In the latest installment of Going Places, we get to know Paramount Pictures employee Erika Sanchez, who works as an executive assistant to Liz West, executive vice president of International Marketing, Communications, & Home Media, Paramount Pictures. Prior to starting in her current role, Sanchez interned for Paramount Pictures, at its International Publicity department.
Campus to Career: Hi Erika, we’re so excited to hear your story! Can you share a bit about your background?
ES: Sure! I am originally from Los Angeles and graduated California State Fullerton with a major in communications, and minors in cinema and television arts. Since graduation, I have been working as an executive assistant to Liz West at Paramount Pictures.
What are some of your favorite aspects of working at Paramount?
Paramount was the first studio that I gravitated towards. I appreciate the connection Paramount shares with Viacom, and the closeness it has to the television side of the entertainment business.
At first, I was unsure whether I wanted to go into film or television, and Paramount’s relationship to Viacom let me to see how synergistic both worlds can be. The culture at this company is amazing.
Great, we’re glad you are able to find the perfect place to pursue your career goals. If you could give yourself some words of advice early on in your internship, what would they be?
One word: confidence. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and start developing a strong network early on. Those connections will help find you a full-time role after graduation.
Regarding your network, how did your team and supervisors support your professional growth?
My team was always patient with me. They were constantly available to show me the ropes and teach me about the film marketing/publicity world. I was trusted with tasks both large and small, and treated like a professional, even as an intern. They never hesitated to answer any questions I had – even if they were not specifically geared toward Paramount. They continue to be incredible mentors.
Awesome! Was the Campus to Career team helpful in your transition from intern to full-time?
Yes, Xhana Namkung (Manager, Paramount Campus to Career) was always available via email or in-person for check-ins. Prior to my internship, I did not have any connections in the entertainment industry, and Xhana was always honest and genuine with me in how to present myself in the best light. She really advocates for all interns.
Was there a specific moment you knew you wanted to stay at Paramount after graduation?
Reading last year’s Hollywood Reporter interview with Jim Gianopulos was a pivotal moment for me in my desire to work for Paramount. Gianopulos said it was an honor to lead a historical studio during a transformative period. His vision made me feel inspired to work in a time of uncertainty because it only makes you more proud of the wins and more inclined to work your absolute hardest.
We are very inspired! To close, can you share what some of your favorite Paramount films are?
Yes! I love all the classics. My favorites are Grease, Mean Girls (have to get to New York City to see it on Broadway!), and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
This story is part of our series on intern success stories featuring interns who have gone on to full time opportunities at Viacom and Paramount. Stay tuned for more every Tuesday this summer, and follow us on @ViacomInterns to watch the interviews!