Liberal Arts Career Services
Liberal Arts Career Services

South By South West (SXSW)

Spring 2018

Position: Commercial Content Intern
Student: English Junior

I interned at South by Southwest this semester and it is an experience I would recommend anybody interested in working in the entertainment industry have. It’s the largest media event in Austin and has exhibitions for film, music, and technology. This large range of industry allows for a specific role in a large organization. I was the commercial content intern in the innovation department and assisted in producing video content for the festival including the daily highlight reels and creative fix series. There are a host of different internship opportunities at the company including event planning, marketing, and social media management. SXSW is synonymous with Austin and looks great on a resume, has extensive connections in multiple industries, and is quite possibly the best place to intern in the area if you’re interested in music, film, or tech.

The application process was very simple. I went on their website where they list all available internship positions. They instruct you to submit a cover letter listing your top 3 preferred positions and your resume. I submitted and received an email response saying that I was ineligible as they require interns to be enrolled in college. I responded because this was a mistake as I was still enrolled in school, received a response saying that they’ll pass my application onto the various departments, and I got an interview with commercial content. Less than a month later I received an email confirming I got the position. The point is to follow up.

My day to day at South by Southwest before the festival was a lot of computer work. I worked 10:00-4:00 Monday, Wednesday, and Friday totaling 18 hours a week. It mainly involved organizing google docs and spreadsheets in preparation for the festival, but the main attraction the internship was the festival which was a phenomenal experience.

Spring 2017  

Position: Media and PR
Student: American Studies Sophomore

As a Film Press Intern at SXSW, my day to day duties varied greatly as the festival approached. When I started in November, much of my duties involved data entry and going through a database to ensure correct information, as well as preparing for the busy festival season. As the festival got closer, it became my job to update press releases and information emails that were to go out to publicists, press, and talent. Each intern was also given a specific scheduling task. Mine was to schedule publicists in provided interview rooms, which could take an hour or two a day, while others were tasked with creating the red carpet schedule. I also handled tasks that came up on a day to day basis, including corresponding with publicists, crafting emails, and taking notes on red carpet calls with studios. 

My job changed entirely the week of the festival. During the festival, the main task was working red carpets, in which I managed a team of volunteers to set the green room and escort talent and their guests through the theater, as well as manage press and place them in the press line. This was especially fun because the same people come to every carpet, so I formed great relationships with the press and got to meet many cool celebrities. Other tasks included helping to craft press releases and manage crises. At one point, they needed me to manage a theater and train volunteers for an entire day.

All of the time I spent at SXSW was worth it. While 15-20 hours a week is a large chunk of time, I learned incredible skills, formed relationships, and had a ton of fun. Nothing I did was busywork and was definitely worthwhile. 

Spring 2015

Position: Interactive Operations Intern
Student: International Relations and Global Studies Sophomore

Day by day my role changed as the festival got closer, a typical day was not ever necessarily typical. Upon getting to the office, usually around 10 am I would find my supervisors and discuss what needed to be done that day. At the beginning of the season my day usually consisted of quality control and quality assurance on publications. These publications included the guides given out to attendees as well as the online schedule. A lot of the work was both editing and cataloging the errors in order to help prevent them in the future.

I also would get lunch with coworkers most days. This gave me an opportunity to learn more about the company as well as the various different positions within our team. As Festival got closer I began to work on a few longer-term projects. Some of these projects included shuttle trackers and seeing where our largest crowds would be. These projects were completed over the course of weeks and had many different tasks to be done. In addition I would add daily projects that were less complex.

During the festival I was on site at one of our many venues as another contact person. I was available to help handle any problems that came up with volunteers, attendees, or a variety of other things. After festival along with some time off I was able to continue working on those long term projects and looking at the affects it had on the festival and how that information can be used to better the festival in future year


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    Austin, Texas 78712-1508