For some industrious Cougars, summer vacation is a time to get their feet wet in the working world as interns. As the dog days of summer approach, The College Today will showcase a few of our students’ adventures in various internships across the country.
Hailey Wilson began her college career at the College of Charleston as a psychology major. The native of Greenville, South Carolina, had intended to work with prison inmates as a therapist.
But her plans took a 180-degree turn after she watched a documentary on HBO about hip-hop artist J. Cole.
“Seeing him produce ‘Power Trip’ was just so intriguing to me,” Wilson recalls. “I knew that [the music industry] is the field I wanted to be in.”
Without hesitation, Wilson switched her major to arts management with a concentration in the music industry. And, when she came upon an online listing a few years later for an internship at Madison Square Garden – the famed Manhattan-based arena that is home to a host of professional sporting and entertainment events, including concerts – Wilson knew she had to apply.
As a student associate, Wilson is busy spending her summer learning just about everything there is to know about the entertainment industry. The College Today caught up with her to find out how her turn in the Big Apple is going and why she is confident this experience will help propel her into the career of her dreams when she graduates next year.
Why were you interested in an internship with Madison Square Garden?
I was interested in this position at MSG because it’s not just an internship, it’s a whole program for students where we learn the intricacies of the business. It allows me to deeply immerse myself into the job. I also believe that Madison Square Garden will provide me with the experience I need for any future opportunities within the entertainment industry. The company itself is very philanthropic and community-focused. I recently volunteered at a camp which serves underprivileged and ill children. I truly enjoy working here and being able to say I work for a company as great as the MSG Company.
What are the duties of your internship?
I create pre-show emails, marketing recaps, update tracking documents, make the Radio City Music Hall marquee, ensure the web team updates the event pages with day-of-sale language, listen to the radio to see if stations play the ads we pay for and other smaller daily tasks. The pre-show emails take up a lot of time, especially when we have many shows in one week. They have to be approved by at least five people before I can give approval to the email team to send it out. I’m really learning so much!
How are you putting what you’ve learned in the classroom to use in your internship?
Honestly, this internship is unlike anything I have learned in class before. The department I am in and the tasks I do are very specific to Madison Square Garden and our other venues we aid in marketing. With that being said, I think just having a general knowledge and background in the music industry really helped me; knowledge which I gained throughout all my classes at CofC!
What have you learned that surprises you?
I have learned that there are SO many different departments in this industry that are all dependent upon one another. I am in MSG Entertainment – Marketing Live Strategies, which basically means I help with internal marketing. We use the assets we obtain to market shows at Madison Square Garden, Beacon Theatre, Radio City Music Hall and Hulu Theatre at MSG. I assumed since I was in marketing that we would handle our social media, but there’s a completely different team for that. I also did not realize how much work goes into pre-show emails – they’re incredibly important! It’s little things such as those examples that I never really thought of that impacts the whole company.
How is this experience shaping your plans for life after college?
This internship is paving the way for my career. The connections I am making and everything I am learning is going to greatly benefit me in the future. There are so many people at MSG who are very knowledgeable and experienced in the industry. It’s great to be learning from them! Many people who intern with Madison Square Garden are able to land a position in the company after they graduate. My goal is to be in London after I graduate, and MSG is opening a venue in London. I would love to be able to help them out with opening the new venue!