By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal
Most Texas A&M University-Commerce students are spending their summer relaxing poolside and enjoying their time off, but senior journalism major Keyania Campbell is spending her summer in Washington D.C. doing marketing communications for Kirov Academy of Ballet.
Not that she minds. An avid music fan, Campbell has a deep appreciation for the arts that began when she was in grade school.
“When I was attending Mesquite-Poteet, the band director mentioned that they needed more bassoon players, and I needed a shot at college, so I took the offer,” she said. “It was the best thing that happened to me. I loved going to band, and I ended up getting a scholarship to go to college.”
Originally a music major at A&M-Commerce, Campbell decided to switch her degree to journalism
with an emphasis in public relations, but music was still a priority.
“After majoring in music and PR, I decided I needed to find a way to combine the two,” she said.
Now, Campbell is looking at pursuing a graduate degree in Art Administration. In the meantime, she decided to look for a internship in the non-profit sector, which how she ended up working for the Kirov Academy of Ballet while staying at George Mason University. Her responsibilities vary a great deal, from setting up meetings to contacting magazine to fund-raising. The experience she is gaining will go a long way to helping her accomplish her goal of bringing music to children.
“There’s a place called the Foundation Center in Washington,” she said. “I’ve taken a lot of seminars there. I’m not interested in making money. Of course you have to make a living, but it’s the art sector that interests me. My eventual plan is to work in that area, to bring music to kids, specifically in under-served areas. That’s how I got into school.”
In the meantime, Campbell is enjoying her time in the nation’s capital and her 90 minute commute, although she has definitely experienced a change in culture.
“The people here, they’re very Type A,” she said. “They’re movers and shakers, and they’re not necessarily rude, but they know where they’re going and what they want to do. At first, I wasn’t homesick at all, but the other day I sneezed and no one said ‘God bless you.’ It’s a silly thing, but it’s different. You eventually just want to get back to what’s normal for you. At least it’s not as hot.”
That being said, Campbell has enjoyed her time in D.C.
“Interning in D.C., or any new city, alone, makes you sharper,” she said. “You get smarter. I could barely read a map when I got here, couldn’t cook, and was still living like a college student. I had to get better at navigating, more creative with cooking and basic survival skills, and had to learn to adapt to the life of a working adult while experiencing life as a 21 year old on my own. It’s done a lot for me, and so far I’ve learned a lot of skills that will help me succeed in a lot of ways.”
Campbell will be back to Texas by August, but she’s thankful to the individuals who helped her to get to where she is today.
“Dr. [Lamar] Bridges was really helpful in getting this internship for me,” she said. “He’s been really interested in my focus and supportive and I really appreciate that.”
According to the Kirov Academy of Ballet’s website, “Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington, D.C., is a pre-professional boarding school where serious ballet students are afforded a complete supportive environment to achieve their professional career goals.”