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    Katie Cam (right) is doing an internship with "Saturday Night Live" during fall 2010. Cam helped organize the spring 2010 Large Act Concert featuring Common (left).

Internship with ‘Saturday Night Live’ sets the stage for student’s career in music

Senior psychology major Katie Cam is spending her last semester before graduation in New York City on the set of “Saturday Night Live,” thanks to an internship with the New York Arts Program.

Southwestern has been affiliated with the NYAP since the early 1980s and places an average of four to 10 students with the program each year. For students like Cam who are interested in the arts, an internship with the NYAP offers firsthand work experience and skill development, set against the glittering backdrop of New York City. 

Cam first became involved with the arts at Southwestern through the University Programming Council, which organizes various entertainment events during the academic year. Through the UPC she helped organize the Large Act concert featuring two-time Grammy Award winner Common. Cam learned of the NYAP through fellow UPC members and a few of her Tri-Delta sisters, who had completed internships through the NYAP. 

The New York Arts Program was founded in 1969 by The Great Lakes College Association and is managed by Ohio Wesleyan University. The program pioneered a unique combination of experiential learning that partnered academic pursuits with internships with professionals working in the performing, visual and media arts to mentor and educate students. Since that time the program has served more than 3,000 students.

“Southwestern has had a very strong acceptance rate into the program,” said Career Services Internship Coordinator Maria Kruger. “We have only had one student turned down in the 10 years I have been on staff. They love our students.”

Cam submitted an application along with samples of her work and writing to the NYAP, hoping to be chosen for the internship with “Saturday Night Live.” “When I found out I would be working at SNL I couldn’t be more ecstatic. It’s an internship that I may not have been able to get without being connected to the program,” Cam said.

During her 40-hour work week, Cam manages databases, collects music for the show and helps out with the preparations for the musical guests. “All the cast members and guests pass by and talk to us, so it’s a really awesome experience,” Cam said.

She chose to stay in the four-story townhouse in Chelsea that serves as the program offices and housing. Living in the furnished doubles and quads allows residents to interact with other program students in a secure environment just 10 minutes from Times Square. The program housing is also the most affordable option.

Cam’s experience at SNL has reaffirmed her career ambitions to work in the live entertainment industry coordinating or promoting music events. “The NYAP is a great program to be involved in,” she said. “It has opened me to so many different possibilities and connections that I wouldn’t have been able to get otherwise.”

Shannon Hicks