Jess Cohen makes it work (on the runway)

By Kendall Dionisio

Internships are designed to give students a sneak peek into the professional career of their choice, indulging in a new world of exciting responsibilities and opportunities. For senior public relations student Jess Cohen, getting her foot in the door involved a whole lot of fashion, cameras, and celebrities.

This past summer, Cohen interned in New York City as a production assistant (PA) for “Project Runway,” a reality competition show for up-and-coming fashion designers. Her responsibilities as a PA included getting the studio set for production, shopping for props and materials, delivering celebrity garments from one destination to another, and making sure everyone in production stayed on schedule.

“It was extremely long hours, but every day brought something new and exciting to look forward to,” Cohen said.

Cohen believes her initiative to seek out this internship was inspired by several courses she took over the years in the Harrington School of Communication and Media.

“The Harrington School has taught me so much about networking and being proactive,” Cohen said. “I’ve had so many classes that emphasized the need to put myself out there because, as I’ve now learned working first-hand for “Project Runway,” there are so many people that want the same job as you.”

“Project Runway” is owned by Bunim/Murray Productions, a production company also known for developing shows like “The Real Housewives” and “Keeping Up with the Kardashians”.

As a PR student, Cohen would recommend this type of experience to anyone who is looking for a career in television or film production.

“It’s a perfect college-entry job because you’re getting your foot in the door in a very large corporation,” Cohen said. “Knowing that all of the executives of the show started as PA’s was really inspiring because it gave me hope that I could have a career like that one day.”

After graduation, Jess hopes to continue to work in New York City, hopefully, working in public relations for another television or entrainment program. Starting with social media and working her way up to promotions, Cohen dreams of one day working for a late-night television show.