Student sees internship as career key, with 'Christmas Spectacular' in mind

June 23, 2021

(Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of stories about Bellisario College students completing summer internships.)

It’s not even July and Abigail Schucker spends her days thinking about the holidays, and not summer holidays like July 4th or Labor Day.

Instead, as a marketing strategy student associate with Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp., Schucker is part of a team focused on the "2021 Christmas Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes." It’s never too early to be planning to make that event successful — especially so on the heels of the coronavirus pandemic, which shut down New York City shows for a year and a half.

Schucker, who attended the Christmas Spectacular once about 10 years ago, applied for the internship after receiving an email from Bob Martin, the assistant dean for internships and career placement in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications. Martin sends emails with internship and job opportunities directly to students by email, sometimes a couple of times a day.

Schucker applied in November, interviewed in December and accepted the internship offer in January. This summer, she’s working about 35 hours a week, all virtually, as the marketing team plans to drive interest in the spectacular, which debuted as a half-hour show in 1933 and has attracted millions of people in the past 88 years.

Her 20-member team is part of an even bigger group of people focused on creative content and social media to promote the Christmas Spectacular.

“It’s just an amazing opportunity,” Schucker said. “There are challenges and great people work with. It’s an experience that really complements what I’ve done on campus. I’ve tried to get involved with as much as possible since my first day because I’m focused on building a career.”

Schucker most recently served as director of marketing for The Daily Collegian, and as an account associate for Happy Valley Communications. She also completed a previous internship with Penn State World Campus and worked as a commercial sales and rental representative for Penske Truck Leasing.

“It feels like all of my experiences have complemented each other. Classes and organizations have been important, and so has my retail experience and internships,” Schucker said. “I like meeting people. I like interviewing, which hopefully helped me get this summer internship, and I feel like I’m learning a lot that will help me.”

Schucker, a senior advertising/public relations major from Reading, Pennsylvania, said picking Penn State for her college education was easy. She was sold by the opportunities and support available to students.

“I didn’t even want to go to Penn State because that’s the place everybody goes to and then we sat through the communications program presentation on a recruiting visit, and I was sold,” she said. “It was clear they had so much to offer.”

She has embraced numerous opportunities as a way to discover what she likes and does not, hopefully pinning down a solid strategy for when it’s time to start her career.

“I don’t want to be the person who has a degree but no idea what to do with it,” she said. “So I’m making the most of all the Penn State connections.”

And especially so if that means thinking Christmas thoughts in July. Or sooner.

Last Updated June 23, 2021