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Chatting with Nickelodeon intern Bonnie Kim (’12)

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Watching cartoons like SpongeBob SquarePants paid dividends for Bonnie Kim (’12). Not only did she learn to speak English while watching Nickelodeon as a child, she also turned her love for the network into a summer internship at the network.

How did you find out about this internship?

Professor [Stephen] Quigley mentioned that MTV was hiring, and I knew that MTV owned Nickelodeon because I’m a huge fan of Nickelodeon. I went to its website hoping that since MTV was hiring, that meant Nickelodeon also was hiring. The website read that it was hiring interns for the summer, so I applied right away.

What was the application process like?

I just submitted a cover letter and a résumé, and that’s it. [The application] was really nerve-racking because, unlike other companies, it only wanted those two things.

Why do you think Nickelodeon picked you out of all of the applicants?

The funny thing is I’m a human resources assistant right now, so I get to do the interviews and go through the résumés for the next group of interns, and I’m kind of doing the whole process that I did myself. We look for people who have an enthusiasm towards Nickelodeon, and that know about Nickelodeon. Even if they have the best resume or cover letter in the world, if they don’t know about the company, they’re an automatic “no”. So, I’ve learned a lot of that process, and thankfully I did mention how much I am a fan of the company when I applied.

You’re a rising senior. What are your plans after graduation? Do you want to stay on the east coast or return to the west coast?

That’s a good question. I am actually going to stay in Boston for another year at least. I know I can go back to LA whenever I want because my parents reside in LA, but Boston was kind of the first step for me to expand my horizons and I love it there. I mean, at first I had a rough time adjusting to it, to be completely honest. The weather was one main thing that I had to deal with. But now that I’ve lived there for three years I want to see more, I want to experience Boston life. And I do think Boston is one of the best places to be. I actually just read in a magazine that Boston is one of the top 12 places for students to live, and the unemployment rate is under 10 percent so it’s just great.

Any thoughts on a career?

I would love to do PR, and within PR I’m more interested in the internal communications aspect of companies. My dream job would be internal communications or human resources for a company that’s very culture driven. That’s why I’m interning for Nickelodeon, because it has a very specific culture.

Would you say that your time at Nickelodeon has shaped your plans for the future at all, or were you thinking this going into it?

Yes definitely. When I started at Nickelodeon I actually had close to no idea what I wanted to do. Even though I was thinking of doing PR I had no idea if I would do well in it or if it was definitely a career choice, but after going to Nickelodeon and talking to everybody there, not jut the artists, but also the corporate side (human resources, law, finance, all of them…) it became more clear. It was really eye opening to know that everyone really does actually work together, and that PR and communications is a very important part in special events, which are such a big part of Nickelodeon because they help everyone come together and work together.

This question is an extremely important one, and that is what is your favorite Nickelodeon show and why?

This might sound really generic, but it’s what I said in my interview too. My favorite show is actually Spongebob Squarepants. And the reason for that is I grew up on Spongebob. When I was young my parents spoke to me in Korean, so English was a second language for me that I had to learn. Since my parents didn’t know English I had to learn through TV shows and friends, and Spongebob was one of those shows that actually helped me make more sense of language. On top of that, my younger cousins used to always watch Nickelodeon. And Spongebob was one of those shows that we could sit together and watch together and laugh together, so I don’t just love that show, but it brings me really fond memories. And now that I get to watch the process of it being created… the people are so funny, and so creative, and so amazing… I just love it even more.

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