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Career and Internship Connections

   Volume 5 Springl 2020 - Grand Valley State University - Department of Visual and Media Arts


Employer Information about Internships


 Lowing Light and Grip is West Michigan’s resource for motion picture lighting and grip equipment rentals. Dave Lowing, the owner of Lowing Light and Grip, is a GVSU alum and he has made internship opportunities available to GVSU Film and Video Production (FVP) students. Intern Kara McCallef found the internship was an invaluable addition to her education and professional ambitions. This internship profile video was filmed by FVP alum, Margo Shaw and Photography major Chris Bergeron, and edited by Jordan Skutar, a current FVP student.  

Career Advisor for the Department of Visual and Media Arts

Strange times we’re experiencing right now thanks to

I’m sure you’re thinking that could go without saying, yet every correspondence we’ve received in the last few weeks has started this way. This is a strange, and often confusing time, for companies and organizations. Yet, there is something about stating the obvious that connects us, reminds us that we are all on the same page. 

GVSU values their employer partners. We hope it’s obvious. We could not develop the next wave of Film and Video professionals without the generosity of employers who are willing to provide a learning environment where students can test their classroom skills in the workplace. Internships are considered a high-impact educational practice that would be impossible without our valuable employer partners. 

During this strange season in education and the world-of-work, we hope we can continue these partnerships, recognizing they may look different than they have in the past. Some things to consider:

If you are working remotely, is it possible for an intern to complete remote assignments as well?

Do you have a project that’s waiting to be finished, but you just don’t have the needed staff? Could it be completed by an intern?

While many of us are discovering what it means to work where we live, and live where we work, college students have been doing that for quite some time. This is just one of the valuable perspectives an intern can bring to the workplace.

Not sure how to bring on an intern during this strange time? Would you consider a remote intern, but not certain what steps would be needed? Maybe you’ve never had an intern but it seems like the time is right and you need help getting started?  The GVSU Career Center has great internship resources for employers on our website including COVID-19 internship resources: https://www.gvsu.edu/careers/employer-internships-co-ops-68.htm

For a more in-depth conversation about virtual internship programs, GVSU Career Center will be offering a virtual employer internship training program on May 13 at 2:00. 
Pre-registration is required:
Virtual Internships 

A lot of things have changed, but what hasn’t changed is the value of internships for students and companies and our appreciation for your willingness to make these valuable experiences possible.

For more information on virtual internships or developing an internship program, contact Lisa Knapp, GVSU Career Center, knapplis@gvsu.edu or 616-331-2587, or Suzanne Zack, Film & Video Internship Coordinator at zacks@gvsu.edu.

For more information on developing an internship program, contact Kristie Scanlon: scanlokr@gvsu.edu or 616-331-6708.


Danny Mohill, Post Production Manager at Ideology Productions about intern, Breana Malloy:

“Breana was really fast at completing projects and it was great to see her willingness to jump into other areas of production!”


“This trip changed a lot of people's lives!”
– Troy Meekhof, student participant 
During the GVSU 2020 Spring Break, NYC and LA Alums invited current students to their respective cities for a week of career exploration. During the "Location Scout Your Career" week, students and alums met for a gathering where alums socialized and mentored students by sharing advice, insights and encouragement.  
“I appreciated hearing everyone's stories on how they got to their positions. It made me feel better about starting "at the bottom" of a company and working my way up. It also seemed a little less scary but instead more reasonable to do.” - Emma Hankey, student participant
Throughout the week, students visited alumni at their work place for tours and conversations.  In LA, alumni invited students to tour Disney, Dreamworks, Fox Studios, Family Guy, and Amasia Entertainment, among others. In New York, students visited Harbor Pictures, Adobe Stock, Retro Report, and Columbia University.
“The majority (if not all) of the companies we visited are closed to the public, so you have to know someone to get in. This provides a peak into what it's like to work in the city and at these companies which is an experience I am so grateful to have had. Having these alum to ourselves for an hour or two was so beneficial and they could really dive into what they do as well as how they got to their current position and could give us tips and advice.”
- Holly Tumbarello, student participant 
The GVSU Film & Video Alumni Chapter interns, Troy Meekhof and Kendra Endline created these videos about the student experience: Location Scout in NYC and Location Scout in LA
Alumni are hoping to expand "Location Scout Your Career" to other cities next year.  If you are interested in welcoming students to your city, contact Suzanne Zack:  zacks@gvsu.edu.


