Caitlin Riggsbee – The University of the Arts – Blog 1

I’ve had an internship or two. Or four. Or maybe six?

I’ve known that I wanted to be a filmmaker, a storyteller, since about the 8th grade. I quickly realized that internships are an incredible resource available to me, that have allowed me to dive into the industry, learn all I possibly can, meet some amazing people, and, hopefully, make a contact or two.


So, starting in high school, I began working on being the best production assistant I possibly could be, and eight years later, I thought I could confidently say that I understood how internships work. I’ve been fortunate in the sense that each company I’ve worked for really valued me as a person — but while I was never tasked with running coffee, or answering phones, or doing any other sort of typical “intern” work, I was obviously there to make the lives of my mentors easier. I was supposed to grow as a worker first, but my creative and technical skills weren’t quite as critical.

Coming into this internship with JTwo, I assumed this would be more of the same. Of course, everyone seemed interesting and like they really enjoyed the work they were doing — I was thankful to get the opportunity to see how this tight-knit group operates, and to help out wherever I could.

Again, I thought I understood how internships work.

Within a week of arriving at JTwo, my whole understanding of what an internship could be was being knocked upside down. Within that first week, I was sitting across from Justin, going over the requirements of what will be my first project here — a project that I’m directing. For a client. Before, I thought it was a big deal to be asked to narrow down a list of potential shoot locations. Now, I’m responsible for the look, feel, and overall success of a video that will be presented with JTwo’s stamp of approval; this is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. On top of that, I’ve already been on shoots and have sat in on creative meetings. i.e., I’m not being asked to prove myself worthy of growing into a place at the table; I’m already a part of the team, so I now have to assure them that they made the right choice. It’s a subtle difference, but it’s palpable.

With the summer ahead of me, I’m excited to see what this place has in store. I’m looking forward to producing great work, helping out on some cool projects, becoming an even stronger storyteller, and proving to everyone here that I’m worthy of the opportunity they’ve handed me — I’m not going to let them, or myself, down.