Princeternship Stories: Irene Hsu ’20, Education Through Music-LA

Being a Princetern for Education Through Music-LA (ETM-LA) was an extremely rewarding experience. Firstly, talking with Victoria allowed me to learn so much about working at a nonprofit. What stood out to me the most was the organization’s focus on its mission. This united everybody and allowed them to work together passionately to reach their goal. Talking with Victoria also gave me insight into running a company. She mentioned how important it was to be surrounded by people who support the same values. This made me reflect a lot about networking and being an entrepreneur. I also found it very interesting how a nonprofit funds and publicizes itself. Effective nonprofit work is very much based on connections and reaching out to sponsors and local organizations. I find this aspect of this type of career very exciting and I will keep this in mind when figuring out what I want to do in the future.

This Princeternship also gave me the valuable experience of working in an office, which I had never done before. One of the activities I did was sorting files from the Education Through Music-LA 2016 Gala. I enjoyed this activity because not only was I able to look through the logistics of planning such a huge event, but I was also able to get a taste of how ETM-LA was able to impact society. I especially liked looking at the photos of the celebrity sponsors of ETM-LA.

Another one of my tasks was typing up the surveys from the parents of the children who were in the ETM-LA program. Through this, I was able to see how much the program has positively impacted the children and how grateful every family was for this enrichment to their children’s education. One of my favorite responses was a parent stating that her child was able to discover his talent for singing and is now performing for radio shows all because of ETM-LA. This made me love the organization even more because of the way it has made such a difference in my community.

On the last day of the Princeternship, I was able to see the training session for teachers. I participated with the teachers in their activities as they learned from ETM-LA how to teach music using the curriculum ETM-LA provided. I also enjoyed talking with the teachers individually at our delicious Mediterranean food lunch and learning what inspired them to become involved in ETM-LA. Interestingly, a lot of them had graduated from conservatories and taught private music lessons as well.

This Princeternship was an amazing experience. I was able to learn so much about nonprofits as well as see how music, both of which I want to incorporate into my future career. I loved meeting Victoria and everyone else who welcomed me so warmly at the office. I am grateful to have had such a wonderful and valuable three days at Education Through Music-LA.