Viacom Intern to Full-Time: Marketing Coordinator Christina Dris

Christina started her career at Viacom in the spring semester of 2016 as a Paramount Pictures Publicity intern. After graduating college in 2016, she returned to Viacom as an assistant in Distribution & Business Development (DBD). She was promoted to marketing coordinator in January 2018. Christina supports DBD across CMT, TV Land, and Paramount Network.


Campus to Career: Thanks for making the time to talk, Christina. Can you share a bit about your background and what led you to Viacom?

CD: I’m originally from Tampa, Florida, and attended the University of Florida studying public relations and business. I had always been familiar with Viacom brands and Paramount movies, and wanted to work with content I felt such a connection to.

Awesome! If you could give your intern-self some words of advice, what would they be?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions – your team and supervisors are there to help you and support your professional growth.

Solid advice. How did you feel supported by your team?

Since I interned at Paramount the semester before graduation, my team truly helped shape and define my career path. I was given amazing learning experiences, and had the opportunity to play a real role on major projects. The Campus to Career team was also an incredible resource in my post-graduate job search.

That is great to hear! What were some of your favorite Campus to Career events?

All of the networking events were awesome. I was able to learn so much about the business and meet people from departments I was interested in working in.

I especially enjoyed the End of Semester Forum  [information session for Viacom interns to prepare them for the full-time job search] – it gave me invaluable insight on the Viacom interview process and resume best practices. I developed a close connection with Nick Delville, an entry-level recruiter, following my internship. He was an awesome part of my support system and a go-to resource throughout the job search – and he still is helping my professional development.

Christina Dris, Marketing Coordinator, Distribution Business Development, CMT, TV Land and Paramount Network, is the latest employee featured in Viacom’s “Going Places” series on intern success stories.

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Slimed and Tested, NICKterns Alum Explains Why This Internship Is Tops in the Nation

Below the cover of the kitchen’s slime stairs, 25 interns stand around a 10-foot rectangular blue canvas waiting for the 10-gallon buckets of slime to arrive. Phones are in hand to capture the fulfillment of our elementary school dreams. One by one interns, ready to accept the green goo, plant themselves in the middle of the blue tarp. I grab my fellow classmates’ hands. All at once, the green concoction globs over my hair and drips down my face past the wide corners of my smile. The intern to my left raises his head, letting the slime fill the rims of his glasses. We’ve done it, I thought to myself – would I really have graduated the Nickelodeon internship program if I didn’t get slimed?

NICKterns Get Slimed from Viacom on Vimeo.

As a studio built on fostering creator-driven content, backed by a culture built on more than 25 years of animation (with a little bit of slime for good measure), it’s no surprise that Nickelodeon Studio has been a staple in children’s entertainment — and the internship program is no exception.

For the second year in a row, Vault.com, a professional website providing in-depth analyses of employee-company culture, has ranked Nickelodeon’s internship program as the Best Media & Telecom Internship in the country.

This 10-week program provides students and recent graduates with the individual attention needed to thrive in a professional studio. Workshops and informational lunches are designed specifically to match the interests of that semester’s class. Students have the opportunity to share their time with executives, show creators, writers, artists, former interns (or “NICKterns”), and everyone in between to better understand the full scope of the studio’s pipeline and different lines of the business. Those interested in pursuing a career in writing or art can also take a multitude of current series tests – essentially a challenge to see if they can create art or scripts that match a show’s exacting style – that will be reviewed by in-house industry professionals.

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Former Paramount Intern Harnesses Lessons of the Lot on Way to Short Film Oscar Nomination

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Waiting for the Oscars

As a boy, Jean de Meuron would rise in the dead of the European night to cheer the Academy Award recipients ascending gilded stages on the far side of the Atlantic. He relished this annual celebration of a world he deeply admired: he was a student of Hollywood history, a fan of Spielberg’s Indiana Jones, a dreamer gripped by the allure of the American entertainment industry.

So here he came, from Switzerland, in 2008, embedding himself in studies at the New York Film Academy, USC, UCLA and the New School; bunking down in internships at the Weinstein Company, MTV, Viacom International Media Networks and Paramount. He would go anywhere – New York City, Los Angeles, Mexico, Buenos Aires – as he produced student films and peppered executives with questions at every stop. He learned about marketing campaigns, about the importance of everything from color schemes to timing to creating effective trailers.

It was an immersive course in filmmaking and marketing, fueled by an unwavering vision of what his life ought to be. It was this resolute focus that led him to the 2012 Basel Gässli Film Festival in his native Switzerland, where he met a young director named Timo von Gunten, a preternatural talent whose work – the editing, framing, storytelling – echoed legendary Amelie director Jean-Pierre Jeunet. And it was his partnership with von Gunten, as executive producer (along with Bela Böke) on the short film La Femme et le TGV, that last month opened up the Oscars in a way de Meuron’s boyhood self would not have believed: live, at the event, as a nominee.

Jean de Meuron (right) with La Femme et le TGV producer Giacun Caduff and director Timo von Gunten at a luncheon for Oscar nominees. Photo courtesy of Jean de Meuron.

