Learn & Explore
Spring 2023 Events
Check back soon for spring events in this Career Community.
There are no upcoming events at this time.
Jobs & Internships on Handshake
Here’s a preview of just a few positions currently available on Handshake. Note that the date shown is not the application due date, but is the date the position was posted!
Explore Career Paths
What does it mean to work in fields such as Arts Administration, Film & Television, Public Relations, Publishing and more? Read more below about each of these areas, plus discover industry specific job boards to search for internships and full time positions.
- Arts Administration
- Film & Television
- Music Performance
- Public Relations & Communications
- Radio & Podcasting
- Writing & Publishing
Arts administration encompasses all the varied roles required to make performing, visual and theater arts happen. This can include stage management, fundraising, marketing, artistic planning (the coordination and booking of artists, performer and artist relations, and artistic programming) and more!
Having coursework or hands on experience as a performer or artist yourself is a big benefit to working in this field.
There are many different roles required to make a movie or television show. From production, casting, writing to post-production and distribution and more, there are a wide array of positions required to make the industry function, just look at the ending credits of every movie or television show!
Most jobs in the film and television industry are located in Los Angeles, New York or Atlanta, but there are similar roles at public television stations all around the country as well. Many recent grads start their careers in production assistant or executive assistant roles.
The first thing you need to succeed as a musician is practice, and the second thing is determination. You may work as a full time orchestral performer in one large orchestra or you may make your living performing in many regional, per-service orchestras and ensembles, and other various gigs. Musicians also often cultivate a private teaching studio as another source of income. Additionally many musicians create their own performance opportunities, this requires entrepreneurial initiative but is a great way to ensure creative fulfillment!
If you’re a member of the musicians union you also get regular access to audition announcements – https://www.afm.org/
Roles in public relations and the broader umbrella of communications are some of the most versatile and broad reaching types of positions that you will find across every industry and sector. Working in PR or Communications can take you to a small non-profit organization or to a Fortune 500 Company. You might work in tech, media, government or healthcare sectors. The unifying characteristic is that these roles are defined by their ability to talk to the public or audience about the company or clients they work for. They shape the conversation and narrative around an organization through their writing and creative communications.
While there are many similarities between film and television production, radio and podcasting require their own unique skill set and competencies. One of the best ways to build those skills is to make your own podcast, and the good news is that it’s very easy to get started on your own. A lot of radio and podcasting professionals start out by freelancing so it is key to have samples of your work. While you’re on campus be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to work at WSUM!
Roles in publishing can include roles such as agent, editor, designer, sales, distribution and more. The publishing industry is almost exclusively centered in New York City, although there are smaller indie publishing houses based in other cities around the country including University of Wisconsin Press right here in Madison. If you’re interested in earning money from your writing you can find work as a copywriter, or submit your personal nonfiction, fiction or poetry writing to literary journals.
Communications, Entertainment, & the Arts FAQ
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What specific skills and experiences should a resume include for this field?
Students sometimes worry that if they don’t have paid experience working in the industry that they’ll be at a significant disadvantage. But this isn’t necessarily true. Firstly, any work experience is great to have. Don’t exclude your barista job or summer camp counselor experience just because you think it’s not relevant to the industry you want to work in. Early in your career your resume is about showing your capabilities and potential, and you can gain professional skills in many different ways.
Additionally, if you’re interested in a creative field (which is just about everything in these industries) then be sure to include experiences that showcase how you’ve built and practiced your creative skills. This could be anything from a group project you did for a class (short film, screenwriting, public relations for example) or a personal project or side hustle you take on outside of your coursework.
I’ve seen students include their Etsy store, their personal film project, their social media work with their student organizations, and their personal freelancing or teaching work on their resumes. These are all fantastic examples of experiences to include. If you’re concerned that you don’t have examples of creative work yet, it’s okay, there’s still time! Focus on getting involved in student organizations where you can work on polishing those skills or meeting other like minded students to motivate you and collaborate with. Some great examples are Advertising Club, Hollywood Badgers, Wisconsin Union Directorate, and WSUM.
Lastly, it’s often helpful to have a few different versions of your resume, including one “Comprehensive Resume” that has all of your past work written out and can easily be cut down and re-ordered to highlight different types of experience based on the opportunity that interests you.
