Nashville Came Knocking

Two Ferris music industry management students get a little bit country, experience on internship

In the Field: Music industry management students Renee Urbanc and Jaimee Mackey are spending spring semester in Nashville interning for CMT. While the experience is challenging, they’re finding it to be a lot of fun. Photo Courtesy of Renee Urbanc
In the Field: Music industry management students Renee Urbanc and Jaimee Mackey are spending spring semester in Nashville interning for CMT. While the experience is challenging, they’re finding it to be a lot of fun. Photo Courtesy of Renee Urbanc
Renee Urbanc and Jaimee Mackey are interning at a place where they don’t do any work.

Both Urbanc and Mackey applied for internships at CMT in Nashville, for the spring 2010 semester, and both received positions. Urbanc works in the Music Strategy Department and Mackey works in the Production Management Department.

The reason neither of these two does any work is because they don’t look at this internship as work, they look at it as something they love. It’s an unpaid internship, but they don’t mind.

“I actually look forward to going to work,” said Urbanc. “How many people can say that?”

There is actual work involved, of course. Mackey works helping to produce the shows that air on CMT. She didn’t know much about production before she went to Nashville, but she has learned a lot about this side of the music industry.

“I will never watch TV the same again,” said Mackey. “You don’t realize how much work goes into the production of shows.”

Mackey also said that most of the time she doesn’t know what she will be doing. She is sometimes sitting in on meetings, preparing paperwork, or out of the office at shoots or other locations.

Urbanc does research to determine which songs are rising in popularity and which ones are falling on the charts. She said the videos shown on CMT everyday and how many times they are played is based on the research her department does.

“I work on CMT Pure and the Top 20 Video Countdown,” said Urbanc. “My department also plans artist media days, which are days when artists come into the office to promote themselves.”

Lori Armstrong, administrative assistant in the music industry management program, said, “Renee and Jaimee are two of our most outstanding students and they represent the program amazingly out in the field and here on campus. We actively encouraged them to apply to CMT and they obviously saw their potential.”

Urbanc wanted an internship at CMT because she grew up listening to country music. She said country music speaks to her and she feels like it’s a part of her.

“I can’t really explain it besides saying that it just feels right; like I’m at home,” said Urbanc.

Mackey wanted the internship for a different reason and said, “It’s not because I am a country music fan, that’s for sure.”

Mackey was in Nashville for a convention and fell in love with the city, which made her want to find an internship there.

Both of them agree that the experience has been challenging at times. Sometimes they work long hours, but both agree that the experience they are taking away from the internship is well worth it.

“The work is extremely challenging and interesting at times,” said Urbanc. “There’s so much more to putting a video on television than I ever could have imagined.”

Urbanc said she has learned how important working together in this industry is because most of the time no task can be completed without at least three people helping. She also said staying up-to-date with what’s happening in the entertainment world is critical because it all can affect album sales or video plays.

“I’ve also learned that networking is as important as our professors tell us it is and it’s not as easy as it seems,” said Urbanc. “You can tell someone your name and have a conversation with them, but that doesn’t mean you’ve networked because you need to give them a reason to remember your name, not just tell it to them.”

Urbanc said CMT is a place of business and artists don’t just come in and “hang out” at the CMT office. Despite this fact, both have had the opportunity to interact with celebrities.

“My best moment at CMT was having the opportunity to work with the Crossroads show featuring John Mayer and Keith Urban,” said Mackey.

When asked what they hope to take away from this experience, they said just that, experience. They also hope to walk away with a better idea of what they want to do in the music industry after they graduate and have a lot of contacts that will hopefully help them in the future.

Armstrong said the experience Urbanc and Mackey will get out of this internship is more beneficial than a whole semester of coursework. Music industry management students are required to do two internships so this will also help them in their next internship.

“Working here has proved to me that setting your goals high pays off,” said Urbanc. “When I started in the MIM program, I told my mom I would be working in Nashville in a few semesters, hopefully at CMT, and look where I am now. You can do anything you set your mind to.” n