During the interview process for the House of Blues internship, the interviewer explained to me that I would need to be available evenings and weekends to work the concerts. As soon as she said this, I was all in. Concerts every single week? This was right up my alley!

My name is Ashton Smith, a senior Strategic and Corporate Communication major. I am currently a marketing intern at the House of Blues Anaheim. This experience has been amazing for me; I have learned so much about the entertainment industry and marketing field.

Typically, I will work one ‘admin’ day per week and one or two shows per week. During an admin shift, I am working in the office when there are no shows happening. During these shifts I complete different tasks every single time! One of the most constant parts of this position has been social media. So, during admin shift I am tasked with checking Yelp reviews and responding to every single customer. This has been a great task for me, as I love writing Yelp reviews, so it’s fun to be on the other side of the review. We usually respond something fairly simple like “Thanks for your review!” or if the comment is negative we pass along the recommendations to our management team. I have also completed research on surrounding venues’ marketing tactics and where they advertise their ticket sales. In the past few weeks, I wanted to take on some more responsibility so my supervisors taught me how to use Salesforce, which is an email marketing program. After getting to know me, they thought this would be really useful to my skill-set. I am so happy I was able to learn the basics of Salesforce and work on it in the office, as so many marketing coordinator positions I am applying to now are requiring knowledge of this program.

Now, for the fun stuff. Concerts at House of Blues usually fall on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. I am usually scheduled to work one or two of these shows with another intern. I have seen some of my favorite artists like Andy Grammer, Mat Kearney, Kip Moore, and Troye Sivan. These nights are so fun! We usually begin by changing out all the posters in the venue to attract the target audience who will be attending that night’s show to buy tickets for another. Then, we head outside to do ‘line engagement’. At first, this sounds like a daunting task, as we are required to talk with every single person in line for the show. We encourage them to follow our social media platforms and enter any giveaways. Usually, we run an Instagram contest where show-goers will post a photo of their party and have a chance at winning VIP tickets. As an intern conducting line engagement, I am one of the first faces House of Blues customers interact with so it’s extremely important that I employ my strong communication skills learned in my major and positive attitude. This has been such a great learning experience for me, especially on the customer service side.

After the line starts heading into the venue, we prepare for the show to start by prepping Instagram captions relating to the artist. Once the show begins, we head on to the side of the stage, or even in the audience to get some content for the Instagram account. We’ve revamped our Instagram story strategy since starting in August, as a lot of us have found that a cohesive story attracts more engagement. Although I already had some experience in social media marketing, my internship at House of Blues has taken this to another level.

In the beginning of my internship at House of Blues, I was so surprised to find out that the entertainment industry is really different than any other job. All of the employees work long hours, and into the late night most days. I wasn’t interested in pursuing a career in entertainment before starting this internship, and to be honest I don’t think I will be looking in this field right after graduation. But, the long hours and hard work are definitely worth the fun job. If you love music, or anything in the entertainment industry, I highly recommend pursuing an internship in the field!