Celia hails from Chester, New York and is majoring in Digital Communications with a minor in music. She hopes to work in administration or operations with a musical group or organization. Celia volunteered with Musical Bridges Around the World, a non-profit organization that focuses on making music accessible to all members of the community. She loved the organization so much that when she found out about the internship, she jumped at the opportunity. Since completing her internship in December 2020, Celia has accepted a position with Musical Bridges. We asked her to share her experience.
I see that you came to UTSA from New York, what made you choose UTSA?
I moved from New York to Houston, but I never felt a sense of belonging or connection with the city like I do in San Antonio. I chose UTSA because I really liked what I saw and heard about the programs, specifically the music department. I haven’t regretted my decision to enroll here; it’s such a welcoming space and I have grown in so many ways during the years I’ve been a Roadrunner. Many doors have opened for me through connections I’ve made at UTSA, specifically through this internship and my subsequent hire at Musical Bridges.
How have you adapted to the culture of south-central Texas?
I really love San Antonio. I was surprised to like it this much, since I really didn’t know anything about San Antonio prior to moving to Texas. But I love the robust music and arts scene and the strong sense of history and culture present here. It feels like a very communal city where people look out for each other, and it’s been a great place to live and study.
What did you do during your internship and what were your responsibilities/duties?
I have been working as an administrative assistant. I collected, scanned and digitized all incoming correspondence and mail, arranged meetings between MBAW and City Council members, took minutes at staff meetings and a board meeting, documented in-kind donations for the fiscal year 19-20, and reconciled monthly credit card statements, among other tasks.
What was the exciting aspect of your internship?
The most exciting part of this internship was the opportunity to network within the music and arts community of San Antonio. I’m fairly new here, so I don’t know many people, but the MBAW staff has so many connections to philanthropists, public servants, and music and arts lovers. Connecting my name and face to this nonprofit will open many doors as I pursue a music career.
What was the most challenging aspect of your internship?
Calendaring for the City Council Projects Funds meetings was challenging. I had to set up meetings between our Director of Advancement and each City Council member, as well as the Mayor. This took many emails, phone calls and texts as I scheduled and rescheduled the meetings. It was also a little distracting to be in the middle of a class and see an email from the Mayor’s office pop into my inbox. 🙂 But this was a great taste of what an administrative assistant would be doing on a regular basis.
What recommendations do you have for other students about doing an internship?
Take the opportunity! Even if it is unpaid, as mine was, it is so worthwhile. An internship is such a great way to network and discover your strengths and passions. Regardless of whether your internship leads directly to an employment opportunity, it will look great on your resume and give you an edge as a future applicant.
What did you enjoy the most about this experience?
I really liked the office staff and how they worked together as a team. Taking minutes for weekly staff meetings gave a great picture of the work that each team member does and how all of it comes together. MBAW has a small staff, but the amount that they do for the city of San Antonio is really remarkable.
How has your internship prepared you for a career?
Aside from the soft skills I have honed in this internship, I have learned the importance of networking. My volunteer work with Musical Bridges gave me credibility as an applicant for this internship, and my work as an intern has already opened other doors as I pursue a career in music and art. This internship has given Communications and Music education a more holistic quality.
Celia concluded the interview with a quote that has impacted her journey, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson