Internship, Co-op or Research Site: UMBC Event Center
Position Title: Operations and Events Intern
Work Term:Summer 2018, Fall 2018
Tell us about your internship, co-op, or research opportunity, including your day-to-day responsibilities.
My internship was an unstructured yet hands-on experience that introduced me to all aspects of operations and events management at the UMBC Event Center. This internship, being unstructured, allowed me to be incredibly flexible in what I could do or wanted to learn. In this case, when I started the internship in July 2018, I was already employed as an Operations Supervisor at the Event Center, so this internship in a way served as more of an extensive training program for my current role, as well as allowing me to get my feet wet in a career path I’d never considered: venue management.
My duties varied by day, though a huge part of my internship was taking over all of the hiring for all part-time staff positions at the Event Center, particularly in Operations and Event Services. I completed administrative tasks, such as updating inventory for the Event Center, assisting with the creation of training manuals for both Operations and Event Services, processing on-boarding paperwork for new hires, and working on small tasks as assigned by management. One of the bigger projects that I was working on was a project my supervisor assigned to me to find out more information from how other venues worked from different venue management firms in the United States that worked with university athletic departments.
A lot of my time in my internship was spent working events. Since I was already a supervisor, I was directly responsible for overseeing anywhere between 2-20 part-time staff during events in both Operations and Event Services, whether it be a concert or family show (such as Double Dare Live!) or a game. I worked and still work a wide variety of events, ranging from UMBC Commencements to circuses to university games. As part of my internship training, I received hands-on instruction on the operation of the Daktronics ribbon and video boards that we have in the arena, and received training on the operation of the Allen Heath soundboard. Depending on the event, I would sometimes obtain alcohol or other items that the artist requested. On rare occasions, I would be called on to work certain roles, such as a Runner or a Camera Operator, though this was only if the production didn’t have anyone else or if someone called out. Even though the internship was unpaid, I was able to basically make it paid due to working so many hours as a Supervisor during operations shifts.
Describe the process of obtaining your position. When did you hear of the position and submit your application?
It was really straight forward. In May 2018, I had just been promoted, and realized I needed an internship. The intern before me had just been hired full time at the Event Center, and I saw an opening and went for it. I spoke to the Director of Operations and Events about it, and he brought me on. He saw that I was doing a good job as a Supervisor, and didn’t require me to turn in an application.
What have you enjoyed the most about your position or organization?
The people, including both the Operations Manager and Events Manager, and the Director of Operations and Events. These three managers, especially the Operations Manager, essentially took me under their wing and showed me the ropes of the industry, while also teaching me professional skills along the way that I didn’t realized I lacked at, such as professional dress and working with large groups of people.
Along with the people was the opportunity. The building is so new, and Oak View Group Facilities, the company managing it, was formed only in the past decade, so there’s so much room to make an impact and truly show off your skills. My internship allowed me to truly test myself in what I could do both physically and mentally, and allowed me to make great connections along the way. Despite being the first UMBC student to be the Events and Ops Intern at the Event Center, and not have any background in this field, I never felt like I was falling behind, despite the fact that I was facing such a steep learning curve
How do you believe you have made an impact through your work?
I was the first UMBC student to intern in Events and Operations, and have hired dozens of UMBC students throughout my time there, and have inspired other UMBC students with similar backgrounds like mine to pursue this opportunity. I’ve worked at the Event Center since before it opened, and have seen it grow in both personal and its operations, and I have been fortunate enough to be directly involved in this process. Because of my efforts in hiring, our Event Services department grew by over 20% over three months, and my hard work resulted in praise and increased opportunity from my superiors. I was able to use my experience in my internship to create a new position in which I currently work, the Events and Operations Coordinator, where I continue much of my work from my internship, though my responsibilities have expanded to focus more on staff development and accessing both staff performance and the guest experience.
What advice would you give to another student who is seeking an internship or similar experience?
Ask questions, keep an open mind, work hard, and don’t be afraid of trying something new.
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