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My internship with the Chorale

My stop on the Light Rail.

I am a Communications major at ASU West – so learning about public relations and marketing has given me a better understanding of how to apply my classroom knowledge to the real world… because ultimately that’s what an internship is supposed to teach you.

So, what is the typical day of a Public Relations Intern anyway? Well, it consists of responding to an overwhelming amount of emails, managing databases, editing press releases and email newsletters, writing blogs, calling patrons and subscribers and inviting them to open rehearsals, putting together donation packets for fundraisers, and any other task that has to be done by the end of the day.

When it came to doing a new task, I made sure to remember how to do it for next time. For example, when cold-calling, Jen explained to me that if I had a “script” to read from once, I would be more comfortable the next time. I enjoyed talking with our patrons on the phone−every person I spoke with was friendly and made my job easier! I also responded to media inquires and pitched story ideas to Yes Style in the Arizona Republic.

At Roosevelt Station for Metro Light Rail's Opening Day.

I worked in the Box Office at our concerts, and worked the WILL CALL table, sold tickets, sold CDs, and helped set up and tear down. In addition to the concerts, I also played a part in special events this season including the METRO Light Rail Opening Day at Roosevelt Station, the Phoenix Chorale’s 50th Anniversary Gala, and the free Open Rehearsals during the First Friday ArtWalk.

50 years of the Phoenix Chorale on display.

I liked that my internship kept me busy and always gave me a fresh and creative assignment. Before the “Amazing Grace” concert series, Jen came to me with the idea of having the Phoenix Chorale archives on display for the final concerts and since it was the Chorale’s 50th Anniversary, I knew it would be a significant way for the audience to remember the past fifty years through photographs, posters, programs, and other cool memorabilia.

There I was, flipping through the many pages of over 300 alumni singers, calling and leaving messages, until I had finally found the answer to the Chorale’s archive-prayers. I had the opportunity to speak with alumni singer David Brokaw who agreed to meet me in the office and make his contribution to the Chorale’s history. I could tell the old documents and concert programs that he had brought were from the 1960s because of the cool “psychedelic” fonts!

My internship has also been an excellent way for me to find new hot spots and events in Downtown Phoenix to share with my friends in the West Valley−who have all said they now have a new view of Phoenix culture.

Being in a new environment, working on exciting projects, and meeting new people who are excellent at their job, has given me something to look forward after graduation from ASU (in 2011!) and begin my career. My internship has developed my knowledge of what to expect in a real world job and is far better than any job I have had. Ever.

After working here for eight months, now I understand after a stressful day how helpful it can be to watch funny videos to break up the day. So, as I sip on the best lime-flavored Italian soda from Fair Trade Café, here is one of our favorite ways to beat a stressful day (then resume our work of course):

Thanks again Phoenix Chorale for giving me this opportunity! And if you are interested in becoming an intern with the Phoenix Chorale, visit this page for details on how to apply.

Cheers!

– Erika Eve Gonzalez, Public Relations Intern