VERMILLION, S.D. -- When most students from The University of South Dakota are finishing up their internships for the summer, Sam Benedict will just be starting his – and it’s a good bet that his experience will be a little more interesting than the average college student’s internship. Benedict, a senior from Sioux Falls, S.D., is one of 10 full-time, fall interns for the “Late Show with David Letterman.”
Benedict, a contemporary media and journalism major with a minor in theatre, will be working as a production intern for the CBS late night talk show after successfully completing a daunting interview process this past spring.
"The interview process was fairly long," stated Sam, the son of Phil and Ruth Benedict of Sioux Falls. "It took about three-and-a-half hours because I had to interview with staff from each department at the show in order to find out where I could fit best. Everyone I interviewed with was very personable and nice to me. I'm a fan of Dave, music and comedy, so I thought this would be the ideal place to work."
Benedict first learned about the internship opportunity at the USD Career Development Center where he picked up a flier and read about the show's need for interns who not only perform general office duties but work on projects specific to their departments. As a production intern, those projects will likely include updating the talent board, running scripts and, as he put it, "anything else that they want" done.
"I have watched the show quite a bit, so I know a lot about it," added Benedict, who will begin his internship on Monday, Aug. 17. "I just went in (to the interview) being honest and tried to show them what I could offer as an intern."
As a fan of the show, which is produced at the Ed Sullivan Theatre in New York City, Benedict is hoping the experience will give him insight into show business as well as a path to a successful career in the field of entertainment.
"I really don't know what exactly I want to do career-wise," he admitted, "but I've always been active in various forms of film, music and communications because I like to keep my options open and always assumed I would find my career through trial and error."
Ironically, his five-month stint in New York will be his first internship. Up to this point, he admits that he's worked other jobs, everything from independent films and as a deejay to theatre, but not as an intern. This will be a first for him – not a bad first gig, especially for someone interested in pursuing a future in show business.
"Obviously, internships are invaluable experiences for students who are taking that step from college classroom to post-college career," said Billie Streufert, director of the Career Development Center at USD. Streufert encourages students like Sam to pursue internships, whether it's during the summer or even the school year. "This is a tremendous opportunity for Sam and we couldn't be more excited for him as he embarks on a journey this fall that’s sure to impact his career."
Benedict's internship is scheduled to begin Monday, Aug. 17 and will last through Wednesday, Dec. 23. He said all interns are responsible for finding their own housing.
"I am most looking forward to learning how all the different aspects of a television program are developed and arranged to create the finished show," added Sam, "and what it takes to work with the best in the business."
A photograph of Sam is available for download at www.usd.edu/urelations/images/Sam_Benedict.jpg.
For more information about the Career Development Center at USD, please visit www.usd.edu/cdc/.