Rachel Steenson at Maha Music Festival — photo by Daniel Muller for Hear Nebraska-150x150

Rachel Steenson’s HN Experience | Intern Review

photo by Daniel Muller

testimonial by Rachel Steenson

Hear Nebraska is pretty neat.

Wait, let me try that again.

Hear Nebraska has got it going on. Seriously. It is well on its way to being the next big thing. I have been sitting on this article for weeks trying to find a way to accurately describe all that I experienced as an intern with HN, and realized that the best I can do is to say: You gotta try it. The time is now.


The first time I remember getting really excited about music was when I was 10 years old. I came home from school after sitting through a string instrument demonstration and declared to my parents that I wanted to play the bass. Not the sleek, sexy, electric kind, but rather the great, big, wooden kind that requires you to become very anxious about narrow staircases and non-automatic doors, and to haul it to the dealership any time you are looking to purchase a car to ensure that you will be able to transport it (I drive an 11-year-old taupe PT Cruiser for this very reason).

In all honesty, it’s madness. I think I have an inclination toward madness. But I learned I’m not alone.

When I first spoke with Andy, I told him about my continuing madness: I am an English and music performance (still with that great, big, bear of an instrument) major, looking to somehow create an internship that fuses the two together in some way. Despite my atypical background from HN’s usual interns — no experience in journalism or photography or significant knowledge of Nebraska’s local music scene — and no clear plan about how we would make this work, he said yes.

Make it work we did.

photo by Daniel Muller

Since my background with Nebraska music involved almost exclusively classical musicians, we decided that the best way I could contribute would be to extend HN’s web over to the Nebraska classical music scene. Ultimately, I was able to create and implement an outreach program where I made tambourines with (mostly) kids at the Maha Music Festival.

I got typically classical venues interested in the work that Hear Nebraska does. I helped brainstorm a program with Andy, Angie and the Omaha Chamber Music Society that involved HN speaking to music majors at UNO about how to market themselves successfully. It happened October 3. I even got the chance to see published a piece that I wrote about classical music for non-classical music-listeners.

Coming to Terms with Classical Music | Column

A Hear Nebraska internship offers ways to do something that matters — not only to you, but to the community. Over at HN, they are excited about local music, and their goal every day is to spread that excitement.

As Hear Nebraska continues to grow, it becomes more and more incredible how flexible it can be to accommodate student interns like me. Essentially, we made all of this up as we went along. But what an amazingly exhilarating, rewarding experience it is to discover how capable you are at learning on the fly.

Do something with HN: do it big and do it proud. It may be madness, but it just may work.

Why not do it now?


Nebraska's nonprofit music media company is looking for crack-shot, enterprising, self-starting, multimedia content-producing interns. We aim to hire at least one Lincoln multimedia intern, one Omaha multimedia intern and one design intern starting in January. We also have opportunities for editorial, editing, marketing and broadcasting interns should the right candidate apply.

Your computer will be your workplace, and you will help us cover, promote and document the state's music culture for 15-20 hours/week. Journalism, marketing or English majors are preferred, though others are accepted if they possess the following skills and attributes:

          — Ability to produce quick, accurate copy, multimedia or designed materials on deadline that, critically, do not bore;
          — Understanding of social media and a proven ability to use it effectively;
          — Diverse multimedia abilities (video, photo, audio, social);
          — A knack for storytelling;
          — Ability to communicate effectively and stay on task remotely;
          — Desire to grow professionally and socially;
          — Ability to generate engaging, compelling story ideas;
          — Love of music (especially local).

The chosen candidate(s) will get:

          — Tough edits that will make them stronger, more-skilled and -polished journalists;
          — A portfolio full of dynamic multimedia clips;
          — An opportunity to manage one of HN's social media channels;
          — A flexible, production-focused schedule;
          — The chance to be in the team and on the ground floor of a young, growing nonprofit;
          — Free entrance into all HN-sponsored shows, and other concerts when possible.

Fill out my online form.


In addition to internships, we also encourage all writers, photographers, videographers, designers and other creative talent to help us achieve our mission to cultivate Nebraska's vibrant, fertile music and arts community as contributors. Please email Michael Todd at michaeltodd@hearnebraska.org with your interest and details of what you'd like to cover. Join our HN family and learn from skilled multimedia-producing journalists and music lovers.


Bridget McQuillan, summer/fall 2012 multimedia intern

photo by Lauren Schoendorf

Bryce Wergin, summer 2011 editorial intern

Matthew Masin, spring 2012 multimedia intern

photo by Matthew Masin

Steven Ashford, fall/winter 2011/2012 editorial intern

photo by Daniel Muller

Rachel Steenson is a former HN intern. Ask her, our managing editor or editor-in-chief questions about the internship by emailing rachel.steens@gmail.com, michaeltodd@hearnebraska.org or andrewn@hearnebraska.org.