Internships and Other Professional Development for Students

Internships Pave the Way for Professional Opportunities and Enrich Students’ Experiences While at KU

Professional Development OpportunitiesThe summer after her graduation in 2008, Toni Bolger received an internship at the prestigious Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival. This internship opportunity translated into a full-time arts administration position; Bolger is now the Marketing and Communication Assistant at the oldest and most respected dance festival in the United States.

During his junior year, Josh Nathan attended the FMS internship fair where he was awarded an internship with the BlueCat Screenwriting competition in Los Angeles as a script analyst which involved spending five days in L.A. working with the founder, Gordy Hoffman, a KU alumnus. In his senior year, Josh was awarded an undergraduate research award to write and direct a short senior honors thesis film that he titled A Light Opera. The film screened at several film festivals and was picked up for worldwide distribution in 2012.  Josh is currently living in Los Angeles, where he has worked as a production assistant on three major pictures (directors: Spielberg, Nolan, Thomas Anderson).

In Spring 2011, 13 seniors in the Theatre Department performed for agents, casting directors, KU alumni, and friends in a LA Showcase.  Nicole Hodges-Persley, one of the faculty organizers of the event explained that actors graduating from the KU Theatre program have the capacity to “transition from theatre to television and film work with great energy, finesse and expertise.  Our hope is this showcase will serve as a new resource for entertainment industry professionals as they are seeking new talent for forthcoming projects.”

Every year for the last five years approximately eight students from Visual Art have interned at Van Go Mobile Arts, an arts-based social service agency that provides after-school and summer job-training programs for at-risk teens.

The Film and Media Studies Department hosted another successful Hollywood Hawks Career Orientation Week in Los Angeles over spring break in 2011.  Nine students and two faculty members, Bob Hurst and Matt Jacobson, visited alumni working in the entertainment industry, viewed a live shoot of Glee, and toured Paramount Pictures.

Now the Chief Creative Director and VP of Brand Development for LeSportsSac, Inc., D’Arcy Jensen, BFA, Visual Art, started her career in the fashion industry by completing a summer internship at Ralph Lauren in New York City.

Last summer the Kohler Foundation paid two sculpture students to work as interns on the restoration of the Garden of Eden in Lucas, Kansas.  Provided with a housing and a small salary, the students received training in sculpture restoration.  Both have been invited to work on a new project with Kohler in Maine in summer 2012.