Networking: The Connection to your dreams

Networking is the gateway to success. For Darienne Arahan, it led her to an amazing internship in her prospective field, and a place to creatively express her talents. As the former Video Production Intern for Complex TV, Arahan discusses the benefits of networking, having passion for your craft, as well as different strategies on successful networking.

Itsawritestyle: Why is networking important?

Darienne Arahan: I LOVE NETWORKING! To get your name out there is a great thing. I understand how people are shy, but I believe that there is a type of networking out there for everyone. It’s important to introduce yourself to people and build mutually beneficial relationships with them. It’s also something that gets easier over time. If you think you ruined your chances at networking after your first experience, don’t worry! The great thing about networking is that it offers a new opportunity to try again with each new person you talk to.

Also, networking does not have to be done at an official networking event. I know a few friends who network through family and friends and built connections through that. There’s also spontaneous conversations that happen during an outing. If you need a hand in getting your name out there, don’t be afraid to ask from those willing to help you.

Itsawritestyle: Explain Complex Media and its purpose.

Arahan: Complex Media is a media platform founded by fashion designer Marc Ecko that targets trends and trendsetters who have the capability to change the movement in American pop culture and what we consider “mainstream.” By adapting their means of culture convergence to the ever-changing world of technology, Complex Media aims to be the number one source of information on all aspects of culture and help the complex generation be in the know.

Itsawritestyle: What was your title at Complex TV?

Arahan: I was a Video Production Intern in the spring and summer of 2014.

Itsawritestyle: What inspired you to apply?

Arahan: Before I became a Video Production Intern, I was a Marketing and Ad Sales Intern for Complex during Fall 2013. It was there that I fell in love with the work environment that Complex had. It seemed to have mastered the work-play atmosphere that is rising in companies now. This means that Complex was a corporate place, but it would be no surprise to see someone boarding around the office or to have drinks in the office on Friday. I liked how the office was never that serious, but the work was completed by the assigned deadlines. It was always good vibes.

When my internship ended, I knew I wanted to work in an office like this but also wanted to expand my experience with video production. It was just my luck that a fellow Marketing intern spotted a Video Intern position for Complex TV and forwarded me the application link. My former supervisor in Marketing was also moving to the Complex TV department so he put in a reference for me.

Itsawritestyle: What were your daily responsibilities?

Arahan: On days I acted as office PAs (production assistant), I would deal with paperwork on shoots. This includes making sure every single cent spent on a shoot is accounted for and has a receipt to match.I were also sent on runs to get items for shoots.

On days that I was assisting on shoots, we would be responsible for sound , video and getting people to interview. We would also handle the waiver forms to make sure that people featured in the videos were signing off their okay to be on video.

Itsawritestyle: Was it paid or unpaid? Are there benefits to either one?

Arahan: It was unpaid, but I was reimbursed for travel. Honestly, that was a huge plus. I did not mind it being unpaid, but I live in Central Jersey, so making the trip to New York three days a week could get pricey. To have my travels reimbursed was a big help for this internship and my commitment for it. If you find yourself wanting an internship, but it’s unpaid try to negotiate travel reimbursements.

Itsawritestyle: Did you face any challenges?

Arahan: I always put pressure on myself to impress my boss. I would always focus on the next thing I could do to be a great production intern, that I never focused on the present task. Sometimes, if I didn’t catch myself, I would end up giving mediocre efforts to a task because I would be thinking of doing the next task.

Itsawritestyle: What were the positive effects?

Arahan: It taught me the importance of organization, time management, and to always be helpful. I think there’s nothing wrong with lending a hand in any way possible for a shoot. If you see someone running between two cameras, offer help to watch the shoot for one. If you hear that someone is looking for a sound operator and you find yourself with nothing else to do, offer assistance.

You’re not only helping them, you’re helping yourself by building experience. But also beware that you’re not spreading yourself too thin!

Itsawritestyle: Did this experience contribute to your major in college?

Arahan: Yes! I majored in Journalism and Media Studies. By the spring of my Junior year, I completed all my required classes for my major so this internship helped me stay active in my passion. It also taught me a lot of out-of-classroom skills and experience.

Itsawritestyle: How did interning prepare you for your future career?

Arahan: It helped me realize that I love web videos. I like the ease and immediate, tangible results of web content. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the idea of working for TV and Film production. I just love the concept of short-form content and web video more. I think this internship allowed me to learn more about the craft, myself and how I can immerse myself into the web video industry.

Itsawritestyle: Advice to students interested in interning, but don’t know where to start?

Arahan: Google and networking. No really, get on Google with all of your questions about interning friends! The Marketing internship was my first one ever and before that, I never once had a professional resume. I ended up going on Google to search resume templates, keywords to use, and how to feel like an ideal candidate despite my lack of experience. Networking is also important because those people may not help you get an internship, but they can help prepare you for one, as well as how to apply.

You can use Google to find internships. I know sites like Indeed, FindSpark, GlassDoor, Velvet Jobs, and LinkedIn have great job search engines. Use them! Make sure your résumé is legible, concise and informative. I was told recently by a friend at a networking event that people should really think things through before saying no to an opportunity. It may not seem like an ideal opportunity, but you never know- a new passion may spark!

HUGE TIP: Utilize social media. Twitter is a great way to let people know your interests. A simple tweet each day that has you partaking in the conversations on your interests show how willing you are to be involved.

Also build up your SEO. Create a website, claim all your social media handles. You want it so that your name is ever Googled, a recruiter can see how adept you are at social media active you are online.

Itsawritestyle: Social media handles?

Arahan: On Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, About.Me:@dariennearahan