Even if you are not well-versed in the entertainment industry, you almost certainly know Imagine Entertainment by its work. Co-founded by Ron Howard, Imagine has produced films such as The DaVinci Code, Apollo 13, and How the Grinch Stole Christmas. As a summer intern with the film production company, Jepson School senior Madison Martinez, ’18, is getting a behind-the-scenes look at the entertainment industry.

“Having grown up in Los Angeles, the entertainment industry has always piqued my interest. My interest in Imagine specifically grew out of its prolific influence on said industry and its versatility and creativity with the projects that they pursue,” says Martinez.

Martinez, who is pursuing a double major in leadership studies and English literature and a minor in women, gender, and sexuality studies, admits that she was not sure what to expect when she applied for her internship. She was studying abroad when she had her Skype interview.

“We talked a lot about our favorite movies and what we were currently reading,” Martinez recalls.

At Imagine Entertainment, Martinez is interning under both the vice president and the director of development.

“They both have very creative roles and vet a lot of submissions for projects that may or may not happen down the line,” says Martinez. “So far, I have read a lot of scripts for their current projects to get up to speed with what they are working on.”

Martinez says that, in addition to developing her strong work ethic, her Jepson School of Leadership Studies education has helped her learn to speak up when she has an opinion. She adds that at Imagine the executive leaders take the time to listen to all members of the company, including interns like herself.

She remembers her first staff meeting, saying, “I really didn’t know what to expect and leaned toward thinking it was going to be a very formal meeting, but it turned out to be more like a conversation between the executives and staff. Everything flowed nicely and it was fun.”

“Fun” turns out to be a recurring word Martinez uses to describe her experience at Imagine Entertainment. While she still is deciding what path to pursue following graduation, she values this opportunity to explore her options.

“I think that the best thing I have learned about leadership from interning at Imagine is that leadership can be fun while also being a huge responsibility,” says Martinez. “Having the opportunity to observe influential people work through their ideas and have fun doing their jobs is really inspirational.”