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Communication major interns in NYC

Story by Adrienne Teague, University Relations Intern

Phillip Jones, a senior from Memphis, Tennessee, experienced a once in a lifetime dream to work as an intern at Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group (BBWEG), founded by CEO Sean “P.Diddy” Combs.

BBWEG is a large corporation encompassing a broad range of businesses including recording, music publishing, artist management, television and film production, recording facility, marketing and advertising, apparel and restaurants.  The company label is best known for the hit MTV series, “Making the Band,” and the founder’s urban clothing line Sean John.

“Interning nationally provided me with a wider scale of experiences.  I encourage any student to look at all types of internships, especially those on the national level, because there are so many opportunities available,” Jones said.

Jones had been working to find a regional internship to fulfill his requirements for graduation.  He sent out his resume and application for several internship programs in the Tennessee region, but he did not hear a response from any of them.  Instead of giving up hope, he turned to a local personality with great connections.

He teamed up with D.J. Wally Sparks, mix deejay for Chattanooga’s Power 94, to see what other opportunities were available.  Sparks, who is a nationally broadcast deejay, informed Jones of the internship in New York City with BBWEG.

After weeks of tedious patience, Jones received a phone call saying that he was one of the few, among thousands who applied, to receive the internship with BBWEG.  Delighted with the news, Jones explained that this internship was perfect for what he wanted to do.  He is aspiring to become a television VJ, and the opportunity to work with a group that deals with the entertainment industry provided Jones with the contacts he needed to get started laying the groundwork for his future.

“Interning in New York was in a whole other bracket from anywhere else.  It was an experience like none other.  I met a lot of people that could help me out in the near future with job opportunities, if I want to go into television broadcasting,” Jones said.

Jones applied his skills as he organized club promotions for various events, and advertising and marketing the company through record, restaurant and clothing line promotions.

However, this internship was not all cake and icing without a little baking.  Jones’ plans nearly collapsed under the weight of living expenses in the Big Apple.

Jones compared the costs for college interns to stay in New York saying, “Where UTC students pay around $400 a month to live in UTC Place dorms, we’re talking about $1400 a month to live in an even smaller space.”

He went on to explain that a large majority of college students wish to do their internships in New York for the culture and industry.  So, they are not only competing with the students attending local colleges in the Big Apple, but students are also up against their fellow peers from all over the nation.  Fortunately for Jones, a close friend’s New York apartment was vacant during the months of Jones’ internship. 

A wide array of internship and cooperative education opportunities are available at UTC.  Visit the UTC Department of Communication and the Office of Cooperative Education and Student Exchange Programs online.  

September 29, 2006