Internship Spotlight: Mattea Hanson, Warner Bros. Entertainment

Mattea Hanson holding a name card and standing in front of Eller's achieve wall.

Mattea Hanson '22 (BSBA Marketing & Entrepreneurship) is a Stage 13 Marketing Intern at Warner Bros. Entertainment.

What was the process for getting this internship/job?

After applying online, I was asked to complete a HireVue interview and then an interview with the team. I believe some of the things that had helped me stand out was being able to talk about my previous direct experiences with social media through a summer internship a couple of years ago and some of the transferable skills I had taken from my classes, especially the New Venture Development Program, to relate them to what I can do for the team and what I hoped to learn. Additionally, I made a slide deck presentation to show my excitement for the opportunity, and it detailed a little more about my knowledge of marketing as well as my ideas for an upcoming show that was airing in January.

What type of projects do you work on?

A lot of what I do revolves around social media marketing and social listening. When I joined, they were in the middle of premiering two shows: March and Two Sentence Horror Stories season 3. I have a couple of large excel documents, where I track what The CW and talent are posting and articles and press releases about the show. From there, I flag anything that's out of place as well as compose weekly social listening reports about audience sentiment about each show. It's actually a bit of a wild ride because my team has downsized quite a bit, and so I sit on a lot of meetings with executives and external partners, post and engage on their social channels, and any other task my supervisor needs. 

What is your favorite part of the experience?

My favorite part about the experience is getting to learn as much as possible from my internship, especially due to our team's unique situation and getting thrown in at a busy time for premieres. It's been great to connect with my team and to make connections with the other interns and professionals inside and outside of the Stage 13 studio. Also, it's pretty cool to watch these shows and hear about all the things going on behind the scenes!

What do you find most challenging?

I think the most challenging part is not being able to be in person for this internship. One of the things I've had to deal with is technical issues and access to things like Box or WordPress, which would have been easier if I were able to interact with the team. There have also been other things my team has done like building swag boxes for press for one of the shows or meeting in-person with my mentorship circle, which I would have loved to be part of if I were there too. 

What are you learning?

It's really cool to work on the social media for an entertainment-based company and to see a little more of the intricacies from a larger studio perspective. However, I think the biggest lesson I've been learning is to over-communicate, especially with our team downsizing. For instance, I tell my supervisor when I'm logging on as well as how long I'm on and what I'm planning on working on. Throughout the day, I'll also do little check-ins and see if there's anything that's a high priority for him. Around fifteen to twenty minutes before logging off, I tell him what I've done for the day and if there's anything I didn't get to. I think this will be especially helpful in the long run with creating strong communication expectations with future opportunities. 

What advice do you have for other students looking for similar experiences?

My biggest advice for students looking for these opportunities is to start making little goals and long-term goals and to see how you can start accomplishing them today. Perhaps a little goal is to reach out to three different people a week or to apply to at least one job posting each week. I also think having your career coach or someone that knows these goals can help keep you accountable. For instance, at the beginning of my senior year, I emailed my career coach every couple of weeks to say the connections I'd reached out to, people I'd met with, job or internships I'd applied to, and any workshops or things I'd attended. 

When you start connecting with those who are also interested in the same industry or working in the industry already, you begin to start seeing other people you might want to connect with or organizations and workshops to get involved in. I've been able to sit in on a lot of workshops with entertainment professionals in the film and television industry because I had seen one of my connections liking a post or sharing it with their network. If you find any organizations like LinkedIn groups, these can be helpful to see job listings and connections too. It's a fun way to start getting connected to your peers and network horizontally since these are the people who will bring you up with them and vice versa. I've found I've had a lot of open and honest conversations with people across the country about the entertainment industry and tangible advice I could put to use through horizontal networking. 

Finally, I think building a portfolio of work you can present can be important and help you stand out when applying and interviewing with companies. However, if you don't have something that relates, you can always revise any schoolwork to better fit the criteria or come up with one specifically for the company. When applying for development internships, I build pitch decks based on movies or shows that the studio had already released and showed them my perspective and understanding of the story and characters. For my marketing internship, I created a deck detailing my marketing knowledge and ideas for their upcoming March series. 

How has Eller prepared you for this experience?

Eller has so many resources that I've utilized throughout the past 4 years! One thing I'd say is to absolutely go to your career coaches about resumes, cover letters, interviews, etc. I can't tell you how helpful it is to talk through any decisions or challenges with them, and there were definitely times when all I'd do in those appointments is talk about what I was doing and just see if they thought I was going in the right direction. 

 Another thing that Eller has helped me learn is building connections while you're a student. I regularly reach out to people on LinkedIn to ask for coffee chats or informational interviews, and I've been lucky to talk to some amazing people in the industry I want to work in. I think my biggest advice is to do it because you may hear nothing back, or you may have a really insightful conversation and make a great connection. Additionally, I've been learning through these conversations, especially when talking to hiring managers or recruiters, is to always have an idea of where you want to go and what you want to do and express that to them. You're always learning what you want to do, but if you tell them the general direction, they can help guide you from there. 

Anything else you would like to share?

An incredibly important thing to remember is that everyone's journey is different. I know that sounds cliche, but it is definitely hard for me to see all my finance and accounting friends have jobs a year or two in advance while I know a lot of jobs I'm interested in won't open until April/May. Furthermore, I think it's important to be honest and transparent about all the work it takes to get to where you are. Before receiving this internship, I had applied to tons and tons of internships with no such luck. In fact, one of the companies that I had really wanted to intern for, and got to their final round a couple of times, rejected me about four times. I feel incredibly lucky to have this opportunity with Stage 13/Warner Bros. and am trying to make the most of it; however, it definitely took a lot of work and lots of support from my friends and advisors to get here.