Career and Internship Center, School of Business, Marketing

Sydney Smith '23 is proudly from the country, though she confesses, she's not a huge fan of country music. She didn't buy a front row ticket to see Luke Combs; she just ended up there. It was part of the internship.

"So of the opening acts, they would come into the pit, near the barricade, after their performance. I got to talk with one of the bands during a Greta Van Fleet concert."

Sydney interned with MVP Arena in downtown Albany last fall. The marketing major is interested in sports services or for an event venue, and she figured the Capital Region's largest venue would be the perfect place to network and gain practical experience.

Her internship consisted of office days and event days. On event days, she would arrive early, walk the venue, and coordinate with media (providing instruction on where they can and can't go and what they can and can't record). She'd then record her own footage and pictures of the event, and on office days, she'd produce content (such as TikToks) on behalf of the venue. 

Sydney will graduate in May and begin taking MBA courses at Siena this summer. Her internship with MVP Arena was her first taste of the professional world she hopes to enter once she has her MBA in hand. 

"It was just so important to see how the industry works. There's only so much you can learn in class, and then you have to experience it first-hand. Plus, making connections and networking is so valuable. I know I can reach out to anyone I worked with at MVP Arena for help or a letter of recommendation."

Often on event days, she'd have the option to stay for the show or leave early to beat the crowd (if she wasn't responsible for gathering content). Getting ahead of the traffic after a long day was tempting, but catching a show, in the pit, for free, shoulder-to-shoulder with the opening acts. That's a perk to the internship she never wanted to take for granted...

...even if this country girl could take it or leave it when it comes to country music.