Krithika writes in:
I am based in India. At this point, I do not have a US work permit. But I really want to work with a few specific companies in the US, Shondaland being the top of the wishlist.
How should I go about this?
The US limits work visas to people who bring skills that can’t otherwise be found in America. (There might be other ways to get a visa, but again, I’m not an expert.)
Unfortunately, for you (and me, honestly), finding PAs in America isn’t hard. Hell, a lot of shows won’t hire PAs from out of state, much less outside the country.
Granted, the immigration situation in the US is kinda messed up right now, so who knows?
But there’s another issue Krithika brings up that will apply to most of my readers– she wants to work at a particular company.
While I agree that working at Shondaland would be awesome, you need to be careful about focusing your goals quite so tightly. Most (good) assistants stick around for a couple of years. The producers at Shondaland can’t go without their assistant for very long; they won’t spend more than a couple weeks looking for a replacement.
That’s a very narrow window of opportunity. You basically have to hope that they need an assistant at the same time you need a job.
The same goes for any PAs who want to land a specific series. It’s so hard to know if and when they’ll need a PA, and what specific qualifications they’re looking for. Sometimes they want an experienced PA, sometimes they want someone they can train. Sometimes they want eye-candy to hang around they office while the other PAs do all the work.1
When looking for work, you gotta go with the shotgun approach. Apply to any and all jobs that you’re qualified for and can tolerate for the length of employment. Otherwise, you’ll spend a long time in the unemployment office.
- Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything…↩