Student interns at favorite childhood television channel, Nickelodeon

-1Turn on any television, flip through the channels and eventually, the Nickelodeon channel will come on. The stimulating orange letters and colorful, lively cartoons constantly fill the screen and have entertained children around the country and the world for decades. In between the television shows, commercials come on advertising exciting new shows or fun toys to play with. Although this all may seem effortless, does anyone ever truly think about how much work goes into creating and maintaining a fun, educational channel for children?

Megan Lasher ’15, a double major in Mathematical Studies and Film Studies, spent her summer interning at Nickelodeon in Times Square, NY. “I interned in [Nickelodeon’s] On-Air Promos department…. Basically, promos are all of the ways that the Nickelodeon brand makes itself visible to its viewers. So, we all remember [the Nickelodeon jingle]; my department came up with that. They came up with the old logo—the orange splatter,” she said.

Lasher explained that Nickelodeon as a brand has multiple channels: “Nickelodeon as a channel consists of the regular Nickelodeon channel called ‘Big Nick,’ ‘Nick Mom’ which is the newest channel that is geared towards moms, there’s ‘Teen Nick,’ ‘NickToons’ and ‘Nick at Nite.’ So, Big Nick is what I worked for.”

“Big Nick was split into events, animation and live action. I worked for live action—so I was in the ‘Big Nick: Live Action’ department. This was essentially all of their mainstream channel shows—their most popular shows—with live-action actors. So, we would still do promotions for shows like ‘iCarly’ and ‘Victorious,’ the stuff that we saw in our preteen years, and some of their newer shows,” Lasher continued.

Lasher spent part of her summer working on the launch for two new shows. “Two shows just launched—‘Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, Dawn’ and ‘Henry Danger’—I was there for the launch and helped with the first promos,” she says.

Throughout the summer, Lasher had many projects to work on at any given time, so every day was different. “We would get a new show—for instance, we got the ‘Henry Danger’ pilot. They would give it to me first and I would make all the copies of it and distribute it to my department. I’d watch it and create a log of all the funny moments that happened in the pilot. So, anything from Henry getting hit on the head with a basketball to a funny line that he says,” Lasher says.

“Interns would get in at 10 a.m. and set up and get ready for the day. Regularly, I’d watch a few episodes and log stuff. If I didn’t have any older work from before, I’d watch some older shows so that I would know those properties because some of our bigger promotions would be weekend specials,” Lasher said when explaining a normal day in the office.

“We’d have ‘Superhero Sunday,’ and we’d use any episode from the series, not just the most recent season. So I really had to familiarize myself with the shows. On a day-to-day basis, I’d probably watch at least 12 episodes of Nickelodeon. I’d write a few scripts and log them,” she continues.

“I was also working on the Nick App, which was an online platform where kids can watch Nickelodeon. We would make music videos and fun things for the app. So that was kind of my bigger project,” Lasher says. She also spent many hours working with the six other interns in the on-air promos department. “In between all of those things, I would work on the projects that I was assigned. I made a one-and-a-half minute short with the other interns; that was our intern project that we spent six weeks on. We wrote it and edited it with the help of older mentors.”

As her internship went on, Lasher gained more responsibility in her department and had more creative control over the promos that she was working on. “At the beginning, [my bosses] would say, ‘Send us a log,’ but I started to draft scripts and send it to them to start getting the ball rolling with ideas to have a bigger part in the process.”

Lasher credits the collaborative nature of her bosses for making her internship as impactful as it was. “My bosses were really open to letting me help in whatever way I could. One of them sat down with me and actually wrote a script with me; they would let me write drafts of scripts and go over them with me. So they made me feel like I was really doing stuff and not just getting coffee.”

“[Also,] every Wednesday, I’d go to a brainstorm meeting with my department, which was an hour-long meeting where we sat down and came up with different ideas for marathons for the weekend, or if there was a new show was coming out, how to launch that,” Lasher explains.

In addition to the open and friendly nature of her bosses, Lasher mentions the fun environment of the Nickelodeon office. “The office was awesome. It was the ideal office space. There’s orange everywhere. Everything is brightly colored and there are pictures of the characters all over. You get the idea from walking through Nickelodeon that everyone who is there loves being there. And that was one of my favorite parts of working there: that people are really genuinely into what they’re doing.”

“Right away, you get into this mode where you think, ‘Nickelodeon is the best thing ever, we’re the best network, we’re changing the world by impacting youth,’” Lasher continued.

Lasher explains that her experience with Nickelodeon has taught her the importance of networking and making connections. “The career center is… supportive of a few careers. But, outside of that, it’s very important to be talking to as many people as possible about a different career in a different industry.  It’s so crucial to [be on top of your connections] because it could be the littlest connection that gets you through, but you need to have one in this industry. No one will go out of their way for you unless you make a personal connection.”

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