Category: Summer 2017

Simplifeye – My responsibilities – Austin Frank

After completing SDR (sales development representative) training I have been calling dental practices around the country and setting up meetings for our sales “closers”. I have learned that it is extremely hard to steal 10 minutes of a doctor’s time during the summer, especially specialists like oral surgeons and endodontists. It is my job to get passed that and set up a meeting through an office manager. I make anywhere from 150-200 calls a day. Our daily goal is to schedule at least seven meetings. That’s obviously an extremely small percentage when you’re making so many calls. We deal with a lot of rejection but it’s nice to have team members doing the exact same thing across the table so we can all laugh it off together. I am reaching my goals and also stretching beyond here and there so far. I work about 10 hours a day so it does get exhausting, but the work environment makes it easy to want to work.

I am certainly living the NYC grind. I wake up at 5:30am to workout, then catch the train at 8am and get into work just before our 8:52am team huddle every morning. I usually work until between 6 and 7pm, then head home to have some dinner and prep for the next day. I am a fan of being on the go and productive so this is the perfect environment for me!

Simplifeye – Making connections – Austin Frank

I have been fortunate enough to work with an excellent team. Everyone is young and on the same page, but also really accomplished. I talk to our CEO regularly. We have an open office and work collaboratively. My sales team here was a part of a startup called SinglePlatform that was acquired for $100 million, due in large part to their success in building the sales team there. We are using the same philosophies that were used there to have those same successes here at Simplifeye.

I have been able to network like crazy out here. Our team goes out for drinks weekly and I get the chance to talk on a more personal level with everyone and pick their brains. This time is especially important for me since I’m trying to build relationships out here. Everyone says once you’re involved in one startup out here it’s easy to find connections at almost any startup.

I also went to the LU alumni summer meet up last night and got to meet some more LU alumni!

Weill Music Institute – My responsibilities – Arielle Kaye

The summer is usually a slow time for The Weill Music Institute (WMI) because most of the planning time happens between June-August in preparation for the 2017-2018 season. Despite the slight lull, I have been charged with a diverse set of tasks including sitting in on meetings, planning a personal project, and helping out with Social Impact Programs (SIP) events.

There are always very exciting meetings that I get to sit in on and even engage in sometimes. My favorite meeting that I have been able to be a part of was a meeting between the Social Impact Programs team and The Apollo Theater’s Education Team. This was my first time encountering how WMI interacts with an outside organization that works similarly to how they function (i.e. a company with some type of auditorium(s) with an in-house education and social impact team). This meeting was a follow-up to their first meeting where they talked about the context of each program. What was originally a meeting about sharing ideas, quickly turned into an active think tank for how each team could offer the other support in the similar programs that each organization was putting on separately. I have observed collaborations many times while I have been here the past few weeks, but it was exciting to witness what strong relationships between organizations can help them both achieve just by listening and having a dialogue about how they can improve upon what they already have. In addition to being able to see how important genuine, and not just transactional, relationships are in the world of the arts, I was also able to see how collaboration can diversify programming. Even though one organization can have the best ideas for how to have rich and diverse programming, that can only take them as far as the brilliant minds that are within that organization. Through having these important dialogues and brainstorming with other groups who are doing similar things in different ways, an organization can grow and flourish with fresh perspectives on ideas.

Most recently, I have been working on a project that will help form a plan for creating a community for the 70+ artists that work throughout the Social Impact Programs. When my supervisor and I were first coming up with an approach for this project, we outlined the different steps that I would need to complete before I could create a concrete report on my findings. The first step in that process has been the most difficult part of the process for me so far. My first step was to do a self-reflection about my own values in the relationships that I have with people, specifically as an artist and my relationship with other artists and as an administrator and my relationship with artists. My supervisor and I have been talking a lot about relationships and the complexities of them in different contexts. In business relationships, transactional relationships are often the norm. A transactional relationship is a relationship where both parties operate out of self-interest and both parties will only work out of reciprocity. When this type of relationship forms in arts communities, the community cannot function well and can only operate at surface level. Through doing my self-reflection, I couldn’t help but notice that my immediate reaction was to get into that transactional mindset when I’m working. My initial thoughts kept going back to “when I am employing artists, what do I give them and what do they give me, what qualities in my relationships with other people benefit me or what qualities do I possess that will benefit them.” It is dangerously easy to view people as a means to give you something when you’re in a working mindset. How often are we asked to help with a project at work or in school, only to think “if I do this for person A, then person A can help me out with this project down the road in return”? I’ve realized that the end goal is the relationship that you’re forming with the person that you’re helping or working with, not what you might “get” from them.

