ICNYC Student Reflections

Students in the ICNYC program share their experiences and insights from one of the greatest cities in the world.

Posted by Melissa Gattine at 9:12AM   |  Add a comment
Jessica Deyoe '15 with her friends. (From left to right): Kathryn McKenna '15, Jessica, Brianna Ryan '15 and Lauren Mazzo '15.

Jessica Deyoe is a junior pursuing a degree in Legal Studies. While in New York City, she is interning at Citi.

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been living in NYC for over two months now. If not for the ICNYC program, I wouldn’t be having this experience at all. Coming to NYC to take classes and, more importantly, have an internship has allowed me to grow as a person in the most amazing of ways I didn’t think possible.

When I first heard of this program, there was no doubt in my mind I wasn’t going to miss out on this opportunity. I wanted to try living somewhere new and different from my hometown and Ithaca because I’ve always wondered if I would enjoy city life. With this in mind, I decided what better way to discover if I would like NYC enough to live there for years than to do a semester through ICNYC with three of my best friends.

I moved to NYC the week before my internship at Citi and classes started. Since I’ve only visited a handful of times, it made sense that during my first week I would work on getting a handle on the much dreaded subway system. Luckily, by the end of the week, the subway was no longer intimidating and I’ve gotten to the point where I wish there were subways in my hometown and Ithaca because it’s just so much quicker and easier to get around than driving yourself.

The internships in NYC are a lot of work, time and responsibility, but they are well worth it. In the short amount of time I’ve been here, I have been given an immense amount of responsibility at my internship and even though it can be intimidating, it is also the experience of a lifetime. It can be challenging balancing the internship and classes, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time to enjoy living in the city that never sleeps.

With the Art and Architecture class, the Internship Class and organized events through the program, and your own personal excursions with friends, you’ll be amazed by the amount of fun things you can fit into an already busy schedule. The art class is my favorite class this semester because we go to museums or tours of central park on a weekly basis, but it’s also how I made a variety of friends I never would have met if not for this program. The internship class may not seem exciting but the alumni who come in to talk to the class have been extremely helpful with tips and are perfect connections to make while in NYC, especially if you plan on living here for more than just the semester.

My favorite things, by far, however, have been adventures with my best friends with whom I’ve grown closer than I thought possible. As much as I’m enjoying this experience and wouldn’t give it up for anything, I know that the people I’m experiencing it with have made a huge difference and the memories we’ve made together are unforgettable. Time flies during the ICNYC Program and I can hardly believe I’ve already completed eleven weeks at my internship. Take advantage of all the opportunities that present themselves, but also make your own opportunities because this is a once in a lifetime experience.


Posted by Jenny Stockdale at 11:44AM   |  1 comment
Justine Stephens Ithaca College School of Music

Justine Stephens is a senior Music Performance major from Norwalk, CT. She is studying flute with Bärli Nugent in New York City, as well as interning with American Ballet Theatre. 

Working in the Special Events department at American Ballet Theatre has been a dream come true. Since my freshman year, I had been back and forth about what I wanted to accomplish for my future. At that time, I had just been accepted into the Music Performance and Music Education dual major program, but as a wind instrumentalist, it was not in the curriculum to focus on what was a stronger interest for me: Teaching general music in elementary school. Maybe I could have focused on the piano more or pushed my six-year background of choral singing further, but either way, the more semesters I took secondary instrument and pedagogy classes, the more disinterested I had become in that direction. It just wasn't for me.

I had tried to switch my major several times - usually at the end of each academic year, frantically running around Park, the business school, and Whalen to get the deans to sign off on forms changing my degree to Bachelor of Music with an Outside Field, adding an Integrated Marketing Communications minor, or double majoring in Music Performance and Business Administration. I usually was unsuccessful finding the right professors come late May every year, so by the fall of my junior year, I was student teaching.

I stopped my Music Education degree because I knew that I wasn't even going to apply for high school band jobs post-graduation and because I didn't want to waste my colleagues', mentors', and students' time knowing that I could be taking the place of someone who was more passionate about teaching band than I was. As a new "just Performance" major, my mother was very worried with what exactly I was going to do to further myself. But I had it all under control.

Long story short, I began interning with the executive director of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra in January of this year, as well as picking up a minor in Marketing. Learning about the administrative aspect of the 501(c)(3) world was something that I did end up being passionate about. When I was accepted into the ICNYC Music Immersion Program, I wanted to take that one step further.

Fast forward again, and I am now the Special Events intern for the American Ballet Theatre. Through a process of sending out cover letters and resumes (and making Christy Agnese's office a second home with all the revisions and corrections that she helped me make), I had applied to Jazz at Lincoln Center, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (with whom I had an interview), American Ballet Theatre, Lincoln Center White Light Festival, New York City Ballet, and New York City Opera (by whom I was contacted for an interview, but I had already accepted a position). Going into my interview with American Ballet Theatre, I was comfortable and felt like I had fit in - and they must have thought so too, because I was called the next week that I got the position!

The most important "thing" that I always try to do is to make connections and always leave a positive impact on people. You never know what they could be able to do for you! Ms. Ossit of CCO wrote me an amazing recommendation letter for ABT, as well as my youth orchestra conductor, who actually conducted for ABT's Hong Kong tour last year. My flute teacher in New York, Bärli Nugent, is someone that I had kept in touch with since high school. She was an alumnus of my youth orchestra, and came back to give the flutes a masterclass. I had visited her at her job at Juilliard since - and as the Assistant Dean, Director of Chamber Music (for both the college and pre-college divisions), and Director of Career Development, as well as having two degrees from Juilliard and her doctorate in flute from Stony Brook AND a prominent performing career as a founding member of the Aspen Wind Quintet, I am really getting the best of both worlds by studying with her. For my Professional Mentor Shadowing credit, I get to audit the Career Development Seminar that she teaches to a class of mostly Juilliard grad students. So far with the class, I have updated my press kit significantly, bought a domain name for my website, and recorded background music for a filmmaker's next project.

As for what I do with American Ballet Theatre, a lot of it is preparation of events - and putting them into place! This past Wednesday was our huge 700+ guest Fall Gala. Taye Diggs, Star Jones, Nicky Hilton, and Sigourney Weaver were among just a few of the rich and famous in attendance. It was amazing to see my contributions, too - I had bought and chosen the colors for the programs and dinner menu, as well as brought them over to Staples to have them printed. I have really found another niche in helping productions like this take place.

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