How to Get an Internship at SNL, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers

Landing an internship on a late night comedy show is the crème de la crème of the internship world. And somehow, people seem to get these elusive internships year in and year out… even regular people, not just Lorne Michaels’ children. So, how do you even go about getting your resume looked at for an internship on shows like Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, or Late Night with Seth Meyers? Luck aside, here’s a good place to start:

Network
If there’s one thing you’ll take away from this website, it’s the power of networking, setting up informational interviews, and meeting people in the industry. When it comes to these hard-to-get internships, having someone pass along your resume is the best, if not the only, way to get an internship on a hit show. Utilize your college alumni and friends network to find someone who works at the show, used to work at the show, or even works for the same network (in this case, NBC Universal) or production company (in this case, Broadway Video). Set up an informational interview to make a personal connection. After establishing a relationship, ask about internship openings.

Stay Open
If you’re looking for an internship in the writers’ room or bust, you’re making things much harder on yourself! Be open to internships in other departments, like props, script, or even finance. Don’t sweat it if you think your internship is in a less sexy department, just interning at the show at all is awesome!

Ask Your College Career Office
Let your college career counselor know that you’d really like to intern at a show like SNL, The Tonight Show, or Late Night. Your college career office is there for a reason and presumably they’ve helped students land even tougher gigs. Who knows what connections or advice they might dig up.

Look for Internship Listings
Oftentimes you’ll see internship listings on company websites for interns, so when you do, jump on it. Apply right away and make sure your resume and cover letter are flawless. (An updated resume is something you should always have ready to go.) While getting an internship this way is certainly feasible, the reality is that, as with any high-demand job, most candidates come through connections. So don’t just keep an eye on the company website hoping you’ll get a coveted internship that way.

Keep Trying
Perseverance is the name of the game. If you don’t get an internship at your dream show this semester, keep working at it. Take what you can get and leverage each internship up to the next one.

9 thoughts on “How to Get an Internship at SNL, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers

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    Hello,

    I am watching Tonight Show as I am writing this comment, and just seeing the vibrancy that the show brings to me and the power it has to make people tune in and love it really makes me want to express how much fun and hard work I would do to continue making shows like these even better. I would love the opportunity of an internship and to work under these great shows. I’m a New Yorker and city guy at heart!

    Thanks,
    Andrew Camera

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      Hi Andrew– You’ve already got the #1 thing it takes to succeed in this business and that’s passion! It’s a tough industry and you have to really want to be in it. As for internships, most of the big shows and companies have almost certainly already hired for this summer, so I recommend contacting some smaller production companies and see if they need anyone for the summer, looking for some low-pay PA gigs just to get some experience, or interning locally to beef up your resume and then aim high for next summer. If your dream is to work on a popular show, you have to network a bit and then apply early and strong with a solid resume. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions!

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    I am looking/ very interested in an internship for Spring 2016. I am currently a junior at Samford University in Birmingham, Al. I am a Journalism and Mass Communications major with focus in Public Relations and Broadcasting. I currently have an internship at at local souther radio station, The Rick and Bubba Show. Are there internships for the Spring and if so how can I apply?

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      Hi McLane! Applying now for Spring 2016 is definitely the way to go. You’ll find better and more opportunities the earlier you start. In our Where to Find TV Internships post, you can find some resources to help point you in the right direction. In general, I’d start with company websites and then look at job aggregators like Indeed and LinkedIn. Once you’ve targeted which internships you want, start networking. Always apply online, but also meet with your college career office to see if they can help. They may be able to connect you with students or alumni from your college who have interned and/or work at your target company. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions!

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    I am an international student, Indian studying in India. Hollywood has always fascinated me and its my dream to work on these shows/movies. Wha kind of opportunities does a person like me have, realistically? Considering most of these work through contacts and networking, and sitting here it is beyond my abilities to do that, is it still possible for me to secure one of these internships successfully?

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      Hi Nikita! Thanks for checking out our site. Finding internships from abroad is not easy and you’re right that traditional networking is probably not going to work for you. I’ve done some research and found you should start with any international student office your university might have. I would also go to a career office if your university offers one. You might be eligible for a J-1 visa (this article has more information on that). While it might be difficult to network in the US, you can certainly network in India. Find people who have successfully interned in the US and try to get some advice on what they did to make it happen. For the sake of research, reach out to companies like Disney and NBC that offer formal intern programs and see what their policy is on international interns. Anything is possible!

      Reply

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