School of Communication & Journalism

Grace Hudson: CMHoF

COMM Major Grace Hudson at the Country Music Hall of Fame

This summer I have been working at The Country Music Hall of Fame (CMHoF) and Museum in Nashville, Tennessee in the Events Department. Essentially my job has been to aid with special events held in the building. I have shadowed the administrative, sales, and services teams, and I’ve gotten to see how each of these departments are vital in order for events to take place successfully. The sales team sells the event spaces to clients based on the event types and overall need. Many of these are corporate events or weddings. The services team works with the client after all contracts have been signed. They are responsible during the event and make sure that catering, seating, and stages are in place for the event, as well as making sure that guests have everything they need throughout the event. After the event is over, the administrative team enters the client’s information in the system along with any information about the event, so that we have a record for any future events with that client. Then administration sends out billing information. I worked a lot with the computer system, and I also attended many of the events. This allowed me to go behind the scenes to see how the event was put into action. Though we did a lot of work in the office, we also got to enjoy a lot of the fun events going on in Nashville at the time. As interns, our connections at CMHoF gave us an opportunity to work as part of the crew at the CMT Awards during the first week, and we also got tickets to attend CMA Festival concerts. CMHoF is connected to other music industry organizations and companies and work with them on events pretty frequently, so we definitely got to take advantage of what our internship had to offer in that respect.

I went through the basic application process to be hired for the job, including a couple of phone interviews. It seemed like a long shot, but I was excited when given the opportunity. I would advise others to apply for anything that sounds exciting to them.

Throughout the summer, I worked with one other intern on the various projects we were assigned. We found that there were a lot of things that needed to be updated as well as adjusted, because previously there had only been one intern in the department. At the midpoint of the internship, we did an evaluation that allowed us to address some of the concerns we had. The other intern and I were sometimes assigned projects that really only needed one person. We told our supervisor that we could have been more productive by being assigned other projects, while still learning the same basic concepts and skills. I think that this will help interns make the most of their time, and not do as much sitting and watching. I would advise future interns to voice what exactly what it is they want do accomplish during the internship and help their supervisors guide them while they are there. Supervisors can teach you everything that they know, but they don’t know your goals and aspirations unless you tell them. For example, I loved working with the sales team, because my job at the Rec in Auburn is very similar. I was able to observe a lot of social skills used in that department, and I related to it more than some of the others. Because of this, I made sure to tell my supervisor that in my spare time I would love to shadow the sales department again, instead of going to additional meetings or doing desk work.

I found that one of the key components that makes the company work is communication. Any time one department didn’t communicate that something had changed, or that a client wanted something in particular, the event came to a halt and caused stress on all ends. I think the communication skills we learn in the major are vital, and I saw a lack of these skills when something went wrong working in the office. I found it interesting that outside the office, all of the employees had great relationships and everyone seemed to be friends after hours. Though they all had great personal relationships, this didn’t necessarily correlate to the work environment. I believe that people didn’t want to communicate difficult issues with their coworkers, due to the fear that it could hurt their personal relationships. One of the most important things I learned through seeing this kind of struggle is to be open and honest with any issues, hesitations, or reservations you might have with a decision someone makes. If you don’t address the situation then, it becomes an even bigger problem during the event or in later projects.

Be sure to ask questions! Your supervisor already knows what they expect of you and won’t know that you don’t understand something unless you tell them. Everyone wants you to succeed and learn as much as you can while you’re there. There isn’t any reason to be hesitant about wanting to know more or to go back over something. This also helps the company with their future interns. My one regret is not asking enough questions throughout the first few weeks of my internship.

This is very cliché, but you really do get out of an internship what you put into it. If you have a bad attitude about the work that you are doing, you won’t be able to see the end goal. Even if your internship is not positive, at least it was valuable experience and maybe you learned what you’d like to avoid doing in the workforce after graduation. My internship has been a great learning experience and a lot of fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Information

Ric Smith

Prof. Ric Smith

School of Communication & Journalism
232 Tichenor Hall
Auburn University, AL 36849
(334) 844-2757
smithrw@auburn.edu

Last Updated: July 16, 2018