The art of marketing
At Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Quinlan senior Anna Tonarely had an opportunity to put her marketing skills to the test
By Adriana Geday ('17)
Quinlan School of Business senior Anna Tonarely is passionate about experiential marketing—creating in-person experiences that bring brands and consumers together. Last semester, Tonarely found a perfect internship for refining these marketing skills at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Here, Anna shares her experience and how she hopes to apply these skills to her future as she approaches graduation.
What attracted you to this internship?
I heard about the special and rental events internship with the Museum of Contemporary Art during my freshman year, and I instantly knew this would be an ideal fit for me. It combined both my interest in event planning and my marketing education.
What interests you about working in museums?
Before this internship, I was a sales and event marketing intern with Michigan Avenue magazine and assisted with promotional event planning and marketing. I wanted to expand my knowledge and experience in event coordination, so naturally a position at a museum would offer these experiences. Also interning with MCA, a museum I have loved since moving to Chicago, had great benefits like being able to go on curator-led tours of new exhibitions, discounts in their amazing store, and free admission to the MCA during my time as an intern.
What did you work on at the MCA?
While at the MCA, I worked on everything from marketing materials, including a blog post and event marketing e-mails, to researching and maintaining client files and databases to assisting with one of the museums largest fundraising events, Vernissage, the opening night preview of EXPO CHICAGO at Navy Pier. The work was truly different every day, making the experience both enjoyable and helpful in identifying what I want in a future career.
What’s something you are proud to have accomplished there?
Of all the work I did during this internship, I am especially proud of a blog post I worked on for MCA DNA. The Special and Rental Events department was interested in producing materials to market the museum as a rental events venue, specifically for weddings, and asked me to help create something special.
During my entire internship period, I worked with the social media team and my supervisors on creating this blog post that highlighted why the museum is a unique and beautiful place to celebrate a wedding. After it was completed and posted, it was added to the rental events page, something that I am definitely hopeful will increase rental bookings at the MCA in the future.
What was your favorite part of the MCA?
The blog and the great people I was able to interact with made my experience at MCA. It would also be a mistake not to mention how amazing it was to be a part of Vernissage. I consider myself incredible lucky that I was able to not only help in the planning process of this event, but actually attend it.
How do you think this internship will help you with your career?
I loved my experiences with the MCA, as it taught me a lot about what interests me and what doesn’t, in terms of my future career. Through this internship, I realized that I am not interested in coordinating personal events like weddings and definitely more interested in promotional event planning for brands.
The MCA had an amazing culture with unique people and the museum truly values their employees and their experiences. I am hopeful I will find these same workplace ideals in a future career.