Thousands of viewers will attend the 54th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday, April 7 on CBS. The show, hosted by Reba McEntire and starring nominees like Kacey Musgraves and Chris Stapleton, was made possible in part by the work of two students at Indiana University Media School.
Addison Keel and Ashley King are interning at the Academy of Country Music in Los Angeles for the semester as part of the Media School’s Semester in Los Angeles program. Interns retain full-time student status; they take classes taught by adjunct professors who are media professionals in the LA area and network with other Hoosiers in Hollywood.
Learn more about Keel and King’s semesters in Los Angeles:
Keel, a senior media advertising student with a focus on graphic communications, organizes award materials and references, searches for and contacts Academy of Country Music Awards nominees, and provides other support as an intern for them. awards and members.
Keel, a native of Sheridan, Indiana, had always been interested in studying abroad, but was reluctant to miss an entire semester on campus. When she heard about the Semester in Los Angeles program from a student in the upper class, she knew she had to jump at the chance.
Although she spent her summers working as an advertising account manager for the Indiana Daily Student and in the commercial office of Kittle’s Home Furnishings, Keel hadn’t had a traditional internship before coming to Hollywood. She said she was nervous at first about mastering new skills like Microsoft Excel while on the job, but now she’s excited about how to accomplish new tasks.
âIt can definitely be scary when you’re starting a new job and you’re not 100% sure how to do it all,â Keel said. “But if you are proactive and ask questions and even just google, you realize how much you are capable of.”
Keel said the experience heightened her interest in working in the entertainment industry and encouraged her to consider applying for jobs outside of her comfort zone. The Semester in Los Angeles program also helped her make connections that could turn her dream of working in entertainment into reality.
âIt’s amazing that there are so many Hoosiers in Hollywood,â Keel said. âPeople call LA the Lonely City, because it’s so crowded, but no one knows each other. In my experience, there is such a large Hoosier population, and there is always someone to help. “
King began his studies at Media School focusing on broadcast journalism. Although she has now moved on to a public relations concentration, she is still interested in broadcasting and taking classes. A marketing internship at the Academy of Country Music, which broadcasts an awards show, was the perfect way to marry his experiences.
While at the academy, King helped raise awareness of the awards and other efforts by using social media, launching press releases for won media and more. She also works with artists and publicists to plan the promotion. She said the Media School classes she took gave her a good foundation for the job she did, but she also learned things that can’t be taught in a classroom, like how be a good colleague and build strong professional relationships.
King said the most rewarding experience of his internship had been helping plan the Borderline Strong concert, a charity event that benefited victims of the November shooting at the Southern California country bar and hall. Borderline Bar and Grill concert. During the benefit evening, which included performances by stars like Jimmie Allen and Trace Adkins, King spoke with one of the shooting victims.
âWorking on Borderline fundraising has been an experience I will never forget,â King said. “Not only was I able to work closely with these amazing artists and their publicists, but I was able to speak to someone whose life was affected by the work we were doing.”
While moving from Indiana to Los Angeles and starting a new internship all at once might seem daunting, King encourages other students interested in entertainment to take the plunge and spend a semester in LA.
âOne of my favorite quotes is, ‘The best things in life are on the other side of fear,’â King said. “I was so scared to go into this semester, but I come out so much stronger.”