courses as part of the program, you will need to postpone graduation from May until August. If you have applied to graduate in the spring, you will need to withdraw your name through Academic Advising once you have been confirmed as being selected into the program. (You will still be able to walk in both the University and departmental commencement ceremonies in the spring, but your official graduation will not be until August.)
We strongly encourage interns to live together during the Summer. Housing can be found through AirBnB, west side rentals.com and various other avenues.
Once accepted, students will be given more information regarding where to live.
You will need a car to get around in L.A. Students usually drive a car there, often sharing expenses and carpooling. You might plan on taking your own vehicle, renting a car or carpooling with a fellow intern working close to your internship.
Since you will be enrolled for six credit hours, you will likely be covered by UNC student health insurance. Make sure you check to see if it will continue over the summer.
You will be required to have UNC liability insurance, which is usually $20-25 per intern for the entire summer. This insurance protects you, your internship employer and the University. Please do not confuse this with medical health insurance, which will need to be your own coverage plan.
The application process for summer 2022 internships has begun. Please see recording from the informational session with Mark Robinson here! Please note that you will need to use your UNC email/UNC portal to access the video. Please also note that the program offers priority to Seniors, but Juniors may apply.
The Hollywood Internship Program is open only to Communication majors and WSS minors. To apply, please follow the Resume-Template. Resumes are limited to one page, so condense your experiences/education into a concise document. Resumes should be written with the goal of working at a company rather than simply getting into the internship program. They should fill the page.
No high school experience should be on your resume unless you worked or performed on a feature film or network television series. For faculty references, you will not need letters of recommendation; simply include the names of Department of Communication faculty who are most familiar with your work or with whom you’ve had recent class experience. The application deadline for the summer 2022 internship is October 13, 2021 at 11:59 pm.
NEW this year! Submit an ONLINE APPLICATION via the portal below. After your submission, follow the instructions on the application confirmation page to sign up for a 10 minute interview with Interim Hollywood Internship Program Director, Dayci Brookshire. Interview dates will be on TBA
Internships take place with companies doing business in the most competitive arena in the world: the entertainment industry. These companies are not in the business to teach. You have to learn on the run and by osmosis! While in the program, you will work firsthand with those doing the job you are interested in pursuing, find out where your interests really lie and learn what it takes to succeed.
Applicants should be aware that once they are accepted into the program, the students work alongside Dayci Brookshire to secure internships. The process does not result in automatic internship placement.
The typical length of internship is determined to some extent by the student, but the time frame is June to August. Many students have used the program’s networking opportunities and class information to score a job in the industry after their internship ended.
Past internships have included placement at:
- Universal Studios
- Paramount Studios
- Warner Brothers Studio
- Lion’s Gate Studio
- Marvel Studios
- NBC network
- CBS network
- USA network
- It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (TV show)
- King of the Hill (TV show)
Application deadline: October xx, xxxx at 11:59 pm | Interview Dates on November 5th and 6th