After she graduates, Brianna Christie ’22 will head to the University of Maine, where she’ll begin a fully funded master’s degree in communications. An arts management internship at MCLA helped her orient her interests and prepare for the next steps in her academic journey.
Christie, an English and communications major with a studio arts minor, saw a listing for a public relations internship with MCLA’s Institute for Arts and Humanities around the same time she was finishing her core curriculum requirements. She applied, wanting to get more specialized communications experience alongside her classes. IAH interns help develop campus and community resources, events, and collaborative arts projects centered around the mission of promoting equity-centered change on campus and in the community by expanding access to area arts and humanities resources.
Christie was surprised to find she really enjoyed doing work that helped advance that mission. “IAH has so many resources that amplify not only student voices, but the voices of community members, organizations, and students of color,” she said. “I’m not an arts management major, so I initially felt like I knew nothing or had no connection to the work I was doing. If I was introduced to the institute earlier in my undergraduate career, maybe I would triple major or add it to my minor.”
Christie has been awarded for her work as president of MCLA’s Black Student Union, and she also works in the Office of Admissions. She has now spent multiple semesters as an IAH intern, managing public relations and social media. In that role, she does everything from event marketing to content creation, working to connect the right audiences with IAH’s work. “The internship allowed me to get my foot into the door of PR/Marketing while also utilizing my skills for BSU,” she said.
She decided to apply for grad school after thinking deeply about what she wanted to do after earning her degree from MCLA. “I spoke to multiple professors, including Lisa Donovan (chair of MCLA’s Arts Management Department), about graduate school and she encouraged me to apply and see what would happen,” Christie said. She applied to two schools, was accepted to both, and will attend University of Maine’s master’s program on a full scholarship.
“The IAH internship helped refine my goals because I knew I wanted to work in public relations, but after working with arts organizations and creating community engagement, I see myself working for an arts organization, similar to IAH, in the future,” she said.