What I Learned at Closed Sessions
Words by Frank Fernandez
When the summer started, I didn’t know what I was going to do with myself for the next three months. My job prospects were slim to none, I had been denied from a number of internships, and I was feeling pretty hopeless when it came to finding something that could work for me. I thought this summer was going to be a waste.
That was until I saw something on Facebook that caught my attention. It was a link from Closed Sessions that said, “Summer Interns Wanted.” Instantly, I clicked onto it and filled the application as fast as I possibly could. I had always known about Closed Sessions through their music and collaborations with some of my favorite artists, but didn’t think I would ever get an opportunity to work with them. It felt like a sign from above.
After completing the interview process, Alex gave me my first assignment as a sort of test run to gauge my skills. I had to interview a Chicago rapper named Scheme who created an after school program in Little Village to teach high school students how to write and produce their own music. I was nervous as hell, but felt ready to show that I could be a valuable member of the Closed Sessions squad. Though there were a few hiccups, I got it done and wrote up the interview and I was offered the position of content intern, which I couldn’t accept fast enough.
I continued to interview various Closed Sessions members (oddCouple, Kipp Stone, Bridges) as the summer went on. My favorite part of the interviewing process was being able to connect with these individuals on a personal level; I didn’t feel like it was as much a Q+A session but more just a discussion. Also, being able to see my pieces published through Closed Sessions was something that I have trouble putting into words. I have wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember and to see that was a dream come true. It all felt like things were falling into place.
Throughout the next two months, I was able to work closely with everyone at Closed Sessions and learn more than I could in any classroom. I learned that it’s not as easy as I thought to book shows and events and that it takes a village to bring these ideas to light. I also learned that e-mails may be the single most important form of communication in the modern world. Another thing I learned from Closed Sessions is that I don’t have to be afraid to share my ideas. In the past, I would have trouble making suggestions because I felt I would come off stupid. After spending time at CS, however, I realized that it was better to contribute and have my voice heard than to just sit back and be afraid. Probably the most important thing I learned from this experience is that being in an environment like this, with so many talented, young, and creative individuals, only increased my desire to turn this into my career.
I can’t thank the amazing people at Closed Sessions enough for the opportunity to be part of something as special as they have going on here. I’m going to miss the days in the office with all the homies, but I know that the memories and connections I made will last beyond just this summer.
Peace out, CS.