Name: Rachel (Gracie) Vergara
Internship Company: Amazon Studios
Title: International Distribution Intern
What did you do before Stern?
After graduating with a degree in Communications and a minor in Literature, I worked for 3 years in film production in the Philippines, and then another 3 as a copywriter at J. Walter Thompson.
What was your role over the summer?
I worked on Amazon Original Movies' International Distribution team, which is responsible for managing an Amazon Original film’s marketing and roll-out in each of its partner territories.
What were your responsibilities?
Day-to-day ad hoc included competitive calendar creation, comparable film analyses, international profitability assessments, and festival tracker updates. I also wrote 2 docs (Amazon’s version of a presentation) - one on how US films of different genres perform at the Box Office internationally, and one that recommended a simultaneous theatrical and streaming release for one of their properties in the UK.
How did you spend your time preparing for recruiting and interviews?
For recruiting and interviewing in general, I did a lot of coffee chatting, and attended network and prep events offered through Stern. For interviews with Amazon specifically, I read news about the company - which I was able to speak to during my interview. I also reached out to Sternies who worked at Amazon or had gone through the interview process. One of them gave me a mock interview, which was so valuable because Amazon has a specific interview style.
What experiences (if any) helped prepare you for this internship?
Definitely doing an internship prior to this one, doing a good job, and making strong connections. It was the people at my previous internship who vouched for me and got me in the door at Amazon Studios. Also, taking Stern classes related to entertainment was significant, because it gave me the working knowledge for my interview.
What was the best advice you received during the recruiting process?
Right before my interview, one person told me to “make sure she knows you’re a real person.” It may seem obvious, but I think it really helped me not just come across as just a walking version of my resume.
Overall, Roma was my favorite film of 2019. Also loved Chloe Zhao’s The Rider, Lynne Ramsey’s You Were Never Really Here, and Steven Yeun’s Burning. Otherwise, it was a great year for docs, and I highly recommend Won’t You Be My Neighbor, Three Identical Strangers, Free Solo, and for more experimental fare, Shirkers and Hale County This Morning, This Evening.