Ohio University

Internship Spotlight: Elizabeth Penry for What? Productions

Internship Spotlight: Elizabeth Penry for What? Productions

Liz Penry worked at What? Productions, focusing on their Music and Arts Festival department. Penry is a senior studying Journalism in the Carr Van Anda program and lives in Hillard, which is near the Columbus area. 

Q: How did you find out about this position?

A: I met two of the co-founders, Ryan Mckee and Ryan Ransom, at the 2019 Music Industry Summit at OHIO. We had a mutual friend, and I was really excited about the musical artists that they were bringing to the city. I told them that I wanted to work for them and help with marketing and promotions. 

Q: What was the recruitment process like?

A: I had a phone interview with one of the co-founders, Director of Marketing, Kristen Mckee, and discussed my previous work in the music industry, with journalism, and with marketing and promotions. 

Q: What were your responsibilities at this position?

A: I assisted with marketing, public relations, artist relations, and production. I helped with social media management for the festival pages, in addition to website auditing and creating a news page, press release development, and copywriting. I assisted with day-of-event logistics for the pre-party leading up to the festival, as well as the after-party following the festival, and during the main-day event, the second year of What? Music and Art Festival, I played a key role in artist relations by managing the artist green room. 

Q: Do you have any key takeaways from this opportunity?

A: My first takeaway is never afraid to go up and talk to someone that you do not know. I met Ryan and Ryan by overhearing them talk about What? Festival, and instantly telling them that I was interested in working for them. From that, I became their first intern. My second takeaway is never settling for something that you do not want to do or that you do not find interesting. I had accepted the previous intern offers before I was offered this one, and once I found this one, I called the other companies and said I was unable to work for them anymore. Those internships were okay, but this one really fit me, what my goals were, and what I see my future as being. My third takeaway is always to follow your gut. I knew that this company would be an amazing company to work for before I even started the job, just from talking to the co-founders and knowing about their first-year festival, and I knew that this was truly the people I would love to work for and work beside, and that statement remains true today. I am still working for them, even after my summer internship had ended, and I continue to love it just as much. I do not think I could have ever found a better internship, and what made it even better was that I was doing something that I loved while helping to change the music and art scene of Columbus, OH. I grew up in that city, and every day because of what we have been doing, as well as what others have been doing, I see it changing.