“It sounds really cliché, but I’ve been studying this on the academic level for 7 years and the internship still exposed me to a part of the industry that is otherwise inaccessible.”
If you’re interested in a career in the entertainment industry, consider applying for an internship with PRG. Combined with the opportunity to gain real-world skills and experience, our internships enable you to explore the diverse aspects of our lighting, audio, video, scenic and sales and integration operation, as well as our finance, business management and corporate operations.
We had the chance to sit down and chat with Allison Newhard, who was a PRG lighting intern with our product specialist department last year. She’s got big dreams – so look out for this one!
PRG: Hi Allison! I heard that you were a standout intern with us in 2017. Could you tell me where that has taken you, a year later?
NEWHARD: I am at Purdue University and I have 19 days left to finish my master’s program. It’s been a great three years here. My schooling has mainly focused on lighting design for theater, but my internship with Chris Conti and PRG really exposed me to the rest of the industry.
PRG: How did you decide to apply for the internship at PRG?
NEWHARD: I went to USITT last year and stopped by the booth and found out they had internships. I needed an internship for my master’s program. It’s very challenging to find an internship that gives college credit and also pays you.
PRG: How was the experience?
NEWHARD: It was amazing. It sounds really cliché, but I’ve been studying this on the academic level for 7 years and the internship still exposed me to a part of the industry that is otherwise inaccessible. He took me out on site surveys, had me drafting system drawings for huge concerts, had me helping with gobo designs, and then would just sit down and have lunch with me and ask me about my goals. He really motivated me to take my passion of education and merge it with the industry and try to facilitate conversations with all the right people. I gained a lot of knowledge. Fortunately, I stayed in contact with him really closely and gained a mentor as well.
PRG: Sounds like it’s the dream internship scenario!
NEWHARD: All jokes aside, it was the best three months of summer work I’ve ever done.
PRG: Any favorite moments during the internship?
NEWHARD: PRG set up troubleshooting workshops for me. They would have me go pull a bunch of gear, set things up to make it work, and then someone would alter the equipment in a way that would make it not work. I’d have to go back and figure out how to fix it and make it work again. This helped identify my strengths and weaknesses and built up my education in addition to the regular work I would do. I wasn’t just a paper-pusher, this was totally geared toward my skills.
PRG: Now looking toward the future, has this experience shaped any of your future goals?
My long-term goals are to team up with PRG or a similar production company and start an education outreach program to get better equipment for loans or rentals into schools because technology expands so quickly, and schools don’t have enough money to keep up with it. They usually get lump sums rather than per-year money. So, I want to try to build a better relationship between the industry and schools in an effort to produce better employees.
I think my goals were more subconscious before I had this internship. I didn’t realize that there was a place for them or that I could personally accomplish them before working with Chris Conti and PRG.