Internship Experience: Madison Paddock, Public Relations Intern at Viacom

In this “Internship Experience” blog post series, we will be featuring the profile and thoughts of our students from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management as they return from summer internships.

student Madison Paddock stands with comedian during internship

Name: Madison Paddock
Graduation Year: May 2020
Major(s): Marketing Management / Public Relations
Hometown: Antioch, Illinois
Intern Company/Title: Viacom (Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land) – Public Relations Intern

Describe your position and some of your daily tasks?
As a public relations intern, I worked with my department to create and monitor all of the communications surrounding Comedy Central, Paramount Network and TV Land shows, as well as the channels themselves. Each day, I was responsible for creating press digests for each television show, which included the press hits from that day. I worked to create media lists and pitched to press contacts to get our shows in the news. I also created and sent out weekly email blasts to all Viacom employees that highlighted all of the top press hits from that week. One of the most exciting parts of my internship was getting to attend photo shoots and tapings for shows like The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. My summer-long internship project was creating a comprehensive press plan for a new Comedy Central show that will premiere in January. 

How did you land your internship?
I applied through the Viacom website in mid-November. I was then contacted by a human resources representative in early January for a preliminary interview and then had a second interview with who would become my boss (a Syracuse University alumna) in February. I found out I got the position in early March. 

What did you learn from your internship experience?
I learned invaluable knowledge about the entertainment industry, something that I didn’t know much about before. I also learned incredibly valuable time management skills as I juggled day-to-day responsibilities with short-term projects and my overall internship project.  

Has your experience changed your plans or career choice when you leave college?
Before working for Viacom, I didn’t have much knowledge about the entertainment industry or what working in entertainment entailed, but after this summer I have fallen in love with it. After college, I am now hoping to continue doing marketing or public relations for an entertainment company. My internship helped me solidify my interests and my career goals after graduation. 

How will your internship experience help you after graduation?
My internship helped me put the skills that I have learned in the classroom to use in real life, as I will do after graduation. It also gave me countless networking opportunities that will help me to succeed after graduation. 

How has the Whitman School prepared you for your internship?
Whitman taught me to apply to internships early and often, and to make getting an internship a priority. In addition to this, the skills I learned in my marketing classes I used at my internship every single day. Whitman also taught me the value of interpersonal skills like teamwork, collaboration and public speaking that are essential to be successful at an internship. 

What did you enjoy most about your experience?
I loved every aspect of my internship, but I truly loved getting to work with such a talented and passionate team of people! It was so inspiring to see how much everyone on my team truly enjoyed their jobs and how dedicated they were to the Viacom brand. I also loved getting to be fully immersed in the entertainment industry; both my boss and the Viacom Campus to Career team gave me so many cool opportunities that I am so grateful for.

Do you have any advice to students who are looking for an internship?
Start looking early! Make a long list of companies that you would like to work for and apply to every single one. If a company that you would like to work for does not have any openings posted do not be afraid to reach out and email or call a human resources representative from the company; I got many interviews this way. Also, take advantage of the Whitman Career Center, they are so helpful in finding opportunities and preparing you for interviews!

Kimmy Kimball