Internship Advice from Doreen Dardashtian ’10
Doreen Dardashtian graduated from Hofstra in May 2010. The native Long Islander majored in fine arts with a specialization in graphic design. Two internships, one with MTV and the second with Nickelodeon, gave her professional experience within two very prestigious organizations, as well as opportunities to network and build her portfolio.
Her MTV internship came about through one of her classes. “My professor [Tom Klinkowstein] brought in a lot of guest speakers. One of them was an executive with MTV. I introduced myself after class and we stayed in touch. I told him I was interested in an internship and he helped set that up for me.”
After a successful internship in design with MTV, Doreen went to the Web site for Viacom – which owns MTV and other cable channels. The company actually has an internship section on the Web (http://www.mtvnetworkscareers.com/internships/) through which she found and applied for her next internship at Nickelodeon.
“I designed merchandise, such as school supplies – binders, pencils, journals, diaries – with characters from SpongeBob, Dora [the Explorer] and ICarly. I worked with real designers and one of the SpongeBob binders that I worked on is actually in stores now.”
For students who are considering internships to supplement their studies, Doreen says what helped her was having “good skills and confidence. The people you are working with want to know that you can handle the jobs they are giving you.”
She also advises to be “open-minded, friendly and kind. Even just going to lunch with your colleagues can open up doors.”