by Emily Tantuccio
Before I began my internship at MTV, I had been working in the music industry for four years as a freelance entertainment photographer and publicist. When I started my internship with the publicity team, I admit that I felt like I needed to stay quiet in order to absorb as much information as possible and prove to the team that I was very serious about working hard and leaving a positive impression. I made sure that I completed all of my work quickly and efficiently and that I always asked the team if they needed assistance with anything they were working on.
Several weeks into my stay, I was sitting in on a team meeting when my supervisor mentioned that she wanted to figure out better ways to connect with millennial journalists. Something clicked for me in that moment – after working as a photographer AND doing publicity work with many young journalists on a daily basis, I definitely had a set of rules and ideas that I tended to stick to in order to build relationships with other millennials working in the media. Figuring out how to transfer those ideas into a context that would work for MTV seemed like a promising opportunity for me to show the team that I was doing more than just the bare minimum that was expected of me.
After designing a project and pitching my idea to my supervisor, I was so excited to find that she loved it. I completed research with the help of the intern team and used that first project as a confidence booster to motivate me to keep showing the team that I had good ideas that could actually make a difference. I tried to keep speaking up and showing the department that I was constantly striving to think outside of the box. I began to watch as they incorporated my ideas into their finalized press strategies to help promote different TV shows that they were working on. Finally, after one of the publicists learned of my music background, the team ended up inviting me to be the only intern working on their awards show for breakout artists that they hold at South By South West, a music, film, and tech festival. That felt like a dream – and like a sign that stepping outside of my comfort zone had paid off.
MTV taught me that being young doesn’t mean you can’t make an impact – and that it’s always worth it to push yourself outside of your limits. That’s where real progress happens. I’m grateful for my time here and I’m excited to carry this knowledge with me to Atlantic Records when I intern with their publicity team next semester!