Three years ago, senior business student Mitchell Attaway took his first accounting class and failed. After taking it again with a different instructor, something clicked. He earned an A and even began thinking about a career in accounting.
A music industry buff, he applied for and received an internship that summer doing volunteer management for six major music festivals with 35,000+ attendees each. The next summer, he worked additional music festivals and met Patrick Templeman, business manager for the Electric Forest festival and managing partner with PS Business Management LLC – a full service business management firm based in New York City that works with individuals and businesses in the entertainment industry.
“It was no easy feat getting into the accounting trailer to meet Patrick,” Attaway said. “I asked if he would mind sitting down and speaking with me at some point over the weekend. He said it would be no problem after quizzing me on my SEC Football knowledge. We sat and talked for almost an hour about what he did as a business manager. Then I asked how he would recommend I get involved. He contemplated the question and then said, ‘I need an intern. Have any friends in NYC?’ I did.”
The next week, Attaway was off to New York to spend the last three months of his summer working at PS Business Management. He posted entries for tours, closed accounts payable, performed comparative analysis for various tour routes, and more. He says it was a blast.
After returning to ECU for a semester, Attaway decided to get a taste of corporate life.
“I thought Madison Square Garden would be a great fit since there was so much going on there as far as music and entertainment,” Attaway explained. “I gave Patrick a call and asked if he had any contacts. He said he did and would be happy to pass my name down the line. So, I received a call for an interview in late December 2013. They said my past experiences and major were exactly what they were looking for. So, after jumping through all the hoops of a drug test, background check, etc., I got the acceptance call for my spring semester internship the day before drop-add ended.”
At the Madison Square Garden Company, Attaway worked as a student associate for facilities finance. Each day, he would develop a Flash Report, a per event P&L for the facilities’ food, beverage, and merchandise sales. This was done for each of the seven nationwide venues that held an event the night before. He would also help facilities align their accounting systems with the corporate accounting system. In addition, he assisted with budgeting the next year’s food, beverage, and merchandise projections.
Attaway said, “It was very helpful to see how such a large company can operate so efficiently. I was also the only intern who was able to meet the new CEO and persuade him to give me some time for an informational interview. This was the highlight of my internship and proved to be a very enlightening conversation.”
While in NYC, Attaway also worked with the music magazine Relix. He says this allowed him to grow his network of contacts even further within the field of music/entertainment.
He plans to graduate this spring and pursue his CPA designation.