On the Job: Two Schools and an Edge in the Entertainment Industry
December 7, 2016
As NYU senior Shobhit Jain stood in an elevator with Rupert Grint on the set of Good Morning America, he thought about how he never imagined his life would end up here — within three feet of Ron Weasley.
Jain is in his fourth year in the dual-degree program at NYU, with a B.S.A. in Film and TV from Tisch and a B.S. in Finance from Stern. With a drive to learn both sides of the industry, Jain decided to pursue entertainment-related internships to get experience outside of the classroom. After working at Viacom, Disney and ABC, Jain’s impressive resume of internships led him to his current one: the general production intern at The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Fittingly, Jimmy Fallon is Jain’s idol. It’s not a happy coincidence that Jain landed this opportunity — he said he has viewed all his previous positions as milestones on the road to his ultimate goal:working for The Tonight Show.
“Everything I did was so that I could have that opportunity,” Jain said. “It’s important to take on any experience you can. I would tell students to keep persevering, because there were some opportunities that didn’t come to me right away.”
Jain has certainly zipped through a variety of positions. His first internship was as an operations intern at New 42nd Street Studios the summer after his freshman year and, following that, he worked with the American Museum of Natural History on their Margaret Mead Film Festival. Within the next two years, he served as a production assistant for Rockin’ New Year’s Eve with Ryan Seacrest, a promotions intern for both Viacom and Disney, a script coordinator at ABC Upfront and an summer intern for Good Morning America.
Jain said every opportunity was a stream line from one to the other, with each opportunity leading to the next.
“Get to know your department and the people you’re working around because at the end of the day, proximity is key — and being nice,” Jain said. “It doesn’t matter what you have on your resume. If you’re not a nice person, no one will like you. You can do everything you want, but if you’re not a nice person, that’s the end of the road.”
Today, Jain works three days a week assisting The Tonight Show’s staff with research, ticketing and other tasks. He also stands in during rehearsals and does whatever they need to get the show running.
Throughout Jain’s internships, meeting celebrities has become part of the norm. Some of his favorites include Justin Timberlake, Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep, Robin Roberts and Oprah. Jain said that at first he would freak out when seeing someone famous, but now he is able to control his excitement.
“I’ve actually toned down because I’ve seen a good handful of celebrities,” Jain said. “In the environments that I’ve been in, I’ve learned to be professional and not fan girl. A little part of me inside will freak out, and I think I will always do that. The spark is what keeps me going.”
On top of classes and interning, Jain also works as an RA in Hayden Hall, a position he describes as one of the most rewarding things he’s done. This year and the last, Jain has become extremely close with his residents, even being described by his residents as a “cult leader.”
Silver sophomore Talia Shiovitz said Jain, who they often call “Shobae,” goes above and beyond RA duty, always having his door open to his residents and encouraging them to do the same. Shiovitz nominated Jain as RA of the Year last year.
“Even though he is not my RA this year, he continues to be a huge part of my life as one of my best friends and as a mentor,” Shiovitz said. “He still has dinner with me and his other past residents every week.”
Alma Bujina, Hayden’s RHAD, said Jain has incredible dedication and commitment to his role, which shows in his very close and caring community of residents.
“Shobhit has used his extensive knowledge of his major and the TV/film industry, as well as his vast network, in order to build a strong community and provide once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for residents to explore NYC,” Bujina said. “Shobhit is full of energy, positivity and charisma and this certainly shines through in all he does.”
Jain balances a lot, and admits the first thing to go during his busy days is sleep. To maximize his day the best he can, he prioritizes and organizes his responsibilities. Jain places academics at the top, then his RA duties, followed by his internship and his social life.
“I just want to make sure I have fun and get all my work done,” Jain said. “I just want to enjoy my time here at NYU, because it’s so easy to get caught up in work and making sure you get a job once you graduate that you forget to have fun.”
Email Faith Gates at [email protected]