Sue Buzzard is a violinist and Berklee alumna from the east coast who recently interned with The Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, CA.* In the next two posts, Sue evaluates her internship and what she learned in the process.

I’ve been settling into my new life in Boston the past month and looking ahead at possible projects. I haven’t spent much time thinking about Monterey- only to understand more about what skills it left me with and what I now have a hunger to develop. For my final reflection, I’d like to list my personal pros and cons of interning at Monterey.

The areas I want to look at are:

  • Monterey’s job performance (from working with my Production Manager, Bill Wagner)
  • My own job performance (what I gave Bill and the others)
  • Living experiences (what it was like staying in Monterey)
  • Festival Weekend (How the actual event went)

Monterey’s performance


  • Fantastic work environment: Impeccable office, clean and organized, respect and enthusiasm from each member of staff.
  • Freedom to complete tasks: Bill’s tasks were direct and to the point, but he was never a clock watcher over my shoulder. He didn’t have time to be, so he had to trust that I was working efficiently.
  • Trust and insight into the festival’s innerworkings: As an intern I was a member of staff, and attended weekly meetings and updates. No information was ever purposefully withheld from me, and if I inquired about details, responses were informative or politely curtailed. Example: I asked how the gala was organized and run, and what purpose it was for. Both Eva and Paul gave me answers and told me what the event meant for the festival.


  • Limited potential for tasks: My stay was only for 5 weeks, essentially the last mile of the marathon of festival prep. There was only so much I could do to help. With a longer internship (all summer?), I could’ve gotten even more experience and contributed more help and ideas.

Sue’s performance


  • Enthusiasm: I did my best to put energy into every task, and pump myself up so as to stay focused on getting things done quickly and efficiently.
  • Professionalism: I treated everyone with respect, and asked for help when I needed help on a task. I tried to stay away from “do it all myself,” especially when I knew that I lacked expertise on certain office software required for the job.
  • Proactivity: during the festival I spent as much time as I could backstage. Sue and Timothy Orr, awesomest dude ever.

 Studying how the crew worked and talking to the stage managers about their jobs. I was going to learn from as many people as possible, I decided, and asked everyone for details about what they did. Timothy Orr, who should’ve been mentioned much earlier in this blog, is head of press and gave me great info.


  • Lack of Skills: Working in the MJF office meant using Microsoft Office and Excel. If I had better understanding and skill in spreadsheets, and more experience working in an office, I would’ve been able to get tasks done by myself faster, and Bill wouldn’t have had to break down so many jobs for me.
  • Less Communication: I have a fear of being wrong, or of doing the wrong thing. I let that fear get in the way of informing Bill and at times others of problems or uncertainties I was having. I was sure in the things I knew how to do, but when I was unsure, I procrastinated asking for help, trying to learn how to fix the problem myself.

Check out Sue’s next post to see how she evaluates living in Monterey and how the actual festival progressed…

*Reposted with permission from Sue Buzzard


Read Sue’s Other Posts

The Dust Settles

Four Lessons from Monterey

Delegation Rocks!

Necessary Details?

The Dog Days are Just Beginning

Monterey Jazz Festival Intern



Sue Buzzard is a warrior of the acoustic string music revolution. Following her studies in classical and jazz music techniques in her hometown of Buffalo, NY, she studied a plethora of violin sounds at The Berklee College of Music.

Sue graduated with a double degree in Violin Performance and Professional Music in the spring of 2010, and has since been performing and seeking more ways to bring string music to the masses through production and education. Sue is on faculty at The Rivers School Conservatory in Weston starting this fall, where she will teach Jazz Violin.