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Joy Gray

Hospitality & Filmmaker Services

Heartland Film

How has your internship helped build skills and clarify your career goals?

My internship has had a direct impact on my career goals because I have had the opportunity to have one-on-one conversations with filmmakers and distributors, both of whom gave me advice and contact information. It was incredible to see that just being myself is going to help me be successful in my career and making connections.

How do you apply your Liberal Arts skills in your internship?

Liberal arts has applied in my internship especially because the festival I'm working with is an international one. The cross-cultural communication skills I developed in programs through Purdue were utilized multiple times, as well as the open-minded and curious nature of liberal arts programs that is particularly beneficial in creative settings.

Describe your typical day as an intern.  

In preparing for the festival, a typical day for me involved watching shorts that would be screened at the festival, organizing information about filmmakers' flights and accommodations, and coordinating schedules to make sure everyone would know how to get where they need to go when they need to be there.

What was the most challenging aspect of your internship?  

The most challenging aspect of my internship was doing the scheduling not actually knowing how things would work out and if what I was doing was going to be beneficial or just busy work. The end goal wasn't always clear for the tasks I was given, but it eventually proved to be helpful.

What was the most exciting thing about your role? 

The most exciting thing about my role has easily been having one-on-one conversations and interactions with filmmakers and industry representatives at the festival. It has been awesome to meet the creators of short films I enjoyed watching.

What surprised you most about your internship? 

I have been most surprised by the genuine and caring personalities of the people I have met over the past couple months, and the team attitude of many of the filmmakers. A lot of them are happy to build each other up, and offer opportunities to me, just so I have more experience in the industry.

Describe the most meaningful experience you had as an intern.

The most meaningful experience I had as an intern would, of course, be the actual festival itself. The way the team came together to do everything required of them, the stressful but positive work environment, the attitudes and openness of filmmakers attending, and the excitement of the patrons coming in was an amazing thing to witness. Meeting the subject of one of the documentaries was the highlight for me--I was starstruck and totally embarrassed myself, but evidently everyone else thought it was hilarious and very sweet, so it actually was one of the highlights of the festival for him as well! That was very impactful for me.

Did you meet with the Liberal Arts Career Center prior to applying for this internship? What kind of assistance did you receive?

I did, I got assistance with my resume.