In Experiential Learning, School of Communications, Students

Communications student Madison Moulder shares how an experiential learning opportunity has enhanced her time at BYU

The lights come on and an audible gasp comes from the audience. Time has been frozen in the early 1900s, and a bronze statue by Douglas Tilden Mechanics Monument” is brought to life. Bronze-hued performers balance on a structure with limbs unsupported in the air, completely still. The art I experienced was part of the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach, California which brings famous works of art to the stage in an unforgettable experience.

This summer I interned at Front Row Reviewers, a reviewing company that celebrates the good in performing arts. “Pageant of the Masters” was the first performance I had the opportunity of reviewing, and it was an experience that gave me the necessary skills and experience in the public relations field.

Writing an article on a tight deadline while following a style guide has helped me prepare for a future in communications. While writing, it was important to balance Front Row Reviewers image as positive and honest with the reputation of the theater and performers. Contacting theaters, researching performances, interacting with fellow interns and updating spreadsheet information all provided me with skills that I couldn’t have learned in a classroom.

In my Intro to Public Relations class, two things helped me succeed with Front Row Reviewers. First, we were taught how to write concisely. It can be difficult to fit all the relevant information in an article while still making it interesting and engaging. This skill was practiced in class, and came in handy throughout my internship. Second, this class taught me the importance of targeting your audience. On a reviewing site, the audience is primarily people who are thinking about attending a performance. Knowing this helped me provide them with the information they were looking for.

The communications classes provided me with the necessary knowledge to succeed in the field, but was up to me to take that knowledge and apply it to the real world to gain experience. This approach keeps me always on the lookout for new opportunities and ways to expand my skills. Interning at Front Row Reviewers provided me with real world experience while using the knowledge from my classes to build skills that will help me succeed for the rest of my life. Reviewing performances helped me more than academically, as I discovered a new appreciation for the performing arts along the way.

The publication of student articles allows the College of Fine Arts and Communications to highlight the experiential learning opportunities and behind-the-scenes experiences of students and faculty and tell stories with a unique voice and point of view. Submit your story at cfac.byu.edu.

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