FORMER WALDEN INTERN: ALDEN DALIA
“Former Walden Media Interns: Where Are They Now? ” is an ongoing series featuring dispatches from past interns.
Today’s submission comes from Alden Dalia, now an executive assistant to the VP and SVP of Film Production at Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions. Follow him on Twitter at @aldendalia.
Walden Media was one of my first internships in the film industry and one of my most cherished experiences. It is an internship that doesn’t treat its interns as inferior, but as equals. I’ve spent two of my summers at Walden Media and I can honestly say it is one of my favorite companies at which to have interned. Not only is it an inspiring company to work for, but a company to learn from some of the best people in the industry. Not only are you getting to see how scripts are being developed, but you are also getting a sneak peek into the research and development of how to market those films. Walden Media taught me that not only is it important to have a strong film background, but it is equally important to understand how to apply it to the business aspect of the industry. But, the greatest lesson that I learned at Walden Media is this: Kindness and being true to who you are will take you far.
I’ve kept this motto close to my heart, and after I finished my internship at Walden Media I moved to Los Angeles two weeks after graduating college and interned at Participant Media as a Narrative Intern as well as the intern to the President of Production. I am now an Executive Assistant to the VP and SVP of Film Production at Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions. I can honestly say that without my experience at Walden Media I would not be in this position.
My best advice to interns would be to use this time to find mentors, people that will sit down with you and guide you in your career. Also, use this time to begin to build contacts within the film industry. The more people you can ask for recommendations from, the more powerful you will be in a job interview. Most importantly though, have fun with your internship. Show the other employees that you want to be there and that any task big or small, you will do it to the best of your abilities.
Let me end this post by telling you a great story I heard from a guy who is now the VFX Supervisor /owner of a high-end visual effects company. When he started his internship he was the guy who ran out and got coffee for the staff. Nothing glamorous, but he did the job well and with a good attitude. One day, there was a spill on the floor in the kitchen, he saw it and got on his hands and knees and began to clean it up. A producer walked by and stopped and asked, “Excuse me, who told you to do that?” He looked up at her and said, “No one…” Intrigued, she stepped into the kitchen and said, “Then why are you doing it?” He responded, “Because it needed to be clean.” The woman then said, “Do you need a job? Come to my office when you are finished with your internship.” From there he was hired on as visual effects artist.
Good luck in your endeavors and always stay positive, work hard, and be kind to everyone.