How I got my dream internship - part 1

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Leoni Jesner, 20, from Glasgow had the summer of a lifetime Interning in L.A. for the summer. Find out how she went about securing the internship of her dreams in the USA, her first impressions of the city she will call home for the summer and her typical working day. 

For as long as I can remember, everything I heard and read about Los Angeles excited me.  It’s made out to be a world of its own, and I can safely say that my time spent here has confirmed this. I decided to participate on BUNAC’s Internship USA programme because it was the perfect opportunity to explore the city, meet new people and gain work experience at the same time. 

Months of planning and saving went into my trip, not to mention the hours and hours of research. Obtaining my internship was not an easy task, but it definitely paid off in the end. I sent resumes and cover letters to over 50 employers who were advertising on sites such as Intern Queen and Craigslist. Following a phone interview with Hollywoodlife.com, I was offered an internship and grabbed it with both hands. As time moved on, I became more excited and nervous about the journey ahead. I decided to go the trip alone as I feel this is the best way to get to the most out of going to a new place as well as allowing you to be you. I felt it was a fresh start and escape from normality. 

After two flights and a well planned navigation through LAX to the shuttle bus; I arrived at my hotel. I booked in for two nights as I had set up apartment viewings to go to the week before I left; something I would strongly suggest you do. I am lucky enough to have a friend living in LA, and she was extremely helpful taking me to the viewings. Needless to say I found a lovely place to stay, an apartment in a university complex. It’s very easy to meet people here. Every time I sit by the pool I am introduced to a new person, and I have made a lot of friends this way!  There are four of us living in my apartment, with two to a room. It was a bit strange at first sharing a room as I have never had to do this at my university in Edinburgh, but after a few nights I settled in just fine. It’s a very relaxed surrounding, and Westwood is an area full of students as this is where UCLA is located. 

The only downside to LA is the lack of public transport and the crazy traffic! Although my work is only 12 miles from the apartment, it takes me one and half hours to get there, and then even longer getting back. However the metro system is actually very good, cheap and usually reliable. I work three or four days a week at my internship, sometimes in the office and the rest of the time at events. Nothing could have prepared me for the job at hand though. It is the best work experience a fashion/celebrity/America-loving girl could ask for! Here is a typical work day for me:

7.30am - Get up and ready, stagger bleary eyed to the bus stop and go to work

10am - Arrive at the office and get briefed on the day ahead

10.15am - Start research for the blog and carry out tasks as needed

12.30pm - Grab some lunch and eat at my desk and continue with research

3pm - Research and write up questions for the event

4pm - Leave the office to come back to the apartment

7pm - Stuff down some dinner and go over questions for the event

10pm - Return to apartment and transcribe interviews to send over to my boss

The days are long but full of excitement and I get to meet the most amazing people! I have attended after-parties, benefits, charity dinners, film premieres and met celebrities such as Ryan Seacrest, Nicole Richie, Keri Hilson, Lauren Conrad and Christopher Lloyd. 

UPDATE: Check back in to hear about Leoni’s celebrity sightings and her adventures in the US here.

Inspired by Leoni? Find your own Internship and sign up to our Internship USA programme or give us a call on 033 3999 7516