Just how do you get to Sesame Street? Ask Kimberly Kalik 3L, a Business and Legal Affairs intern at Sesame Workshop, the non-profit behind the groundbreaking children’s show.
How is your internship going?
It’s been really interesting! I interned at Viacom during the fall and spring, so I went from a big corporation to a smaller media company that is also a non-profit. Viacom has roughly 20 different legal departments, and Sesame Workshop has one legal department of about a dozen people. They do pretty much everything, and the work really ranges: If there is a leasing issue, they handle it. If there is an international licensing agreement to review, they review it. It’s a very welcoming environment here, and I already feel like I’m part of the team.
What projects and tasks are you working on?
I’ve done a lot of work related to Sesame Workshop’s consumer products. Their toys and stuffed animals are tested to ensure they meet proper safety standards for young children. For example, toys for kids under age 2 cannot have any choking hazards. I’ve been tracking some of that product testing. And even though Sesame Workshop does outside testing, it’s important that our legal team test products too. I’ve gotten to pull apart toys to see if they could cause a safety issue. Sometimes we make suggestions: Should we use hard or soft materials on a given product? That’s been really interesting, and I don’t think I appreciated the level of detail that goes into a product you see in the store.
Are there opportunities for mentoring with senior attorneys?
I’ve been able to work with every attorney, including the General Counsel, and it’s only been four weeks. Everyone’s approach is a little different. For example, there is one attorney who’s been out of law school a year or two, and I’ve been able to pick her brain on processes that work for her and how she got her foot in the door. Since I’m interested in an in-house counsel role, talking to her has been valuable.
Are you seeing the connection between your classes and this work?
Yes! I’ve seen where my Corporations class with Professor Jeffrey Haas connects, and I’ve been channeling him when issues arise. I also took Copyright with Professor Richard Chused, and I’ve gotten to see how that comes in. I took IP Licensing & Drafting with Professors Karen Artz Ash ’80 and Lawrence Sapadin, which is also very relevant. In that class, we actually drafted a license agreement for a licensor and licensee, which was great practice for this internship.
How does this internship link to your career interests?
My background is in TV: I used to sell commercial time. I’m hoping that I can end up back in TV—but on the legal side. This internship definitely connects my previous experience and my legal studies. When I worked in TV, I used to wonder why we needed so much documentation for commercial deals. On the legal side, it’s been an “Aha!” moment. Now I know why our legal team needed that background.
Are there opportunities for extracurricular activities?
Sesame Workshop has a group that plays softball and another group that runs races. I’m looking forward to participating this summer.