It has been a dream for me to work at a large music organization like Carnegie Hall, so being able to work at WMI this summer has started to paint a picture for what a future in arts administration could look like. I am not only learning about what a realistic career could be like in my field, I am learning what it takes to become a leader in this field.

Big Data Summer Institute – Making connections – Christian Rodriguez

The BDSI program has 45 participants, but I work closely with two others on a specific project, Olivia and Alejandra. They have been extremely helpful to the project, and we cover each other’s weaknesses pretty well. We also get along very well which makes the work day really painless. Aside from other participants, I also work closely with a graduate student, Greg, a professor at the University of Michigan, Hyun, who supervise and guide our project. To stay in touch with participants from the program, I’ve joined the Facebook group for the program (and have added a good amount of them as friends) I also plan to keep the emails of the faculty I have met here to stay in touch with them. The program has exposed us to a considerable amount of leading researchers in biostatistics and other students who share an interest for data science. I really have no expectation to meet anybody else from the program; I’ve met an outstanding group of people already.

Weill Music Institute – Internship first impressions – Arielle Kaye

I am interning this summer at Carnegie Hall’s music education and social impact programs department, The Weill Music Institute (WMI). The mission statement is as follows: Carnegie Hall’s mission is to present extraordinary music and musicians on the three stages of this legendary hall, to bring the transformative power of music to the widest possible audience, to provide visionary education programs, and to foster the future of music through the cultivation of new works, artists and audiences. The Weill Music Institute is split up into three parts: artist training programs, social impacts programs, and learning & engagement programs. This summer I will be working as assistant to the Director of Social Impacts Programs. This internship will allow me to gain insight into what a possible career in arts administration will look like since my supervisor is an arts administrator at a very high level. I feel very lucky to be working with my supervisor because she exhibits many wonderful leadership qualities that I hope to learn from her. It is exciting to be around such a strong female role model! I am also excited to learn about the ways in which The Weill Music Institute creates new programs and maintains existing ones. I will be working on a new program that they just launched in March, Create Justice, so I will get direct experience in watching how these programs are shaped and get to help with the shaping of the future of the program.

My first day on the job was very exciting! On the way to work, I was joking with my friend that I wouldn’t get much responsibility and have the typical first day that any intern has: a tour around the office and a tutorial on how the copy machine works…but I was very wrong. I had never been to Carnegie Hall before my first day. I had only seen pictures and heard stories about incredible musicians putting on even more incredible concerts. The first few hours were mainly spent acclimating to the office space and meeting new people, but then I had a meeting with my supervisor about what I would be doing for the rest of the day. There was a small choir coming in for a concert that evening in the Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage (the main stage of Carnegie Hall). This choir was made up of older people who were either currently experiencing homelessness or had experienced it in the past. The program they were from participated in the first songwriting project that Carnegie had around seven years ago, so it was very special since some of the people in the choir were there for that first songwriting experience. My supervisor and I were hosting the choir from around 2pm until the end of the concert (~10:30pm) so it was a very long day of figuring out how to get around backstage/around the building while escorting this choir. It was wonderful to be able to engage with some of the people that the Social Impact Programs had directly worked with over the years. In addition to spending the day with the members of the choir, many people from the communities that The Weill Music Institute provides opportunities to were at the concert as audience members and I had the chance to speak with some of them. I can’t think of a better way to be introduced to The Weill Music Institute than through meeting the people who are experiencing the programing that WMI provides. As an added bonus, during the actual concert, Stephen Schwartz (composer of Wicked and Godspell) made a guest appearance and sang the well-known song from Wicked, “For Good”. Overall, my first day felt like the perfect introduction to both The Weill Music Institute and Carnegie Hall!

Big Data Summer Institute – My responsibilities – Christian Rodriguez

Some of the duties I have been working on at BDSI are common data wrangling procedures. We have multiple data sets regarding different genomic studies, and in order to do a mete-analysis, we need to adjust the data sets into a common format. What I mean by this specifically: we configure certain columns to have the same units/value (such as making sure all effects are expressed as Betas or Odds Ratios), calculate additional data that is hidden and needed within the data set, cleaning data (different studies build data differently), and etc. When it comes to data analysis, data wrangling tends to be a good chunk of the work.

The program definitely gives great insight into the kind of career I am pursuing. Not only are we working on data sets that nobody has touched before and expected to work through it ourselves, but our project leaders work closely with us and explain the more technical end of the work. After seeing the wide spectrum of work biostatisticians are doing, I am only reassured that I want to pursue a career in statistics.