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August 25, 2010

Volunteer Spotlight: Students


To continue this month’s feature on UMS volunteers, I’d like to focus this weeks’s spotlight on UMS students!

UMS had nearly 40 student workers last season, assisting us in all areas of our organization: the ticket office, production, programming, education, marketing, development, and administration. From driving airport runs to running merchandise tables, preparing mailings to designing posters, selling tickets to editing program books, UMS can never pull off a successful season without the help of dedicated students, some of whom receive work-study money through financial aid, and some who volunteer their time unpaid.

On our current staff of 32, 10 of us began our careers as UMS interns. Other former interns have moved on to careers at places including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and artist management agencies; others are performing professionally in orchestras, opera companies, as conductors, or on Broadway.

I asked Mo Stych (above left), last year’s UMS Programming Intern, some questions about her experience as a UMS intern:

How did you find out about UMS internships?
I found the UMS internships while looking for a job at the end of last summer. It immediately caught my attention, because I love copy-editing and I love music and live performances, so it was really a match made in heaven from the first time I read the job description.

What are some of the things you’ve learned while working at UMS?
The most important thing I’ve discovered from working at UMS is that people really can love their jobs. Everyone I work with is so friendly and willing to help students (and each other) with any problems that arise, and it’s such a great work environment that I’m not the least bit worried about having to find a “real” job when I graduate. My co-workers are in love with what they do, and it comes through in all the hard work and effort they put into making each and every show the best it can possibly be. It’s an exhilarating feeling to work with such determined and motivated people.

What was one of your favorite moments related to working at UMS?
One thing I’ll never forget from working at UMS is getting the Punch Brothers‘ sandwich orders from Zingerman’s. I know that sounds mega-lame and makes me looking like a ditsy ten-year-old girl with a crush on her favorite boy band, but when it comes to the Punch Brothers, that’s basically what I am. It was almost overwhelming getting to talk with them one-on-one and see them in a real-life environment; I’ll truly remember it my whole life.

What events are you most looking forward to in the coming season?
This upcoming season, I’m really excited to see the Paul Taylor Dance Co. (I’m excited to see more of the dance world in general) and the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Oh, and, of course, I’m always thrilled to see Handel’s “Messiah”!

Are you a student? If you’re looking for an exciting way to spend some free time, or need to fulfill your work-study award, we’ve just posted our student job postings for the coming season. Click here to view internship and work-study opportunities. The application deadline is September 1, 2010. We look forward to hearing from you!