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A taste of the reel world

Student gains experience in her chosen fields aboard Warner Bros. Studios internships.

August 21, 2010|By Joyce Rudolph

Rita Mansuryan of Burbank got a jump-start on her career by serving a paid internship at Warner Bros. Studios this summer.

Mansuryan is in her freshman year at UCLA majoring in political science. She graduated in May from Burbank High School where she was president of the California Scholarship Federation, was a cheerleader for two years and treasurer of the Key Club, a volunteer service organization sponsored by the Burbank Noon Kiwanis.

While at Warner Bros. this summer, she interned at the WB Television Business Affairs where her main assignment was compiling all the package deals with the writers and actors and the agencies that represent them, she said.

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“The agencies package writers and actors together and present the packages to the studios,” she said. “That creates better relations between the studios and the agencies.”

The experience exposed her to how complex the entertainment business is, she said.

“There is a lot of strategy involved in how relationships are built, and it’s a factor in how you can secure the best talent,” she said.

The experience was appropriate for her career goal, Mansuryan said, because she hopes to become an entertainment lawyer.

“This is where I want to be — it’s a jump-start to my career,” she said. “My friends have summer jobs too, but this is a stepping stone to building my future, and ultimately Warner Bros. studios is where I want to end up working. I’m very blessed and fortunate to have this opportunity.”

Before interns are placed, employees involved with the internship program go to the departments and assess their needs, said Michelle Yates, vice president corporate responsibilities at Warner Bros. Entertainment. Her department manages the REACH internship program.

“It’s unique that Rita is in TV Business Affairs,” Yates said. “The other 16 interns are in other departments.”

The REACH internship began at Warner Bros. in 2005, Yates said.

“We commissioned a survey in the city of Burbank and asked the residents what their expectations were of Warner Bros. as a corporate citizen, and two of the top responses were educational and job opportunities for youth,” she said.

In response to residents’ requests, Warner Bros. studios created the intern program, she said.

The program offers college scholarships ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 and summer work experiences.

“Since the program started we’ve had 27 REACH program winners, and those interns have completed 66 internships because they serve from two to four years,” she said.

And since 2005, the studio has handed out more than $250,000 in scholarships, she added.

For more information, visit www.wbcommunityconnection.com.

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