Intern on “The Chew” talks of experience, advice

Taylor Wilkes and Taylor Wilkes

This summer I was accepted as a recipient for the Stuart R. Givens Memorial Fellowship Grant, which funded an opportunity to intern in an art gallery in New York City this past summer.

While there, I interviewed several people working in New York in varying creative professions. Mike Buholtz is from Mayfield, Ohio, and a recent graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He has been working as an intern on the ABC show “The Chew,” a daytime talk/cooking show featuring Mario Batali, Michael Symon, Clinton Kelly and Daphne Oz. As a young production itself, “The Chew” was just starting up when Buholtz became an intern in his senior year of college. Following graduation he was asked to return to “The Chew” and was able to meet with me to talk about his experiences.

Question: Where did you go to school?

Answer: I went to NYU in the Tisch School of the Arts … I applied for Tisch in my freshman year. Didn’t get in. I didn’t really have a portfolio other than a senior film I did in high school, and it was garbage … [For] that sort of program they’re looking for your ability to tell a story … So I went through that program, I focused mostly in TV.

Q: Was school important for you to go through?

A: Yeah, definitely … School is definitely worth it. I think the best possibility is when you can be in school and get actual experience at the same time.

Q: How did you start working for “The Chew?”

A: My senior year, I got my internship at “The Chew.” My friend’s little sister played on a soccer team with the daughter of the executive in charge of production at the time for “The Chew.” And so they literally set up camp with their chairs around this lady and were just like “Oh, you work on “The Chew?” Do you have interns, do you need interns, I have a friend who would like to be an intern.”

Talk about networking, that’s like … Yeah, that’s like stalking [laughs]. And it’s sort of what you have to do in a way.

So I [recently] started in production, which was what I did as an intern, only I got paid. There was more responsibility, and I was accountable for things. And I got to manage interns. One of the good things about “The Chew” is that they like to switch up the teams a lot, so that everyone learns different things. They also believe in the skill to adapt, and working with a lot of people is a great skill to have. If people are continuously bad at working with people, or can’t figure out how to work with difficult people then it weeds them out.

Q: What have you gained from your time in the industry?

A: The most that I’ve learned is always say yes. Make as many friends as you can. Don’t make friends as in like you go in and talk about what you did over the weekend, or share all of the intimate details of what you did over the weekend. Go in, be pleasant, see if they need help with anything, see if there’s anything you can do. People respond well to you helping them.

This is an excerpt of our interview. To see the full interview, visit tawilkes.wordpress.com.