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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lessons Learned From "Kenny the Intern"

As my first day with Shannon, Whitney, and Courtney began, Shannon asked me one important question: “Wait, you’re fine working in an office full of women, right?”

“Well of course,” I said. I mean, I grew up with two older sisters who dressed me up, made me their purse rack, and asked me on a daily basis about my opinion on the newest Backstreet Boy single. Three pleasant ladies? Piece of cake.

But Shannon wasn’t joking when she said an office full of women. She really wasn’t. On my first day as “Kenny the Intern” I was surprised to see I was one of two males located in the sea of women called the marketing and education department. Some were older, some were taller, but all were women. So yeah, you could say this particular demographic was possibly the furthest group I could see myself a part of. But oddly enough, it wasn’t. In the end, we had the same goal. To make the musics flourish.

And that’s just what they did. Each person was driven by their passion to facilitate not just music, but great music. It was surprising to learn everyone had a different role in such a project. It was even more surprising to realize each role was absolutely imperative to the end product. When I began working at The Pavilion, I took part in the day to day duties of making phone calls, delivering emails and meeting up with representatives from different companies. Tasks which seem rather small when looking at face value. On the day of the concert, however, it was incredible to witness the pieces coming together to form the larger picture. I mean, wow! I’ve been to many concerts here at The Pavilion, but your whole perspective changes when you see what happens behind the scenes.

At the beginning of a concert day, the plaza is completely empty, doesn’t even look like it’s been used in weeks even if there was a concert just the day before. At 4 p.m., still nothing. But then at approximately 5 or 6 p.m., the whole venue is filled in about 30 to 60 minutes. That’s called efficiency.

Now, my friends at The Pavilion asked me to blog about what I learned during my internship. I’ve been kinda sorta dancing around that. I mean, I did learn a lot of new and helpful marketing concepts from my mentor and her colleagues. How a nonprofit organization handles their cash flow, how to manage a budget, the effectiveness of strategic venue placement (to prevent cannibalization), the expenses and mechanics of various mediums of advertising, and more. I also learned some printers can staple your paper, who R5 is, who Austin Mahone is and why I should care.

However, all of this is beside the point. If I seriously wanted to learn some brand new concept, I could simply pick up a textbook. The reason I wanted to work at The Pavilion for the summer wasn’t to learn but rather to apply. In the real world there comes a point where most foreign concepts become instinctive. It’s at that instant where you begin to just show what you know. The tasks here don’t require high level trigonometry or rocket science. You just need to know (or at least remember) the things you did learn in school that are important to the job and use common sense thereafter, tweaking as you make mistakes along the way.

They delivered. That’s exactly what I wanted and that’s exactly what I got. From this experience, I got a taste of what it’s like to work in an environment out of the everyday classroom. Even when my tasks weren’t the most important, I still got to see how the real world works. When you’re in high school, there aren’t many opportunities that truly let you do something like this. Especially in a field that you appreciate. I was fortunate enough to be given an internship where those around me also love music. Thank you so much to The Pavilion for giving me a solid direction on where to go from here. I could never, ever be more thankful. You guys (or, rather, girls) are awesome. Keep it up!

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