Ready to get started on your resume? Check out the SuccessWorks Resume page, and set up an appointment with a Peer Advisor or Graduate Intern for feedback on your draft!
Where can I find jobs and internships in these fields?
A great place to start is right here on this page, under the “explore career options” tab you’ll find specialized job boards for each area and I’m always looking for more and updating those resources. You can also look at the feed from handshake which is already curated to include positions on handshake that fall within this career community.
If you’re not ready for a full time job or internship be sure to look at the UW Student Job board. Places like Wisconsin Union Theater, PBS Wisconsin, Mead Witter School of Music and many other offices all post there to hire students interested in working part-time in communications, media, or the arts.
You can also subscribe to my newsletter where I will feature individual opportunities each month. Many of these will be focused on part-time or summer opportunities you can do while you’re a full-time student but I will also occasionally share full-time positions, or fellowships for graduating seniors and recent graduates.
When do jobs and internships get posted?
Full-time jobs in these industries are posted year round. However organizations typically hope their newly hired employee will start work within a month or two of interviewing so don’t apply for a job if you still have an entire semester of school to finish up first! An average hiring timeline will have a job posted more or less 3 months before they hope for an employee’s first day of work.
Internships are also typically posted year round and will see a slightly, but not significantly longer hiring timeline.. If you’re interested in a summer internship the best time to start looking is December-March. A few internships may be posted earlier than that and a few will be posted later than that but that timeframe is when the vast majority of summer internships will be posted. A good rule of thumb is that the larger the organization the longer the hiring timeline. So if you want to get a summer internship at NBC Universal, expect that position to be posted in November or December. But small organizations can still provide fantastic internship experiences so if you’re applying in March you’ll still likely to have a great summer internship experience.
Keep an eye out for the internships through the Community Impact Internship Program. Those positions are posted in February and March for positions that start in late May or early June.
Are internships in these fields paid or unpaid?
Increasingly it is standard for reputable internships in these industries to be paid. Occasionally very small organizations who simply do not have the budget to fund an internship will advertise an unpaid position. But don’t worry, SuccessWorks has the SuccessWorks Intern Fund to help provide funding for students who want to take on one of these unpaid internships. You can also take advantage of the SuccessWorks Community Impact Internship Program to gain experience at a local nonprofit doing work in arts and humanities for a stipend or hourly wage, depending on your eligibility.
What should I be doing as a student to prepare for a career in these areas?
The best thing you can do to prepare yourself for a career in any of these creative fields is to make sure you are working on and improving your craft. You can do this through your coursework, student organization involvement, part-time work, internships or even in your free time. If you’re interested in working in a creative field you should also be a rabid consumer of the medium you’re looking to create. If you want to be a podcast producer, listen to a lot of podcasts, if you want to be a writer, read a lot of books etc. You won’t know what your creative voice is or the skillset you need to hone unless you observe and absorb as much of the creative field as possible.
And finally, remember, filmmakers don’t make an Oscar winning film on their very first time picking up a camera, musicians don’t play a concerto perfectly the first time they see the music, so the sooner you give yourself permission to just start creating regardless of how imperfect the outcome, the sooner you’ll improve your skills.
When should I make an advising appointment with Megan?
If you’re just getting started with your resume or cover letter, the Resume and Cover Letters page has all you need to put together a solid draft! Then, our Peer Advisors and Graduate Interns can help you make sure your application materials are ready to submit and highlight all of your relevant skills and experience at an Express Advising Appointment.
Conversations with me will be most useful for you if you already have some idea of what kind of work you’re interested in exploring more deeply or if you have a specific goal (searching for a specific kind of job/internship, connecting with someone working in the industry, preparing for an interview, weighing multiple opportunities) that you’d like advice and guidance on.
I can provide nuanced feedback on your application materials, and guidance on how to represent your unique skills and experiences as a creative arts student on your resume, cover letter or interview answers.
It’s even better if you make more than one appointment with me throughout the application process as I can help make sure you’re staying on track with your preparation from application through negotiating and accepting an offer!
Check out these sample resumes for an idea of how to get started. Looking for more general tips on resumes, cover letters, networking, and more? Visit our Tips & Tools pages.
For more specific advice on Communications, Entertainment, and the Arts opportunities, make an appointment with Megan Aley.