By: Kayla Ramans, National Committee Liaison
Sometimes you just get lucky and this summer, I got lucky. During the internship hunt this year, I was thousands of miles from home in Florence, Italy getting denied from internships left and right. Summer was slowly approaching and I had no idea where I’d be living or what I’d be doing, which is both frightening and frustrating. Then, I got a text from my sister that a friend had mentioned a PR internship at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Tennessee. After being abroad for 4 months, I really wanted to be at home in California for the summer. However, I was running out of options so I sent my resume to my sister’s friend anyways. Within a few days, I got the phone interview, which I didn’t think much of, since living in Nashville wasn’t really an option for me. Post-interview I was blown away at the opportunity that I hadn’t even considered before. I’d be getting first-hand PR experience at one of the most renowned museums in the world that worked with media like Rolling Stone, Billboard, People, Forbes, etc.. Suddenly, I woke up every morning hoping I’d get an email saying I got the position. Finally right before I flew home, I got the email saying I was chosen as the Public Relations intern. After months of agonizing, which every student looking for an internship knows all too well, I could finally relax about my future. The next few days were filled with booking flights, figuring out my work commute, and negotiating hours and start dates, on top of packing up my life in Italy. For the first time in months, I knew what the future held for my career and I was ready!
My time at the Country Music Hall of Fame was eye opening, exciting and hands-on. My very first week there I got to work in historic RCA Studio B, where Elvis Presley recorded many of his hit songs. Later on that same week, I got to work media check-in at Jason Aldean’s exhibit opening reception. Then came along CMA Fest, Nashville’s downtown week-long country music festival (basically the Coachella of country music). This week is exciting for the Country Music Hall of Fame because we are right in the middle of all the action and we get to see people flock from all over come to appreciate country music. During this week, I got to sit in on an interview with the Golf Channel and volunteer at a pop-up Jason Aldean concert in the park. I prepared for my next media check-in at Shania Twain’s exhibit opening reception by exclusively listening to her music for two weeks prior. Two other events that I worked media check-in were Community Counts, where the Mayor of Nashville showed up, and a Bob McDill appreciation ceremony, where the Governor of Tennessee showed up.
Between the big events, I got plenty of practice writing press releases, media alerts and biographies. One of my main tasks each week was to send out Weekly Listings to editors explaining what was going on at the Country Music Hall of Fame for the next month. I got really comfortable using the platform Emma to craft the Weekly Listings so it became something that I really looked forward to each week.
I’d have to say that my favorite part of my internship was the 10:00 a.m. Weekly Communications Meetings on Tuesdays. For an hour or so, the comm team would come together to discuss our agenda and brainstorm ideas. I loved hearing about all the different things going on at the museum. I tried to absorb and take away all that I could from those meetings. Our weekly comm meetings made me excited for my future job when I will have my hands on multiple different things.
My classes set me up for success, but my internship was where I could apply my knowledge and more importantly learn through my mistakes. I am very grateful that I didn’t pass up the chance to intern with the Country Music Hall of Fame. I learned a lot of professional skills from my supervisors that I will take with me for the rest of my career. There are many different fields to go into in Communications so I am lucky that I got a taste of entertainment, museum, and tourism. In addition to learning more about the role of PR in a company, I also gained a deeper appreciation for country music. A big thanks to the Country Music Hall of Fame for having me as their Communications Intern this summer. ‘Honor Thy Music’ always!