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PSS Spring '09 - The Houghton House Renaissance

From Theory to Practice

HWS students put their education to work

MEDIA & ENTERTAINMENT

LAUREN WELLS '12 gained experience in the publicity
department at SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT'S RCA RECORDS AND
MAGUS ENTERTAINMENT, INC.

LAUREN WELLS '12 gained experience in the publicity
department at Sony Music Entertainment's RCA Records
and Magus Entertainment, INC.

"I think the Salisbury Center is one of the real assets at HWS," says Russ Crupnick P'10. "It's very important to me, both as a parent of a student and someone in the business community, to give students guidance and the opportunity to network."

Thanks to Crupnick and Mark Heyert '87, Lauren Wells '12 had two summer internships in New York City.

As a publicity intern with SONY Music Entertainment's RCA Records, Wells managed artist profiles, created press kits and cataloged media exposure in articles, advertisements, events and performances. When she was off the clock at SONY, Wells worked at the full-service management firm Magus Entertainment, Inc., assisting in event planning for some of the nation's leading bands like Duran Duran and up-and-coming singer-songwriters like Daniel Bedingfield and Diane Birch.

"These internships gave me a valuable look at the entertainment industry," says Wells, who plans to double major in media and society and English. "This kind of experience is critical in such a highly competitive industry."

Lester Friedman, professor of media and society and chair of the program, doesn't argue. "It's tough out there," he says. "Internships are vital, essential, fundamental. We work very closely with the Salisbury Center to help our students find placements because we believe that an internship, coupled with what they learn in their classes, gives students significant opportunities to explore their potential."

Wells agrees. "The Salisbury Center gave me great coaching in mock interview sessions, which gave me an edge when it came time to do the real thing."

"You take tours of colleges, you see the dorms and the dining halls but eventually you start looking further," says Crupnick. "And from our very first visit to the HWS campus, Career Services has just been incredibly impressive."

This summer, media and society major Ethan Guralnick '11 mixed his film know-how with his musical interests, connecting with the Salisbury Center to team up with David A. Kaplan '83, co-founder and CEO of the U.K.-based music Web site PureSolo.com.

Guralnick put his directorial and film editing skills to work, shooting video to assist with marketing efforts at PureSolo, which allows users to play and record their own instrumental tracks along with their favorite songs.

"Having interns who realize the importance of analytic thinking and communication, as well as a personal passion for their work, is incredibly valuable," Kaplan says. "HWS is great at preparing students for that balance."

Christopher Drake '10 interned at Lifetime Television
headquarters in New York City.

Christopher Drake '10 interned at Lifetime
Television headquarters in New York City .

Also a music buff, Guralnick is amazed with the multifaceted internship and the company behind it. "A program like PureSolo encourages aspiring musicians to practice and helps develop the music industry," he says. "This opportunity gave me a chance to experience how a small company operates and allowed me to do what I love-filmmaking."

Christopher Drake '10, also a media and society major, got his foot in the door of the competitive world of advertising with an internship at Lifetime Television headquarters in New York City.

"Lifetime is trying to target a younger audience," he explains. "So with the advent of user connectivity to new media there is a huge portal to be utilized."

As the new media marketing intern, Drake promoted Lifetime through social networks like Twitter and Facebook, as well as search engines like Google.

"We specifically require that every student keep a journal of their experiences," explains Friedman. "Doing so allows students to explore the integration of their academics and the internship. It brings the world outside the classroom into the academic sphere."