The 52nd Annual Academy of Country Music Awards could not have happened without Ithaca College students. Nearly half of the interns working on the show were students from the college’s Los Angeles Program.
Seniors Carley Thomas, Willa Hahn and Alison Chilton, and juniors Grace Detwiler and Alison Teadore each played a different role in making the April 2 awards show a success, and all agreed that the internship was a valuable and engaging learning experience.
For Thomas, a television-radio major and creative and content production intern at the ACM Awards, the night of the show was “a dream come true.”
“Before the actual award show, I was on the red carpet assisting in filming the arrival of stars and them interacting with fans,” said Thomas. “I got to be several feet within all of country music's biggest stars… I would do it again in a heartbeat.”
Detwiler, an operations and events intern, also enjoyed the experience. “Of course, once the red carpet kicked off and all the celebrities and artists started to arrive at the arena, that was super exciting. It’s pretty surreal to be able to meet all of your favorite artists and celebrities in person in the same day,” she said.
Beyond the excitement of working around celebrities, the interns all had important roles to play leading up to and during the event. Post-event work is still ongoing.
“This entire internship was a challenge but in a great way that made me grow so much as a professional,” said Teadore, a public relations and marketing intern. “You really become part of the team and they give you projects that are entirely your responsibility. They trust you to contact publicists and call radio stations, which is something I wasn’t used to, but I was ready for the challenge and I think I rose to the occasion.”
Several of the students also emphasized how Ithaca College prepared them for the internship. They were shocked to discover that almost half of the interns for the awards were their fellow IC peers.
“I think it says a lot about the kind of education we're receiving at IC that out of hundreds of applicants for the ACM's internship program, five out of 11 interns chosen were from IC,” said Hahn, an intern for the ACM charity Lifting Lives. “Thanks to the education I received at IC, I feel more than prepared to start my career after graduation this year, and I credit that to not only the job-specific skills that I learned here but also the hands-on learning experience and level of professionalism we’re held to from day one.”