University of Minnesota
Photo by Patrick O'Leary.
On the red carpet
Hard work won U student a trip to Hollywood
By Bill Magdalene
Emily Ehlert, a CLA senior who graduates a semester early this December with a double major in theater arts and journalism, has dreamed since childhood of working in the entertainment industry—as an actor, a director, a producer.
This summer she seized an opportunity.
She was working as an intern with the film promotions company Allied-THA. They were running a contest. Two interns from each of the firm's offices nationwide were given the assignment of promoting Will Ferrell's film The Campaign. The team that did so most effectively would win a trip to attend the film's premiere in Hollywood, California.
Working out of Minneapolis, Emily and her partner produced several creative promotional events: They got on the jumbo screen at a Twins game. They threw separate bar parties for each "candidate." They worked a deal with Comedy Sportz Twin Cities (where Emily performs). They staged a protest downtown. … And they won the contest!
Q&A with Emily Ehlert
Hometown: Appleton, Wisconsin
What will you take from this internship experience?
That hard work truly does pay off, and it is possible to live your dreams. I never thought I'd be able to have an all-inclusive trip to Hollywood. I never imagined standing by Will Ferrell on the red carpet. But it happened.
What was the biggest challenge?
Because I worked 35 hours a week as a communications intern at the U of M Office of Admissions and 10+ hours each week at Allied, my biggest challenge was scheduling our promotional endeavors to fit my work schedule.
How did you surprise yourself?
I slept about 5-6 hours every night for over a month. Didn't know I could work so hard! Almost 50 hours every week between my jobs!
What's your career goal?
I want to work for E! or NBC—specifically Saturday Night Live.
What do you love to do outside of class?
Volunteer walking dogs at the Fox Valley Humane Society in my hometown, going to movies, scrapbooking, reading, hanging out with friends, playing violin, and attending concerts.
Why the U of M?
I wanted a big city. The U of M was the only school I applied to and the only school I toured. I love the beautiful campus and how it is close yet separated from a major metro area. I also liked the large number of students, and the fact that it's just 4.5 hours from home.
What's been key to your student experience?
I came to the U of M wanting to get as much out of it as possible. And I think I have. I'm graduating in 3.5 years with two majors, I have completed three internships, made lots of friends, and get paid to perform live improve comedy in uptown.
Advice for freshmen?
Take advantage of every opportunity at the U of M. There are so many great resources to grow and succeed as a student, a professional, and a person. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and reach for your goals—whatever they may be.