In February, with the support of the GVSU Career Center Internship mini-grant program, Lisa Knapp and Suzanne Zack travelled to Chicago to meet with alums, explore internship opportunities and attend the annual Self-Employed Artists (SEA) Conference.  Here are some highlights from their trip:

Lisa Knapp and Suzanne Zack learned a great deal about the connection between working in the arts and a lucrative career! They met professionals, artists, and educators and attended panel discussions, workshops, and presentations. They valued the experience so much that they plan to encourage students and alums to attend the conference in the future!

There is a  great community of GVSU Film and Video alumni in Chicago!
Flashpoint Chicago
Alum, John Otterbacher spoke about his work with the vibrant independent film community, and gave them a tour of Flashpoint. Thanks to John, they were also introduced to the best coffee in the "loop!"

Noise Floor
Alum Bryen Hensley, co-owner of Noise Floor, spoke about working in post-production sound in Chicago. Lisa and Suzanne were delighted to see the set up for foley work that they were creating for one of their client’s independent feature film.  Noise Floor offers multiple internship opportunities each semester.

Big Shoulders Digital Video Productions
At Big Shoulders, owner, Frank Hanes discussed how how his own internship experience at the beginning of his career was so valuable that he now makes it a priority to offer meaningful internship experiences for students at Big Shoulders.

Abel Cine
At Abel Cine they learned about equipment rentals, sales and training that supports filmmakers all over the Midwest.  They even tried on

Cinespace Chicago Film Studios
And at Cinespace, Lisa and Suzanne were thrilled to be taken behind the scenes of some of their favorite shows.  They even bumped into a few celebrities from the show Chicago Fire.

The Batman (2021)
After catching up with alums Tom Seffernick and Nikki Quain, the team watched the filming of a large crowd scene for the upcoming Batman film.

Their take away from the trip is that the film and video industry in Chicago is vibrant and multi-faceted!  We plan to build more connections and encourage students and alum to explore the windy city!
First and foremost to all employers, thank you for keeping our interns safe and healthy during this semester in response to COVID-19. For those of you who were able to safely continue with the internships, we are grateful for your ability to adapt to the changing conditions. To those who were unable to continue, we understand that not all situations are equal and we applaud you for making the right call to keep everyone safe. For all employers, these were not easy decisions and not ones that any of us have faced in our lifetimes. We are fortunate to be in this together with you.
Your resilience and resourcefulness, even in the most challenging times, is why we have chosen to partner with you and your business to provide internships for our Film and Video Production students. Please know that this partnership continues. As we move forward through this epic COVID-19 challenge, we encourage you to rethink how a Film and Video intern could be useful and productive in creating short online video messages for your social media platforms, creating promotional video or audio content that informs your customers and audiences about how your company is moving forward, innovating, and the new services you are offering.

The virus cannot knock out the need for you to communicate with your customers and audience. It may actually increase the need. We stand ready to assist you in creating a plan for internship assistance while complying to the CDC guidelines and those imposed by your state governors. Let us support you with interns, while you support the momentum of our students' education through experiential learning opportunities such as internships.

"We're in this together." is not just another cliché to us. It's our shared vision of transitioning students from college to the media production industry, even in the most challenging of times.

Thank you for sharing our vision.


The primary purpose of an internship in the Film and Video Production major is to provide a student with real-life work experiences related to the student's major. An internship is a vital part of the student's total academic experience and is not a job per se, nor is it an independent contractor or freelance opportunity. It is a learning opportunity that has a direct relationship to the student's program of study and career interests. All internships require that a trained and experienced media production professional supervise the student intern.
FVP Internship Information


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Kara McCallef at her Lowing Light and Grip internship
Thank you to all the employers who offer internships! You provide invaluable experiences that develop students' skills and introduce them to professional work. For their part, students appreciate the opportunity to positively contribute to organizations such as yours.