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Jorie (’16) is a journalism major in the Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications. This summer she interned at Joel Hall Dancers & Center as part of the Summer Internship Grant Program (SIGP).

My internship search was a storied one that began back in February.  I knew from the get-go that I wanted to work in a journalism/marketing capacity with a dance company or organization but ran into several problems along the way. These obstacles included not getting out of school early enough to begin one internship and being over qualified for an internship for which I was asked to interview. In fact, it was out of sheer desperation that I first encountered Joel Hall Dancers & Center. I had begun emailing dance companies all over Chicago to see if any of them were looking for journalism and/or marketing interns. After communicating with and meeting the artistic, assistant artistic and executive directors of JHDC, I realized that their needs were right up my alley and so began this incredible summer journey.

Through this internship I have been able to learn more about how journalism, public relations and dance combine. I have compiled media lists, contacted reporters to ask for and schedule interviews, and even done some social media management and content creation of my own. Much of this was done in an effort to promote their summer performance “Anja: The Unexpected.”  I found irony in the fact that as a journalist I frequently have had to ask permission from people and organizations to write stories on and interview them and now as a publicist, I am asking news outlets to interview the artistic director of JHDC and write stories about him and his upcoming show. I was given the opportunity to sit in on numerous rehearsals to take pictures and videotape (See Jorie’s videos for JHDC here, here and here). In fact, two of my pictures made it into the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times!

In addition to gaining a lot of business, journalism and public relations knowledge, I have also become a better dancer as a result of my internship. One of the great perks of interning at JHDC was being able to take a class with Joel Hall and the rest of the incredible JHDC faculty. In just two months I can already feel myself growing and improving as a dancer and I have come to love the urban jazz style that was created by and is unique to Joel Hall and his organization. I have realized through this internship that I still have a deep love for dance movement and that I want to continue dancing and performing even as I graduate and move into my professional career. I now believe that I would want to still pursue journalism by writing for a magazine but also belong to a dance company like the Joel Hall Dancers in order to continue growing in this art form that has been a part of my life since the age of 5.

Working with this organization has been an excellent experience that I hope I can build upon in my future career endeavors, both journalistic and artistic. If this internship journey has taught me anything, from its rocky start to its triumphant (almost) end, it has taught me to be persistent, to ask questions and never pass up an opportunity to learn.  I appreciate the Summer Internship Grant Program for allowing me to have the opportunity to complete this internship and the Joel Hall Dancers & Center for welcoming me, teaching me and putting me to work.