LSA sophomore Michael Funkhouser recently created a video resume of his achievements, posted on Facebook, in hopes of getting a summer internship on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
Could you describe your video and why you made it?
I made a video to try and be an intern for Ellen. I’ve taken some videos in the last couple of years, and there were some videos from news stations. I thought it would be really cool to go back through those and relive all of that. So I was like, “Oh, I could make a really cool video compiling all of those together.” I just wanted to have fun with it and try and get her attention.
Why Ellen? What do you hope to get out of an internship with her?
I actually get asked the “Why Ellen?” question a lot. My answer is always that I could have tried to get an internship with anyone. The issue would have been whether I was working here in Ann Arbor, back in Jackson where I’m from, or New York or L.A., I’d eventually be sitting at a desk wherever I was, and I’d say, “I want to go help people.” And there was a chance that whatever boss I’d have, I’d have to explain why. If I work for Ellen, I don’t have to explain why. She just says, or hopefully she says, “How can I help you do that?” which would be really cool.
Why did you decide to go about this over social media?
Social media is what I know. It’s honestly one of the only ways to do it. I don’t know how else I would have done it. I applied online, on her website. But it’s Ellen, so she has to have hundreds and hundreds of applications coming in. So I decided that I was going to do my best to stand out, and the only way I knew how to do that was to go through social media. I love social media because if something catches on, then it just keeps catching on and catching on. I’m fortunate to have people who really support me on my social media, which is really, really nice. I thought I’d give it a shot.
Could you describe the volunteering/outreach work you have done and if it has changed you as a person?
In high school I started a number of different programs that are still going on today. One of them is a Leaf Relief program. Jackson High School — the high school I went to — goes out and picks up leaves for people who can’t do it themselves and collects money for a food drive. This past year, I helped raise over $17,000 for that food drive, which is really cool and it brought the community together. Last spring, I started a campaign for a local homeless couple that raised over $7,500. That was life-changing.
Is having a job like Ellen’s or being a public figure like her something you wish to do or be in the future?
I would love to have a job where I get to wake up every day and help others without having to worry about making a profit. Obviously, Ellen has to worry about her ratings and making a profit and everything. I don’t want to work for a company that is trying to make money off of people. I’d rather work for a company that is trying to help people.