Jean de Meuron (right) with La Femme et le TGV producer Giacun Caduff and director Timo von Gunten at a luncheon for Oscar nominees. Photo courtesy of Jean de Meuron.

It would be the culmination of a lifelong ambition, the highest professional acknowledgement in one of the most prominent creative industries in the world. But like an artisan crafting a beautiful piece of furniture, a filmmaker does not spring wholly into the existence with the knowledge of his art, but learns it through a long apprenticeship. For de Meuron, his time at Paramount would prove crucial to plan, produce, edit and promote La Femme et le TGV.

A rich, nostalgic world

It helps to understand, first, what they have made, for an Oscar nomination is reserved for those things that are exceptional.

La Femme et le TGV is set in an idyllic mountain landscape pancaked with cliff bands in the green and field-dotted wilderness outside the impossibly quaint town of Monbijou, Switzerland. At the center of this world is Elise Lafontaine (Jane Birkin), and hammering through it in a shimmering streak of steel and noise is the twice-daily TGV high-speed train. Every day for 32 years, at 6:18 a.m. and again at 7:13 p.m. Lafontaine has leaned, Swiss flag waving, from the window for these joyous passings.

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Nick’s Sarah Landy’s Bottom Line: Helping the Under-Served Find Their Way in Higher Education

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

Sarah Landy has had a pretty great career so far.

Straight out of Skidmore College, she interned and assisted at Nickelodeon during the nascent days of the now-iconic Blues Clues, Several divisions and promotions later, she is vice president of preschool production and development, regularly flying out to collaborate with Nick’s animation teams in LA and partnering with production companies in Toronto, Vancouver and Dublin. The smash hit Blaze and the Monster Machines and the upcoming animated Butterbean’s Café are two shows she oversees as executive in charge.

As with any successful career, however, it began somewhere. And Landy traces that somewhere back to a network of counselors, relatives and mentors who supported her from a young age. Her parents set a life framework that all but guaranteed she would attend college. A sequence of advisors led her to choose Skidmore through an immersive college application and selection process. A college professor connected her with Dr. Alice Wilder, one of the head researchers behind Blues Clues and the person who helped Landy score her first internship.

Landy, left, with Alice Wilder, one of the head researchers behind Nickelodeon's hit show, Blues Clues.

Landy, left, with Alice Wilder, one of the head researchers behind Nickelodeon’s hit show, “Blues Clues.” Photo courtesy of Sarah Landy.

“I realize I had a lot of help along the way identifying what would be a good fit, guiding me through the application process, encouraging me to go visit – and I can’t imagine my life without it,” Landy recalls.

Unfortunately, not everyone receives such robust support. So when Bottom Line, an organization that helps low-income first-generation students get into and graduate from college, arrived in New York City from Boston five years ago, Landy knew immediately that she had found her cause.

“I have a passion for students and equal opportunity, and it felt like a really good match,” she said.

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Look What These Girls Can Do: A Summer of Coding Wraps at Viacom

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom
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Did you know that coding can help ease your commute to work?

Or that it can help you set goals? Or figure out whom to vote for?

Or that coding can create a world where a girl can dress up a virtual doll in any skin tone or body type she chooses?

And when you’re fed up with the messy and crowded big city streets, coding can create a video game in which you stomp tourists and sweep up trash in a digital urban landscape.

This summer at Viacom’s New York City headquarters, 20 girls learned that coding can do exactly that, creating these experiences with skills learned through Girls Who Code (GWC), an organization built to inspire, educate and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.

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An MBA Intern Invests in a Summer at Viacom

Nightly Show
Nightly Show
Stuart Stuart

The Nightly Show is all part of the Viacom VIP experience. Photo courtesy of Tanmay Manohar. Read More

Pic - Andy Grammer - Intern Kick-off event
Pic - Andy Grammer - Intern Kick-off event
Stuart Stuart

Viacom "Chief Guitar Officer Andy Grammer puts on a show at the 2015 summer intern kick-off event at… Read More

Pic - Belmont Lights - VH1 Save the Music event
Pic - Belmont Lights - VH1 Save the Music event
Stuart Stuart

Relaxing with Belmont Lights after their Save The Music concert at 1515 Broadway. Photo courtesy of… Read More

Pic - Viacom Lobby
Pic - Viacom Lobby
Stuart Stuart

Hanging out in the lobby of 1515 Broadway. Photo courtesy of Tanmay Monohar. Read More

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Pic - Welcome to Viacom - Tyler Posey guarding the…
Stuart Stuart

“This is not some internship where you’ll run around getting coffee for people. I want to give you a challenging project with a tangible outcome that we can point to at the end of the summer and say, ‘Tanmay did that.’ It’s going to be hard work, but along the way, dude, you’ll have fun.” Hearing that on the first day of work from Bryson Gordon, senior vice president of data strategy, immediately quashed any doubt that spending the summer at Viacom was going to be epic. Given the ludicrous amount of television and movies I watch and my love for acting, working in media and entertainment felt like a no-brainer.

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