A back arrow

All Articles

The show must go on

The show must go on

Lauren Durham ’22 August 17, 2020

Because of COVID-19, summer internships were hard to come by for many Flyers this summer. Michael Sticka ’06, president of the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, saw the need for opportunities and offered a virtual internship designed for a UD student.

GRAMMY museum buildingSticka’s original plan had been to host students at the GRAMMY Museum during the spring Flyers in Hollywood trip, an annual event that brings alumni working in the entertainment industry together with current students preparing for their dreams to do the same. The trip is also a great opportunity for students to makes connections for internships or jobs in the field.

“I felt badly for the students that they weren’t going to be able to experience that this year,” Sticka said, “so I thought maybe the next best thing was to offer up an internship that was mutually beneficial.”

Lexie BarellaLexie Barella, a senior communication major with a concentration in public relations, was exactly the type of student Sticka was look for.

Barella heard about the opportunity through an email sent to communication majors and applied for the position after her original internship was canceled. Joe Valenzano III, chair of the department and Flyers in Hollywood coordinator, helped organize the application process and choose the candidate.

Barella has been assisting multiple departments within the GRAMMY Museum. She has helped with promotions and sponsorships, media impressions and press information — all virtually from her home in Chicago.

“I’ve never been to the GRAMMY Museum, and they are in LA,” Barella said. “All in all, understanding who they are and what their mission is remotely is more challenging.”

That being said, Barella said she has thoroughly enjoyed the position and has learned firsthand that distance only means so much.

“I really liked going on the phone calls because it’s interesting to see how the different companies do business. Me, I’m the fly on the wall, so it’s me just listening in and observing what’s happening,” said Barella, who has recently moved back to campus and is completing her internship from there.

Located in downtown Los Angeles in the LA LIVE district, the GRAMMY Museum typically sees a lot of foot traffic. As soon as the pandemic began in March, the museum quickly shifted to online experiences only. According to Sticka, that necessary change has been surprisingly beneficial for the organization.

Michael Sticka“One of the things I like to mention to people is when we do reopen the museum in LA, we’ll have two museums — we’ll have our physical museum and then we’ll have our digital museum,” Sticka said. “The digital museum is really where our scale and our growth has been and will continue to be.”

Since Sticka joined the GRAMMY Academy in 2014, UD’s ever-so important ideal of community has been in the forefront of his mind.

Sticka said, “One of the first things I did was create a community engagement department so we could really broaden our community outreach, and a lot of that came from my time and educational experience at UD.”

He looks forward to more partnerships and opportunities with the University in the near future.

Music keeps playing thanks to virtual internships