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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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SMU grad combines love of art, fundraising

 SMU grad combines love of art, fundraising
SMU grad combines love of art, fundraising

SMU grad combines love of art, fundraising

Sylvia Kalley, a 2002 SMU graduate received an internship at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. this semester. Over 120 people applied for this highly competitive internship.

Each intern at the Kennedy Center is assigned a supervisor with whom they develop a list of objectives and goals as well as a special project to be completed during the internship period. The interns are compensated $800 a month and may receive college credit. The internship is for one semester, and 21 interns are chosen from the field of 120 applicants.

Kalley works in the major gifts section of the development department at the Kennedy Center. These donors give more than $25,000 annually to the Center. Kalley conducts research on potential donors and prepares the background information necessary to solicit potential donors.

Her interest in the internship began when she worked at the SMU Capital Campaign: A Time to Lead. Kalley worked with the campaign for three and a half years, and according to her employer, Laurene St. Germaine, was “an eager student, willing to do anything we asked and full of determination.”

St. Germaine had an internship at the Kennedy Center in the past and frequently told Kalley about her experiences, suggesting that she apply as well. Then, during her senior year, Kalley worked at The Shelton School assisting a drama teacher. That drama teacher had also been a Kennedy Center intern and was also encouraging her to apply.

“[Sylvia] was diligent in working on her resume and very thorough with her application,” St. Germaine said.

Kalley was granted an interview at the end of which she was offered a job on the spot.

“She is a very ambitious person and has a zest for life,” St. Germaine said. “I am certain she will make the right career decisions in her life.”

Kalley worked closely this semester with the Carmen Jones trustee dinner by compiling a list of contact information of the invitees. This dinner is a high-profile event, and people like Oprah Winfrey, Steven Speilberg, Donatella Versace and P. Diddy were invited.

A typical workweek for Kalley is about 40 hours. However, when there are major upcoming events, she puts in a lot of overtime.

Kalley attributes her selection as an intern to her experience working for development on the Capital Campaign. Her involvement with the arts started at SMU as well.

“I have a passion for the arts that was ignited my senior year through an internship I had to do for Professor Gancarz, who was teaching an upper level psychology course,” Kalley said.

Kalley said her two main goals for the internship are to network with professional contacts that could further her career, and to utilize the time to decide where she will go next.

Internships at the Kennedy Center are available in advertising, development, education, press, press relations, production, programming, technology, volunteer management, finance and facilities. For more information, visit www.kennedy-center.org.

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