Ari Brelig Internship

During the Fall Quarter, FMS Major Ari Brelig worked as a Creative Intern for Graphic India. In this role, Ari read incoming material and put together research on company projects. Being able to read works submitted to Graphic India by other writers helped Ari gain a better understanding of what industry professionals are looking for in scripts. This internship also allowed Ari to learn more about Indian culture and have a greater appreciation for it.

What about your FMS education has helped you get the internship? Or what parts of your FMS education do you utilize while at your internship?
Well to begin, I received this internship thanks to an e-mail I had received from UCI’s FMS department. I don’t think students realize just how many opportunities UCI offers to them outside of classes and I would strongly urge students to constantly be checking their e-mails/school message boards. As far as the education I have received from UCI FMS classes, I would not say that it had that much of an effect given the position I was interning for, although it did help to know the basic terminology that I had been taught in the FMS 85 series. Remembering your vocabulary from class is really helpful in preventing you from looking like a dummy when it is time to work in the real-world industry.

Which professor or class has been influential?
Besides the aforementioned FMS 85 series offered at UCI, I was very grateful to have UCI’s Catherine Benamou as one of my professors. As someone who’s always been shy to ask for favors, I found myself particularly comfortable around Professor Benamou. She would interact with me as well as other students on what felt like a basic human level. This led to me never feeling nervous to ask her what I would feel were my stupid and annoying questions. It really helped my FMS experience having Benamou as a contact that I could reach out to no matter the issue. She is always happy to help further me, not only in my studies but in my career. This can likely be attributed to her over 16 years working at UCI which definitely shines through in her work. She has been an exceptional professor and mentor to me.

What has been the best experience about your internship?
It may not sound like a good time, but the office I worked in was located in Beverly Hills, whereas I am currently situated two hours away in Irvine. This meant I had a two-hour drive there and a two-hour drive back every day that I went to the office. This may sound like a pain to most, but I never felt that way. I deemed it necessary. I deemed it as doing what I had to do to get my foot in the door of such an elusive industry. It was an experience that I would never take back. My advice to all other FMS students would be to make that two-hour drive to land the internship that you're hoping for because opportunities aren't going to come to you, you have to go to them.

What did you hope to get out of this internship or what responsibilities did you have?
As a white male from the rural south of the United States, it's safe to say working for a company based in India felt like an immersion into a culture unexplored to me. It was definitely daunting having to be aware of the cultural norms and taboos of India while I worked, but I challenged myself by leaving this internship with a greater knowledge of Indian culture. Thanks to my cooperation and close work with a fellow intern named Abhay, a native to India, as well as my experienced supervisors, I was able to learn both Indian and Hindu culture in a way that was essential to my daily work. I definitely left this internship with a broader world view which was one of my main goals going in.

Film and Media Studies