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Lynreshay Johnson Masters Her Craft Through Internship Opportunity

Master of Arts Management major Lynreshay Johnson came to the United States with a few goals in mind. Due to perseverance, excellent communication skills, and utilizing connections at the Career Center’s Internship & Job Fair, she is well on her way to success in the industry.

Originally from Nassau, Bahamas and a graduate of Anatol Rodgers High School, she obtained her first degree from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. When deciding on graduate school, Lynreshay states that Columbia College Chicago appealed to her right away. “I loved that it is an ‘arts school.’ This meant that no matter what I studied, it would be applied to this industry.”

Another key aspect of Columbia that caught her attention was location. “I loved that it is in the heart of the city. I also loved the fact that the school has a reputation for having incredible alumni.”

An outstanding student, Lynreshay has seamlessly adapted to work outside the classroom through her internship with The House Theatre of Chicago. As a front of house intern, she has a vast number of duties. As she relates, “My roles vary anywhere from booking tickets through phone, email, and walk-up during shows, assisting in running the box office during shows, to maintaining COVID protocols in the lobby and during the show. Sometimes I even get to do the announcements at the top of the show!”

The internship came about by attending the Fall 2021 Career Center Internship and Career Fair. “I met my current supervisor during one of the group sessions. We hit it off right away, and I was so happy to follow up with him after the call, and obtain the internship.”

That valuable networking at the fair has led to a harmonious work relationship with her supervisor and staff. According to Lynreshay, “Having an amazing and helpful supervisor is the absolute key to success in any internship. It is harder to learn from people who are not passionate about their work or helping you learn everything you can during your time there.”

Another gratifying aspect of her internship is the support she receives from her co-workers at the internship. “I think the work culture at my internship is the perfect blend of business and professional. We all like each other and care about our personal well beings, but we also know how to get things done efficiently which is helpful for our communication.”

Whether through classes or the internship, studying in the United States has given her the opportunity to witness change firsthand. “Culturally the social, educational, and systematic norms are all different from what I am used to. One of the most important things I have learned is that you can have different families in different parts of the world.”

Her investment in her education in the United States is certainly paying off in the form of real-world experience in an industry that she is passionate about. Through her internship and classes, her goals for the future have been solidified. “My main goal is to open up my very own theatre company in The Bahamas. Until then, I would love to gain some more experience in America working in a managerial role at a theatre to gain more expertise before I branch out on my own.”

Like many transplants from warmer parts of the world, Lynreshay does miss the warm, tropical weather of her homeland. Though she does love Chicago, she did share some thoughts for those coming to, shall we say, a climate that is an acquired taste. “The advice I would give to students who are seeking to come to the US is to make sure that you are okay with the climate you are entering! I wish I knew just how cold the Midwest was!”

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