An Inside Look at the GRS Public Relations Internship

My name is Jessica Schneider and I am a student at Ferris State University. My major is Music Industry Management (a business degree that specializes in music) and a minor in Public Relations. I am an active member in the student organization, Music Industry Management Association or MIMA, and since April 2015 I have been the Social Media Director. As an organization, we put on small scale concerts to get hands-on, and real world experience to prepare us for the future. Previous students from my program have careers from Nashville to Los Angeles, fulfilling their dreams to work in the music industry.

One big reason I applied to the Grand Rapids Symphony for my first internship was because I wanted to stay local and live at home during the summer. Who knew I would get incredibly home sick during my stays at school? Another reason that compelled me to apply was that I was impressed with the company when I did a job shadow for my Public Relations Tactics class at the Symphony. I left feeling good about the addition of my minor, and felt I could definitely pursue this as a career. 

I began my internship search throughout Grand Rapids and Lansing. I knew I wanted to be around music, and I had a public relations minor, so I figured that was a good way to start my search. I ended up applying to about fifteen internships because I didn’t want to end up with no internship at all. 

As the spring semester was drawing closer to an end, I started to grow nervous. I thought I wouldn’t get an internship and would have to postpone my graduation date because of it. But, shortly after, the Grand Rapids Symphony called me to schedule a phone interview. Of course, I said yes, and I began my journey with the Symphony not long after. 


GRS PR Intern Jessica Schneider (pictured right) and Marketing Intern Rachel Bresnahan working at the D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops

Now that I've shared my background and my reasons for interning at the Grand Rapids Symphony, I would like to share some things about my internship.

First, I am extremely thankful to have had the opportunity to have an internship before I graduate. Through my internship, I'm able to gain real world experience without sitting in a classroom. Experiencing an actual work environment has prepared me for my future career.  

Second, I have found that I can work in an office setting, and I'm excited to wake up and go to work. All of the projects I have worked on have been enjoyable, from researching guest artists coming to GRS (I do that with musicians and artists on my own time anyway), writing media and press releases, and searching the internet for past articles for the Grand Rapids Symphony archive. I even like cutting ticket vouchers, stuffing programs and envelopes. It's a great way to pass the time. 

One unique aspect of my summer internship was that I was able to work in the office, but during July I was able to help out with Picnic Pops. I arrived early at Cannonsburg to set up for each concert and cleaned the grounds after. I even had a little down time to enjoy the concerts and bond with other interns and staff. I love going to shows and seeing people’s expressions. Seeing them smiling and dancing gives me warm fuzzies inside. It’s a good feeling to know something you were a part of made a family enjoy their time together or maybe helped them relieve some stress after a hectic week.   

What’s next? I plan to go back to school with more experience under my belt and on my resume. I'll continue my studies through the fall and spring, and do a second internship, hopefully in Grand Rapids. I also plan to add a second minor in Marketing so I can open up more opportunities later on. After my second internship, I will only have one final semester before graduation. Then the job search will begin and so will the second chapter of my life. 

I hope you as a reader can enjoy many more Grand Rapids Symphony shows in the future; I know I have. 

Jessica Schneider, Public Relations Intern Summer 2015 

Posted by Sam Napolitan at 6:00 AM
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