Not Throwing Away My Shot: How "Hamilton" Helped Me Land My Dream Internship
Throughout my entire life, from childhood, teenage years to now, I have always been an avid lover of theater, performing arts and Broadway. I participated in school musicals throughout elementary, middle and high schools, saw theater in Philadelphia as a child and saw my first Broadway show, Sister Act when I was 13. I was bitten by the theater bug and now, at 21, I have seen over 200 shows on Broadway, in Philadelphia and surrounding communities. Musical theater is, without a doubt my strongest passion. In fact, as I'm writing this blog, I'm listening to my latest theater obsession: the acclaimed Broadway musical Hadestown on repeat. I grew up in a creative and musical-loving family, and my parents, ensuring my siblings and I received exposure to arts and culture, have been subscribers of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts’ Broadway Philadelphia series since I was young. I quickly became fascinated with the Kimmel Center and all of the arts and culture they bring to Philadelphia. When I started my freshman year at Temple and found myself studying public relations, I made a goal for myself to one day intern with the Kimmel and hopefully achieve my dream of doing public relations for theater.
In the fall semester of my junior year, I took a public relations writing class. Our final project consisted of interviewing a local public relations professional and creating a comprehensive communications plan for their organization or place of work. I decided to reach out to Lauren Woodard, the Kimmel Center's PR Manager, and we had a wonderful phone call discussing her responsibilities, how she handles PR for a large organization, pieces of advice and our shared love of theater. After our conversation, I completed my project and created a communications plan revolving around Hamilton, the blockbuster musical that just recently ended its historic run in Philadelphia. This plan included objectives, strategies and a variety of tactics to spread the word of Hamilton in Philadelphia. The plan also included internal and external communication pieces, and I wrote a company newsletter announcing Hamilton and created mock social media posts promoting Hamilton.
My professor suggested we send our finished plans to the professionals we interviewed, so I sent mine over to Lauren. She responded with praise for the project and we discussed the possibility of interning in the future! We continued to correspond regularly via email, and in March she invited me to attend a private event announcing the Kimmel Center’s 2019-20 Broadway Philadelphia season. I was so thrilled and had an amazing time at the event - I was able to meet Lauren in person, connect with other marketing employees from the Kimmel, witness how they orchestrate press-heavy events and get a first-glance look at the exciting season full of shows I love.
When the summer rolled around and I was looking into fall internships, the Kimmel was at the top of my list. I connected with Morgan Horell, the Kimmel’s Marketing Content Associate and the PR intern supervisor, and I had an interview scheduled for early August. During my interview, Morgan shared how she read my communications plan for Hamilton and how much she loved it. I was given the internship on the spot, and now, a full semester into it, I have attended incredible events, written several blogs, press releases and media alerts, connected with amazing people and am constantly learning new things. I am so thrilled to continue my internship through the spring semester and cannot wait to keep attending events, writing and learning at my favorite company.
The moral of the story is this: if you have a dream internship or a dream company you want to work for, take the opportunity to reach out to the necessary people and create those relationships. Stay in touch with those people and if they don't have anything to offer at the moment, stay on their radar! They will keep you in mind when positions become available and you will be among the first they reach out to about opportunities and events. What started as a project for a class a year ago turned into a fantastic internship and amazing relationships I will cherish forever. If you have passion, ambition, and drive, you can make anything possible, from desired professional relationships to dream internships. Don't throw away your shot!
This blog post was written by Caitlin Gemmi, Vice President.