This summer, I am working as a marketing intern at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Since its erection in 1891, the Grammy-winning Chicago Symphony Orchestra has been praised as one of the greatest symphony orchestras in the world. According to the influential British classical music magazine Gramophone, the Chicago Symphony has been ranked as the best American orchestra of the world’s greatest orchestras ranking. The orchestra performs more than two hundred concerts every year around the world and a hundred fifty of them at its downtown home, the Symphony Center. When not playing at prestigious concert halls, the orchestra commits time and effort in community engagement in Chicago neighborhoods.
The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is currently lead by the preeminent Italian conductor, Maestro Riccardo Muti. Under Maestro Muti’s leadership since September 2010, the orchestra was awarded two Grammy awards. A winner of numerous awards and honors, Maestro Muti was recently awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from DePaul University.
My daily work focuses around various large and small projects that I work on consistently, sometimes even simultaneously. Although the workload is heavy, I am enjoying being busy. The two major projects that I partake in are Morton East High School Research & Outreach, and FY12 and FY13 Student Ticket Buyer Research.
On the Morton East project, I am working with Director of Marketing and assist with researching the Cicero neighborhood for active community organizations, chamber of commerce, etc. The purpose of this project is to promote the CSO’s September 18th community concert at the high school. I am also responsible of managing poster and distribution that will take action in August.Link: http://cso.org/TicketsAndEvents/EventDetails.aspx?eid=6018
As for my student ticket buyer research project, I will do a complete survey analysis of how concerts’ characteristics (demographics, concert series with most sold, popular days of week, online vs. box office etc.) affect student ticket sales and the revenue. Based on the result, I will make a report on how to maintain and bring in more student patrons to the CSO concerts.
Currently, there are about 108 musicians in the orchestra, who all are the very best orchestral musicians in the world. As of the size of the administration, excluding the President’s office, there are 16 departments and 100 administrators in the administration, a rare size for a symphony orchestra administration. The Marketing Team has 7 members, who are not only some of the best orchestra administrators in the nation, but also very kind and welcoming individuals as well. Participating in weekly meetings with them and other department people inspire me to work hard to reach their caliber one day.
As a marketing major student who wants to pursue a career in orchestra management, working for an internationally-renowned institution like the CSO has been a dreamlike experience for me. When I was looking for internships, I kept in mind that I want to find one that can help me succeed as a solid entry-level professional in any career–not just in arts management. Luckily, I am very grateful that I am “catching two birds with one stone”.
Like at every internship, internships at the CSO are equally competitive as well(strong knowledge of classical music is certainly recommended!). Being a team player with positive and open- minded attitude will certainly distinguish you as a strong candidate.
As I enter my Sophomore year in the fall, I am confident that being a CSO Intern will help me to develop into a better-prepared student in DePaul’s Marketing Program.