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:
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.
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.
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.