English Major Interns with the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland

Despite being thousands of miles away, Mary Claire Zauel’s remote internship this past summer with the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland gave her priceless educational experiences while cultivating communication and time management skills.

As a Project Management Intern, Zauel, an English major currently in her junior year at MSU, organized live Q&A events with Irish film directors, managed the Screen Directors Guild’s social media platforms, and wrote articles on filmmaking practices that were published on the Guild’s website.

A photo of a young woman in a white top framed by  black with the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland logo.
Mary Claire Zauel

“The time I spent researching filmmaking resources and interacting with Guild members was like a masterclass in the Irish film industry,” Zauel said. “I want to be a screenwriter and possibly a film director, so getting to learn so much firsthand was a fantastic opportunity for me that definitely reinforced my future career plans.” 

Zauel worked directly with her supervisor, the Executive Director of the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland, with whom she formed a strong personal and professional bond. As her main point of contact within the organization, she was able to nurture a close connection. 

The time I spent researching filmmaking resources and interacting with Guild members was like a masterclass in the Irish film industry.

“When my internship ended,” Zauel said, “she encouraged me to reach out if I ever needed a reference, a letter of recommendation, or even career advice.”

Zauel found her first internship through the Excel Network’s Global Remote Internship Program. 

“I wanted to either study abroad or intern somewhere last summer, but the COVID-19 pandemic made both prospects nearly impossible,” Zauel said. “The Global Remote Internship Program was a great opportunity that combined both studying abroad and interning, but in a format that was possible in the pandemic.”

Mary Zauel (top left corner) attending a Zoom meeting as part of her Screen Directors Guild of Ireland internship.

The Global Remote Internship Program offers students the opportunity to virtually participate in an internship from the safety of their own homes. With internships available in countries such as Italy, Japan, and South Africa, any College of Arts & Letters student can be connected with an internship in their desired field while being able to engage with an entirely different culture.

In addition to the Screen Directors Guild internship, Zauel was enrolled in the College of Arts & Letters Internship course at MSU this past summer. The course focused on internship preparation and administered tips on how to develop boundaries, express professionalism, and strengthen virtual relationships. Zauel also received weekly journal prompts and assignments that helped her record her progress.

Mary Zauel in front of MSU’s Beaumont Tower.

Internships are valuable educational experiences, but the pandemic has prevented many students all around the world from such experiences. The Global Remote Internship Program not only makes internships possible but also takes advantage of the virtual setting by pairing students with potential lifelong connections in their chosen industry from different countries and cultures. 

“When I was presented with the Global Remote Internship Program, I had no idea what to expect,” Zauel said. “For me, it was about taking that leap of faith towards a potential opportunity, and I ended up with a wonderful experience that will be part of my professional journey for life. Keep an open mind towards whatever internship presents itself and remember that any experience is a good experience as long as you’re doing what you love.”