By Anne McNicholl
Career & Professional Development
A San Diego family has fallen for the charm of Spokane as Anne McNicholl is a proud mother of two Gonzaga students. Danamarie, a junior Broadcast and Electronic Media major, just returned from her time abroad in Madrid. Collin, a freshman, followed in his sisters’ footsteps and is enjoying his first year. You can find them both working side by side for the Career and Professional Center. Although Anne misses her children, she is excited that Danamarie and Collin can experience their college years together!
My daughter Danamarie, a junior Broadcast and Electronic Media major, interned for the digital marketing department of Sony Music Entertainment RCA Records this past summer in New York City. I sent my 20-year-old daughter to live in Manhattan by herself, and although I worried about her every day, I knew this would be an adventure of a lifetime. Her grandparents dropped her off at an NYU dorm on the lower east side of Manhattan in the heart of China Town. This was her first experience of culture shock. Equipped with her iPhone and the NYC subway app, she ventured out for her first subway ride without me.
Finding this internship was not an easy task for her. After many hours of research and twenty internship applications later, an opportunity of a lifetime opened up. An alumni took a chance on a fellow Zag and gave my daughter an internship that would shape the rest of her time at Gonzaga. Although a broadcast media major and an aspiring journalist, Danamarie was introduced to the world of digital marketing. Now she is one of few who is participating in the new digital marketing minor now offered and is considering a future in digital marketing.
She is a true New Yorker and as a native New Yorker myself, I would give her that badge – she earned it. When I arrived this summer to visit her, I realized very quickly the tables had turned. She had a deeper knowledge of how to get around my hometown more quickly and efficiently than I had ever done. Danamarie left home well-traveled, but nothing could have prepared her for living in New York City on her own.
She jumped right in as RCA’s intern, studying each artist’s writing style to promote and post on their behalf. She also had the opportunity to sit in on management meetings about launching and announcing promotional events all over the United States. I got a social media 101 lesson that summer when she showed me posts she created for thousands of fans. She made lasting connections with professionals that acted as mentors for her throughout the summer.
This internship was unfortunately unpaid but this did not stop Danamarie from achieving her dream of working in New York City. She found a retail job with Quicksilver and worked seven days a week both as an intern and a sales associate to support herself financially. She became part of the vast amounts of foot traffic alongside executives, struggled to find reasonable meals to eat, and made long lasting friendships. She attended three Broadway plays, visited museums, and enjoyed her lunch break in Central Park. I was very jealous of her experience!
If she never pushed herself to pursue an internship, she would not have had the exposure to the professional world prior to graduation. Internships motivate students to focus more on their future goals of employment while in school. The experience has opened Danamarie’s eyes to the competitive job market and has ignited her passion for digital marketing. I feel she is more focused on striving to achieve her goals after the internship a Gonzaga alumni offered her.