Awesomeness at DreamWorks!
Well first off…Hello everyone! I hope that all of you are having a wonderful summer and getting some time to relax and gain some experience this summer.
As some of you may know, I have always had an interest in film and video production, and while I have not done as much as I would have liked during college, it is always in the back of my mind. For the longest time I have always wanted to be on the production side of movies. However, due to experiences from Babson, London, and past internships, I have decided that I would like to be on the business end of movies. So, for this summer, I have been working in the International Consumer Products division at DreamWorks Animation SKG in Glendale, CA.
In the most simple sense, consumer products deals with all of the toys, food packing, retailing and retailing promotions, video games, etc. that are associated with the movies. For example, all of the in-store displays and shelving decorations are all created, pitched, and deployed by the studios.
I am working on the international side of consumer products, mostly focusing on Europe. My boss, who is the Head of Global Retailing Partnerships, mainly focuses on Europe due to the large market there. This is the perfect division to be in for me because it aligns with my goals of working internationally with movies!
Although I live in Southern California, commuting to Glendale everyday from my house would be about a 2-hour drive each way! Thus, I needed to find a place to live closer to the studio. Little did I know, however, all that is required in finding and leasing a place.
In my original search for a place to live this summer, my goal was to sublet a furnished place from somebody for the summer. However, this turned out to not be possible for a couple of reasons. First, finding such a short-term lease is very hard. I found a couple but they were rather far away in downtown Los Angeles, thus defeating my goal of living closer to the studio. Additionally, a furnished place turned out to be more expensive as well, in addition to utilities, etc.
During the course of trying to find a place to live, I had been talking with a couple of other interns about rooming together for the summer. Things were looking up when several of us found a house to rent for the summer. While it would have been crazy with 5 people, it was looking like everything was a done deal! This was not the case though. The person leasing the house was very unresponsive and unsure about leasing terms, contract, etc., so, because of the short window me and the other interns had until the start day, we had to cancel and look for another place.
I regrouped and secured a place at an apartment complex with another intern. While it was not a furnished apartment, I could split rent and utilities with another person. Luckily, because I live within 1.25 hours of my apartment, I was able to rent a U-Haul truck and bring a lot of furniture, dishes, silverware, etc. with me so that I did not have to rent anything!
I didn’t realize there is so much that goes into leasing a place, even if just for a couple of months. I needed renter’s insurance for my time here, and while not overly expensive (~$10/mo), it was still an unknown cost. The other that I did not realize when writing my proposal was a security deposit. Security deposits can be very expensive and adds a lot to upfront costs. Another thing to watch out for are installation fees associated with starting services such as internet and cable. Luckily I was able to negotiate the installation price down on internet and cable, so I’m pretty proud of that. Thanks, Babson Sales! One thing I need to be careful of is ensuring that I get all of my security deposit back! California is very renter friendly though and have laws protecting against renter’s getting taken advantage of. For example, in California, a renter cannot be charged a cleaning fee or have any money taken out of the deposit for normal wear and tear which includes carpet cleaning, paint, etc. As the lease is only 3 months, I am sure I will be fine in that respect.
Despite those challenges, I moved in fine and my roommate is awesome! I am in week 3 of my internship and love it here! DreamWorks gives free lunches to employees and they are delicious! Sodexho should take some lessons 😛
I plan to update this weekly, most likely on the weekends, and will probably discuss whatever comes to mind. If you have any questions, ask them in the comments and I’ll see if I can answer them.
Until then, enjoy!