Award Helps Student Achieve Production Dream

Posted on: March 4, 2015

Michael Cauchi mainWith help from a Career Internship Award, media and information major Michael Cauchi was able to pursue a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity interning with a nationally televised talk show in Los Angeles, Calif.

Cauchi, a senior from Novi, Mich., spent this past summer working as a Control Room Intern at "Conan," an hour-long, late-night talk show hosted by Conan O'Brien that airs four days a week on TBS.

"It was my goal to spend the summer working in L.A., and I could not think of a more fun place to do that than 'Conan,'" Cauchi said. "The money from the internship award was helpful because it took some of the pressure off my credits, travel and living expenses. This was essential because it allowed me to take advantage of this amazing opportunity and not worry about the cost as much."

As a Control Room Intern, Cauchi assisted the director and crew in the daily production of the show.

"I loved everything about working at 'Conan'. I handled scripts, run downs, timing out song, and doing anything else that would come up throughout the day," he said. "I was so excited to go to work everyday. It was cool to be on the Warner Brothers lot and see what was going on in the center of the film industry. It also was great to be sitting behind the director everyday learning from him and his experience."

After he graduates in May, Cauchi would like to work in a control room, something his "Conan" internship has helped prepare him for.

"This internship has taught me a lot about the day-to-day operation of a television show at the highest level," Cauchi said. "I learned a lot about what to do and what not to do in a professional control room. I saw what the day-to-day routine was like, learned the dos and don'ts, how a crew comes together to produce a show, and what it takes to make television at that level. Everyone there had a lot of great advice about how to navigate my way through the industry and I could not have gotten that anywhere else.

"This will be a huge advantage for me once I get a job because I will be able to adapt quickly to the professional work environment."

The "Conan" internship also gave Cauchi the opportunity to live and work in L.A.

"I learned a lot just by living in L.A. and loved exploring the city in my free time," he said. "I had never been there before and now when I go back to find a job, I know what to expect and won't be so overwhelmed. Taking the risk and moving out there showed me that living 3,000 miles a way is not as scary as I thought."

Cauchi credits the ComArtSci Center for Careers and Internships and his MSU education with helping him land and succeed at his internship.

"The career office helped me a lot to strengthen my resume and taught me how to show off my skills so I could actually get noticed," he said. "MSU helped me gain tons of production knowledge and experience. Because of this, I was able to talk to the crew about specific things that they were doing, which really impressed them."

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