The Internship Series: Finding the Right Internship

Having the guts to go for a high-profile internship is not easy but, Manhattan College senior, Alexis Montagano, went straight for the big leagues and landed an internship with Comedy Central under Viacom, one of the biggest media conglomerates in the United States.

Alexis Montagano is currently interning with Viacom. Alexis Montagano/Courtesy

As a communication major with a concentration in public relations, Montagano became involved in Manhattan College’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter and was definitely prepared through all of her courses.

After Montagano applied straight through the Viacom website, she heard back a day later for a phone interview. Viacom contacted her again after her phone interview two weeks later to talk with her potential supervisor, and was then offered the choice to work for VH1 or Comedy Central one month later.

“I’m excited to work right with the publicist,” Montagano said about her first day. There, she was excited to gain close, hands on experience which she had never received before while working at two previous internships.

She began her first day in the press department, monitoring the press on different shows on Comedy Central.

A typical day for Montagano consists of her doing “media monitoring” which is researching all the shows on Comedy Central and seeing who is talking about their shows.

Montagano’s job of endlessly searching for each Comedy Central show is an important one. Through this, she and other interns research the top stories from each show and put them in a list called the “Daily Digest” for their supervisors. With that information, their supervisors reach out to editors of newspapers and magazines to write about them.

“[If] the people write and talk about the [Comedy Central] shows then it’s considered successful for that week,” Montagano said.

Never in a million years did Montagano believe that she would be working at Comedy Central and is taking total advantage of all the experience and opportunities it brings. “It’s really cool to be working on shows that my friends watch and that I watch,” Montagano said.

Her current project is helping gain media attention for Comedy Central shows to become nominated for the Emmy’s. Their primary goal is to get Trevor Noah to become nominated and eventually win the award.

Finding the right internship was not always easy for Montagano. Prior to Comedy Central, Montagano had held two other internship positions and had never felt fully comfortable at either place. Now at Comedy Central, she feels like she has found a match.

“My advice for other people is to definitely research the company, look at reviews and know the history of the company,” she said.