Following this year’s OU MDIA SXSW trip to Austin, TX, over 90% of the students from the trip have reported making two or more significant professional connections in their field of choice.
The result has been that many of these students are now entering into new professional opportunities ranging from internships to ongoing mentoring relationships with industry leaders that they met with at SXSW.
As a part of the SXSW class trip, OU MDIA instructor Josh Antonuccio uses class instruction time before departure teaching about networking and building intentional appointments into the trip schedule for students to meet individually with professionals in their field. Students are also provided with 100 professionally designed business cards at the outset of the trip and are encouraged to research the people that they would most like to work for in the future.
This summer two OU students, Keah Gerhart and Anthony Lauretta will be interning in New York City at Glassnote Records, home of Mumford and Sons, Chilidish Gambino, Chvrches, and Phoenix, and arguably one of the biggest and most influential independent labels in the business.
When asked about this new position, Anthony put it this way: “this trip was invaluable to my career and my aspirations for intersecting social media and the music industry”. After the summer, Anthony will also begin a second internship with Alt Press, an opportunity he received through his time at SXSW meeting Kevin Lyman, founder of Warped Tour.
Another OU student, Kimberly Reynolds, will begin a paid internship this year at the Lincoln Center of The Arts in New York City, an opportunity she received after meeting one-on-one with the Director of Public Programming at SXSW. Upon following up after the trip, Kimberly was offered the position and is going to be spending her summer working as a programming and editorial intern with them.
Other OU students from the trip received internships across a variety of media and music industry based companies including the talent agency Whitesmith Entertainment, Live Nation, Windish Talent Agency, and the publicity firm Team Clermont. As well, many students built invaluable connections to executives at companies in fields that they are interested in including the NYC marketing firm Grey Group, Atlantic Records, NPR, Interscope Records, Billboard Magazine, Stereogum, and the legendary Ardent Studio.