Hospitality Management Major Completes Arts Administration Internship in ‘Big Apple’

OXFORD, Miss. — Taylor Thomas of Vicksburg, a senior hospitality management major at the University of Mississippi, returned to the Oxford campus this fall for her senior year with a better grasp on her future, thanks to a summer internship in New York City.

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Taylor Thomas (left) of Vicksburg, a senior hospitality management major at the University of Mississippi, bids New York City goodbye at the end of her summer internship at the Joyce Theater. Her work included coordinating 30 days of performances by Canadian dancer Paul-Andre Fortier (second from left). They were joined by Joyce co-workers Kris Myrseth and Jimena Duca.

Thomas worked as a programming intern at the Joyce Theater, as well as took on a part-time job to help with expenses.

“I helped with the everyday operations at the Joyce Theater, a dance theater founded in 1982,” she said. “I worked in the programming department, which meant a lot of contracts, visa applications and other kinds of paperwork. By far, the most interesting part of my internship was coordinating 30 days of performances by Canadian dancer Paul-Andre Fortier.”

In rain or shine, Fortier performed a 30-minute solo, “30 x 30,” at noon each day for 30 consecutive days in the open air at 1 New York Plaza in Lower Manhattan.

“Never before had I worked that many days without a day off, but after each day’s performance I was revitalized and ready for the next,” said Thomas, a member of the Sally McDonnell Barksdale Honors College, which provided a fellowship grant for her internship. She is also Chancellor’s Honor Roll scholar and member of Kappa Omicron Nu academic honorary.

Thomas earned with three hours of academic credit for the internship, as well as other benefits.

“Maybe, most importantly, I gained a look into the future,” she said. “I know for sure that I want to stay close to the arts. I have danced my whole life, and I’ve realized it’s something I can’t leave behind. I really enjoyed working in arts administration, so perhaps I’ll choose that field after I graduate. I’m also considering graduate school.

“I’m also really eager to travel abroad, and I’m not sure how that will fit into things. So, looks like I have a lot to think about this year.”

Thomas said the internship also provided her with “huge networking opportunities.”

“Not only was I able to meet all the people at the Joyce, but I also met a lot of people in other organizations that the Joyce works with. Also, with a part-time job, I worked more than I ever have, and gained a new appreciation for the term ‘hard work’.”

Thomas comes from a generational Ole Miss family, including her grandfather, who played for the Rebel football team.

“I had always loved Ole Miss, and everything that was happening at the Honors College really excited me, so I came,” she said.

The Honors College provides undergraduate students from all disciplines with a vibrant center of academic excellence, merging intellectual vigor with public service, to help them become outstanding in their fields and engaged citizens of their communities.

A graduate of St. Aloysius High School, Thomas is the daughter of Dani Kay and Gary Thomas.
For more information about the Honors College, visit http://www.honors.olemiss.edu/.

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