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University of Iowa News Release

June 28, 2005

UI Students Interning At MTV, Minneapolis Music Club Earn Scholarships

Two University of Iowa students have landed music industry internships this summer, one at MTV in New York City and the other at a Minneapolis music club with help from scholarships arranged through The University of Iowa Marvin A. and Rose Lee Pomerantz Career Center.

The interns, Michael Basten and Abigail Howard, each received a $1,000 Keith Benson/Sam Goody Entertainment Internship Scholarship, which are used to offset travel, housing and other expenses associated with the positions.

The scholarship is funded by a donation from the Sam Goody organization in the name of Keith Benson, a UI alumnus and retired chief financial officer at Sam Goody.

"Benson understands that these experiences in the entertainment industry are often not compensated, and therefore chose to apply the gift as encouragement to students pursuing their dreams and using the internship to open doors for future careers," said David Fitzgerald, director of experiential education at the Pomerantz Career Center.

Basten, a senior economics major from Solon, has an internship in New York City with mtvU, Viacom's recently launched cable channel dedicated to the many aspects of college life. He is assisting in production of new and existing programs, and has researched and found talent for shows and scouted locations. In addition, he has pitched a few ideas for new shows, and one segment idea has been accepted.

"It's a big jumpstart for my career and is a great way to keep options open for jobs in the television industry. The group I work for is small and people are willing to help and give advice," Basten said, adding that the Benson scholarship has been extremely valuable as it has helped cover his living expenses in New York City.

Howard, a senior marketing major from Coralville, is working at the Fine Line Music Café in Minneapolis, an upscale music club that hosts many local and national music acts. Along with assisting the music department with marketing and public relations, she is reviewing contracts, setting up band hospitality, updating the website and writing press releases.

"So far I've been learning firsthand what it takes to put on live music seven nights a week, with both local and national shows. I'm enjoying my time here and have been learning a lot about the music scene in Minneapolis," Howard said. 

"I plan to devote as much time as possible to this internship. But since this internship is unpaid, I will not have any income for the summer. This scholarship substantially reduces the amount I will have to take out in loans so I can afford this valuable experience."

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: George McCrory, 319-384-0012,