A Summer Snapshot

Over the summer, Charlotte Ballet had two interns from the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program (MYEP). Nailah Etherly and Niayla Reynolds worked with various leaders throughout the organization, assisting with projects and needs for upcoming events and programs. Below are their reflections.

Photo of Nailah Etherly and Charlotte Ballet logo

My name is Nailah Etherly and I began interning at Charlotte Ballet earlier this summer. I was born in Tallahassee, Florida, but raised here in Charlotte. I currently am a senior at Palisades High School. I plan to further my education at an HBCU while majoring in Business Administration with a focus in Marketing. In my free time, I enjoy baking sweet treats and painting.

I first heard about the Mayors Youth Employment Program (MYEP) internship at my school. I wanted to apply somewhere in my community but it felt overwhelming and I wasn’t sure if I was qualified. On the final day for the deadline, I heard about MYEP over the announcements, I trusted my gut and went for it. I’m so glad that I did.

Prior to this experience, when I heard the term “intern,” I would always think about getting a supervisor’s coffee and organizing files. I thought it would be just like the movies. When I got here, I quickly realized that was not the case. I would be working in a collaborative environment alongside my colleagues on projects and sitting in on important meetings. One thing I loved about Charlotte Ballet was the personable and welcoming environment. I was never afraid to ask for help on a project and it seemed like there was always laughter somewhere in the office. Working at Charlotte Ballet was not only an interesting, teachable environment, but it was fun as well!

Me and my coworker, Niayla Reynolds supervised by Kimberly Pereira. She is the director of Education & Community Engagement. You may even know her if you’ve ever been to a REACH audition! Working with the education and community engagement team, we had the opportunity to refine our organizational skills, as well as research improvements for charlotte ballets sensory friendly performances. I felt so supported by Kimberly and know I am more prepared for future careers.

Both Nailah and Niayla

Going into this internship, I had no idea which field in business I wanted to study. I had a deep interest in marketing but also felt drawn to sales and human resources. Throughout the duration of my time at Charlotte Ballet, I worked with every department first hand. This included Production, Wardrobe, Education & Community Engagement, Academy, Marketing, and Development. This gave me the opportunity to experience the different sectors of business and performing arts.

Interning at Charlotte Ballet has helped me navigate through my skills and interests and I now have a more clear understanding of what I will study in college and the steps I need to take to reach my goals. I now find myself more drawn to marketing. I love everything from the graphic design aspect of it, to researching how to get people excited about what we are advertising.

In the marketing suite with Claire Lechtenberg and Alexandra Berg, I researched marketing and sales techniques while studying website analytics. Our very first project was to create a blog post about pride here in Charlotte. This was new territory for me, as I only ever wrote for school assignments and I never thought something I’d create would be on a company website.

I look forward to using both the hard, and soft skills that I gained from my experience at Charlotte Ballet to lead my career in business in the right direction. I will never forget my summer here!

My (Niaylah Reynolds) time here at Charlotte Ballet has been nothing but worthwhile and enlightening. I didn’t know what to expect interning for a dance company, because I don’t have dance experience, but that proved to be trivial when many colleagues expressed that they’d never danced a day in their lives. Over the past 6 weeks, I’ve been immersed in the business world, gaining new skills and knowledge working with departments in the company and I would like to share some of my highlighted experiences.

Working with the marketing department was where I found my favorite projects to be. I and the other intern’s first project was to create a blog post about Pride Month. I was very excited about this as I enjoy writing and was glad to discuss an important topic. We learned the different components of creating a blog post while also learning the backend of their website. We also researched local businesses and events to aid the search for potential partners for the company.

Although working for the marketing department with Claire and Alexandra has been my favorite aspect, I’ve also gained valuable skills working with the production department. Our first project was to create a cost analysis, which seemed intimidating at first, as I never created one before, but with guidance from Aaron and Melissa, we were able to create a very detailed document while also learning how to efficiently utilize Microsoft Excel.

I can’t talk about my experience here without mentioning my time with the Education & Community Engagement department under Kimberly Pereira. Kimberly first welcomed us to the company and has been very helpful and dedicated throughout my 6 weeks here. One of my favorite times with this department was assisting with auditions for the REACH program at different recreation centers here in Charlotte. I admire this company’s dedication to giving back to the community and making dance accessible to everyone.

Overall, interning at Charlotte Ballet has helped me navigate and explore a very promising career path in business and I will take all the skills, knowledge, and experience I have obtained here to college this fall to major in Management.

Thank you to all the Charlotte Ballet staff for making my time here enjoyable and good luck to all the dancers in their upcoming season!