Media, Entertainment & Journalism Careers
This broad category includes film, print, radio and television.
Hands-on experience is crucial in these fields whether through class projects, independent projects, internships, or the school newspaper, literary journal, radio, or television station. Versatility—writing well and dabbling in editing software, for example—is favored, particularly in entry-level positions.
Hiring timelines vary in these industries, but many big companies have leadership, fellowship, or rotational programs for rising seniors and new graduates. These industries are competitive, so there can be great value in starting your career in a local market or smaller production company and working your way up. Networking is also crucial.
There are schools for film and journalism—Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television—but it’s not necessary to get a degree in order to get a job in the industry. Hands-on experience is a great way to get your foot in the door.
For an insider’s guide to these industries, check out our creative careers playlist on YouTube for interviews with alumni and employers.
If you are interested in media, entertainment or journalism, you must follow that industry closely. Read trade magazines, newsletters, and popular industry websites. Join relevant email lists. Follow industry insiders on social media. Research the types of positions that are available in those fields. Firsthand, available to Georgetown students for free, is a good place to start your search. Company websites, O*NET, and the Occupational Outlook Handbook are also helpful resources.
Firsthand Guides. Firsthand publishes helpful industry guides, including:
- Firsthand Guide to Newspaper and Magazine Jobs
- Firsthand Guide to Recording Industry Jobs
- Firsthand Guide to Film Jobs
- Firsthand Guide to Media and Entertainment Jobs
Columbia University Libraries provides details on various journalism organizations and associations.
Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)—SPJ works to inspire and educate current and future journalists through professional development.
Hollywood Reporter—Entertainment trade publication focusing on film, television, and music.
IndieWire—IndieWire covers film, TV, and digital news for passionate fans and industry insiders.
Variety—Entertainment news, film reviews, awards, film festivals, box office, entertainment industry conferences.
Deadline—Deadline is often the first to break up-to-the-minute entertainment, Hollywood and media news, with an unfiltered, no-holds-barred analysis of events.
Attend employer information sessions, industry events—on and off-campus — and connect with the local chapter of popular professional organizations. Women in Film and Video of Washington, D.C., for example, is dedicated to advancing the career development and achievement of professionals working in all areas of screen-based media and related disciplines.
Professional associations host a variety of professional development, educational and networking events. If the cost of membership is prohibitive, contact leadership and ask if there are sliding scale prices for students. Volunteering for a conference, educational, or social event is another great way to connect with leaders in the industry.
Develop a LinkedIn profile that communicates your personal and professional brand. Joining groups related to your industry is a great way to meet new people, find mentors, contacts, and ask them questions. Reach out to alumni through Hoya Gateway and the alumni section of Georgetown’s LinkedIn page. Our website provides helpful guidelines on networking, including tips on building your LinkedIn profile.
Making Connections at Georgetown
Georgetown offers a number of opportunities for Hoyas to get involved. Check out Georgetown Entertainment and Media Alliance (GEMA) and GEMA’s senior year externship to New York or Los Angeles. Georgetown also offers minors in film and video and journalism. Additionally, Gelardin New Media Center offers free courses in media and technology.
Joining a school club is another good way to learn more about the industry, develop your skills, and get hands-on experience. Become a tutor at the Writing Center or join one of the many campus newspapers or journals: The Hoya, The Voice, GUTV and WGTB Radio. You can also participate in a group based on a personal interest and develop your professional skills. For example, if you are interested in video production, you could join Georgetown University Women in Leadership and work on the communications team.
Getting a job on or off campus jobs is another excellent way to build skills that employers value. According to a new report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), the following are key attributes employers seek in new hires — all qualities Georgetown students have in abundance:
- Problem-solving skills
- Ability to work in a team
- Communication skills (written)
- Strong work ethic
- Analytical/quantitative skills
- Communication skills (verbal)
Preparing Your Application Materials
To better understand what skills to highlight on your resume, check out internships, fellowships, and entry-level positions in publishing. EntertainmentCareers.Net, Media Bistro, Journalism Jobs, Indeed, and employer websites are great places to research industry opportunities.
Your resume should be one page. Use strong action verbs and focus on your skills and accomplishments to show (not just tell) an employer that you have the required abilities. See our resume formatting guide for more tips and advice.
Be thoughtful and concise when writing cover letters. Use specific examples to demonstrate your skills and abilities. Lead with your industry experience, if you have it, and stress transferable skills.
The purpose of a cover letter is to convince someone to interview you. For more on cover letters, see our cover letter tips.
In the creative industries, you may be required to have a portfolio or “book” of your best work or a website that doubles as your portfolio. You may also need to have a visual resume, either as a supplement to your traditional resume or instead of it. Be sure to research the application requirements in your industry. Free virtual tools for designing a portfolio include WIX, SquareSpace, and Journo Portfolio. YouTube and Vimeo are also great options to showcase your work.
Internships enable you to gain valuable professional experience prior to graduation.
If you are having a difficult time finding a full-time job after graduation you may want to consider a post-graduation internship or fellowship, which is common in these industries, and often leads to full-time employment.
Select Employers and Internships