City Spotlights Leadership Program: Reflections From a College Intern

Posted 23 November 2011 12:00 AM by Jackie Brayman, Education Intern

Being a part of the Citi Center's Education Department and working so closely with all of the City Spotlights Leaders has given me what I've been tirelessly searching for in regards to my college and post-college careers. I am a junior Marketing Communications major at Emerson College here in Boston and while the arena of Marketing Communications has always interested me, there was one thing that was holding me back from finding a true passion for it. That one thing was meaning. These days, it is so easy to get caught up in the cross fires of this seemingly never-ending monopoly game of materialism and wealth in our society. And I won’t lie, the idea of playing into this game—going to school to learn how to best play the cards that will ultimately yield a higher monetary profit, most times regardless of the emotional or ethical costs. But not here; not at the Citi Performing Arts Center and especially not with the City Spotlights Leaders. Being a part of this, getting to know these amazing kids and future leaders, and being able to watch them, and myself, change and evolve over the length of this program has truly given me a new world of meaning behind Marketing.

My responsibilities this semester, much like in any other internship, included data gathering, data entry and basic everyday organizational tasks. Sound boring? Maybe in ‘any other internship’ like I said, however, not at the Citi Performing Arts Center. My data gathering consisted of documenting and filming over 30 talented and fun teens learning how to be a better member of their communities, better honing in and mastering their areas of interest in the arts and ultimately, finding out who they are and want to be as an emerging person in this world. My data entry consisted of collecting and typing up the different written responses that the Leaders spend time each week reflecting on—responses that reflect “How Do I Want To Be Remembered?”, “What does community mean to me?” or “What makes me afraid?”. This type of work is not simply entering numbers or pencil pushing—this is reflective and meaningful work that these young, smart future leaders are producing and my job is to help facilitate sharing them with the world beyond the Citi Performing Arts Center…and that’s all Marketing is at the end of the day anyway—The action or business of promoting and selling products or services. 

But that’s the key—this isn’t a business of selling any product or service with the motivation of making a monetary profit. This is a business of stimulating personal growth and exploring individual interests within a motivational arena of producing an emotionally meaningful profit. The words 'Motivation' and 'Emotion' both share the same derivative of the root 'mot' meaning 'to move'. And I've realized that emotion is what moves me; what motivates me. And subsequently, this amazing program has helped me realize the obvious difference between marketing for money and marketing for meaning. All of the work that is done within this program, thanks for the efforts of Ramona Lisa Alexander, Ruth Mercado-Zizzo, Che Madyun, Siobhan Brown and many, many more, is what still gives Marketing meaning in this spiraling money-driven culture and I can’t put into words how much I’ve appreciated being able to be a part of this program.

I'd like to congratulate ALL of the Fall 2011 City Spotlights Leaders on their fantastic semester and amazing performance on Nov. 17th in the Grand Lobby of the Wang Theater, you all are rockstars!

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