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Friday, August 9, 2013

Goodbye’s Just a State of Mind

As my time at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion comes to a close I can’t help but think back to my first official day. It was the beginning of May, and I was nervous. All I could think was I’d already tackled a semester of being sorority president. A position that is the most emotionally, physically and bank account draining position you could ever imagine, and to top it off it’s unpaid. After all that you’d think I’d be able to handle a first day of work, but I was nervous. Go figure. This wasn’t my first internship and with only a semester left of college I should have felt prepared, yet I was shaking in my boots.

So, I park my car and it starts raining. Instantly I think back to the day I first shadowed at The Pavilion. I came to Symphony of Dinosaurs in April and it poured. Rain is not the preferred weather on a show day. Naturally I think I’m cursed and they are going to fire me because I keep bringing the rain when I come to work. However, I make a dash for the administration building and walk up the stairs. After setting my stuff down at the “timeout desk,” yes they literally call my desk the timeout desk, I step into Shannon’s (director of marketing and education) office to get the day started. Shannon tells me that Courtney (PR & marketing manager) has a list of things for me to do. I meet with Courtney and she gives me a list of 10 things. This list was supposed to last me the whole summer, it lasted all of what seemed like five minutes.

Day one was pretty standard. Lots of introductions to the staff, most of whom I’m sure still can’t say my name. It’s Stanica (STA-KNEE-SHA). But I survived and they didn’t fire me after all, even though it rained for the first week that I came to work.

Now it’s August and all I can think about is how much I hate that I’m in the transitioning phase of my life. The time right before you’re about to graduate from college and enter the dreaded real world, but I’m so thankful that I’ve had the guidance of the people working for The Pavilion. Here I have learned so much about my field (I’m graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations in December) and about life.

Wise Words from the Intern

1. Take your time with your work because at some point you will run out of work. Then you become the annoying intern who keeps pestering people for tasks.

2. Wear appropriate shoes, especially on show days! There are countless times I sacrificed comfort for fashion and my feet paid the price.

3. Your to-do list is your ticket to success. Use it, live it, love it.

4. If you ever need some history on The Pavilion, ask Jeff. He has been here since the beginning and he’s not as intimidating as you’d think. He’s actually really cool and laid back so don’t be afraid to talk to him.

5. If you have a question, ask. You will learn so much more about the people, the place and The Pavilion. It will make your time so much more enjoyable.

6. Watch Pavilion Talk! Ira Black is funny and engaging so take a moment to sit down and listen. You won’t regret it.

7. Proofread! Proofread! Proofread!

8. Jenny has some of the funniest personal stories. Ask about the drive to get to the Rockets game. She had me in tears. She also is great at calming freak-outs when you think you’ve peaked and are going nowhere in life. She calmed me down from many of those.

9. The Pavilion only has one “L.”

10. If you are ever in need of inspiration, or need a break, walk down to operations and make a pit stop by the hi-five door. Carla is great and she’s really knowledgeable. She’s helped me out a lot.

11. You should only buy tickets from Ticketmaster or The Pavilion box office. Tickets bought elsewhere could potentially be a scam.

12. Shelly* has also been here since the beginning and has the answers to all those random questions and even a few good stories too. She’ll never admit it, but she loves my spunk. I’m definitely her favorite intern. *(Name has been changed to protect the innocent. Actually, I changed her name because she didn’t want to be on the blog, but she’s not getting out of being in my goodbye piece.)

13. The marketing department is phenomenal. It’s a lot of work for three people, but they will never cease to amaze you. There is so much to learn from them. Courtney is great with editing and writing. She helps with your portfolio immensely. Whitney knows what she’s doing with social media and she’s always willing to sit and brainstorm with you when you are stuck. Shannon is the perfect example of what a mentor should be. I’ve learned so much from her about the field and what to expect in the real world.

14. Make sure your walkie-talkie is charged.

15. Make connections. There are so many people I want to mention but there is just not enough space to say it all so I’ll leave it with this. Carnegie Mellon Professor Randy Pausch once said, “When we’re connected to others, we become better people.” Thank you to everyone at The Pavilion for making me a better person.

The most important thing I learned this summer was that The Pavilion is the best place to work. I feel truly blessed to have had the chance to work at an amazing venue filled with amazing people. The Pavilion has set the bar high for any job to come. They have shown me that it is possible to find a job you love, with people you love, and stay with it for years. Most importantly they’ve taught me that it if you want bigger and better things then you can have them, it just takes hard work and a fire in your belly.

Shelly* told me that you never really leave The Pavilion and she’s right. What I have learned in my short time here will stay with me through the years. So, this isn’t good bye, but rather I’ll see you again soon.

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