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Music students present fall internship work

Published on December 13, 2023

Music students present fall internship work

Grace Michalowski '24

Evan Wood '24

Two music majors at Eastern Connecticut State University used their fall internships to sharpen their arts marketing skills, learning techniques that will help them in their creative careers. Grace Michalowski and Evan Wood held presentations about their fall 2023 internships in the Fine Arts Instructional Center’s Susan Sukman McCray Foyer on Dec. 8.

Michalowski was a social media intern for Eastern’s Department of Performing Arts this fall. As part of her internship, she attended and photographed many rehearsals and concerts, posted about department events on social media and created advertisements for events.

Michalowski’s content helped increase engagement on social media in increase attendance at events. The jazz ensemble's concert on Nov. 27 saw the highest attendance in its history, and the two performances by Eastern’s Concert Band saw high attendance as well.

Further, Eastern’s theatre presentation of “Carrie: The Musical” was sold out for its entire run of performances. “I would like to think I contributed a little bit to the attendance at those concerts,” said Michalowski.

Michalowski’s internship experience enhanced her skills as a creator. “I’m way better at designing things now,” she said. In particular, she became fluent in Metricool, a social media management software.

For her development, Michalowski credits supervisor Sheila RuJoub, arts manager for Institutional Advancement. The guidance of an arts management professional helped Michalowski incorporate “things I wouldn’t have thought of” into her creations. Michalowski’s internship also ingrained skills that will help her promote herself as a musician.

Wood’s internship also involved social media. He interned for Hillcrest Musical Media under Matt Bronson, site supervisor and Eastern lecturer of music. Wood was involved with the filming and production of many videos that ended up on YouTube and Instagram for Steve Weiss Music, a music equipment distributor.

Primarily a performer, Wood gained an understanding of how the marketing industry works within the enterprise of music. He learned how to take different “angles” depending on the needs of the video. For example, the goal of some videos was to sell a product, while others were meant to showcase artists and products or to drive viewer engagement.

Wood also used his performance skills in the internship, as several videos completed during his internship featured him performing. These videos were intended to showcase products that Wood used in the video. For example, one video showed Wood playing a drum solo using a line of cymbals being advertised, while another featured him doing so with an electronic sample pad.

While performing is his focus, Wood understood that within the context of his internship, performing was a means to an end. “It’s not about me; it’s about this product,” he said. Still, he will be able to use these videos as pieces in a portfolio to enhance his performance credentials.

Wood also learned through challenges presented by the internship. One such challenge was time management. He found out that when providing his promotional services for outside companies, “deadlines are unclear,” and he must be adaptable and willing to produce content within the time allotted.

Another challenge was figuring out how to maximize viewer engagement on Instagram. Wood learned to figure out “what times (of day) posts get the most engagement” so that he could post accordingly. He also began to choose thumbnail images that were likely to drive viewership.

Through an internship that was “remote” and “discussion-based,” Wood learned how to maximize viewer engagement while being part of a collaborative team and process. “It was nice to have my ideas heard and expressed,” he said.

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Written by Noel Teter