This is part of a series of posts by recipients of the 2021 Career Services Summer Funding Grant. We’ve asked funding recipients to reflect on their summer experiences and talk about the industries in which they spent their summer. You can read the entire series here.
This entry is by Noa Spero, COL ’23
This summer I had the pleasure of working at Broadway Plus, an incredible company forging the way in expanding Broadway opportunities for artists and fans. I was very excited by the initial offer to not only work for this company, but to work in-person in their New York City office as well. After having done school and worked remotely for the previous year and a half, it was refreshing to even think about working in an office with similarly passionate Broadway professionals. The one thing I had to grapple with was the idea of commuting in and out of New York in order to get to my office every day. With this grant from Penn, I was able to take the train and be in the office, which was truly the best experience I could have had.
I was able to not only work in an industry that I loved (a block away from Broadway theaters), but I was able to sit next to a former actress from Wicked as well as a former employee of The Shubert Organization. I had my own desk and computer and was able to work all of my hours sitting among wonderful people who taught me so much about working in theatre. Since I was in the city, I was also able to take my co-workers out to lunch in order to learn more about their backgrounds and experiences.
Additionally, I had the ability to stay in New York some days without having to worry about paying for new trains because of my monthly Amtrak pass. As a result, I was lucky enough to go to Broadway events like the Make a Wish concert Broadway Plus hosted in early August. This was also such a valuable experience and offered much insight into the world of producing Broadway events, an area I am now very interested in further exploring. I truly feel like I had the complete Broadway experience this summer. Even though the commute was difficult at times, I was able to use that time to work as well as unwind, so it ended up being productive in its own right.
I am so grateful for my experience this summer, especially since it was so unique. In a world where Broadway was still shut down, I couldn’t have imagined having the opportunity to work in the city, but I am so glad that I did. While I have been working in this industry since I was 16, this job was so different from the other positions I have held and I had the ability to truly flex the skills I had cultivated from years prior as well as discover new skills and work on those. I became a better researcher, note-taker, and listener this summer, as well as a better teammate because of my fellow interns and co-workers.
I know this opportunity would not have been possible had I not received the money I did from Career Services and I am so grateful that I was able to work this job. My new internship for the fall was even a result of a coworker’s connection. I cannot wait to explore more parts of Broadway in the future with this experience in my back pocket.