John Newman, KLN '20, recently began a fall semester production internship with The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The position is backed by the Lew Klein Scholarship, an award exclusive to undergraduate Klein College of Media and Communication students.
The Lew Klein Scholarship is awarded to students to support an internship, independent study or international study role. Dennis Johnson, scholarship administrator at Klein College, notes that funds are raised to benefit the scholarship through Klein College's annual Lew Klein Alumni in the Media Awards luncheon.
"This money is coming from people who admired Lew Klein, who admire Temple University," Johnson says. "These are people who are alum, these are people who have actually made an impact on the actual world of media and communication."
Newman, a double major in media studies and production and film and media arts, has already become familiar with the media world through his professional experience. He has worked in production for several companies including the Phillies and Good Morning America, and also started his own production service. However, he found his work with Temple programs particularly instrumental in his advancement. Though he has been involved with many productions at Temple, his longest-lasting role was at Temple SMASH, a comedy variety show on Temple University Television where he eventually served as executive producer and director.
Newman believes that the best way for an undergraduate student to secure such opportunities is to begin networking when they start school.
"Get involved as soon as you can. And if you don't really know what piece of the industry you want to work in, work at multiple places," Newman says. He credits his access to The Tonight Show not only to his hard work, but to one of his crew members on Temple SMASH who was a former intern at the show and gave him suggestions.
"Maintain your connections," he advises. "Because everyone who is years above you are eventually going to get those jobs."
Newman looks forward to experiencing the behind-the-scenes action of The Tonight Show. Growing up as a fan of the show, he recognizes that working there is an opportunity many up-and-coming media professionals would love to receive.
"People say everything's meant to be and I always thought when I was watching The Tonight Show… 'Hey, it'd be cool to work for that show one day," he says it. "And now I'm doing it. I still can't believe it."
The Lew Klein Excellence in the Media Scholarships are available fall and spring semesters. The Lew Klein Alumni in the Media Awards luncheon will be held on October 4, 2019.