PROVO, Utah – Nov 15, 2017 – Former acting major and performer Miranda Dennett no longer spends her days in the limelight, but she’s chasing a new dream behind-the-scenes. Landing an internship with MGM Resorts in Las Vegas this summer was just the beginning.
“This internship was one of the few things that made me more excited to graduate and be a part of this crazy industry,” the BYU senior says of her time with MGM.
Rather than taking the stage herself, Dennett decided to change course and pursue business within the entertainment industry through a BYU Marriott degree in experience design and management.
“It’s a perfect fit for me, because I’m still able to be part of that performing stuff that I love, but it’s in a more concrete way—being involved in the business side of it,” she says.
Dennett interned for ten weeks with MGM’s corporate entertainment team. The company, which owns top-name resorts such as Mandalay Bay, the Bellagio, New York New York, Luxor, and Aria, as well as entertainment venues associated with those resorts, created the corporate entertainment department after its T-Mobile arena opened in 2016. As part of her internship, Dennett helped the fledgling area advance a set of strategic initiatives toward completion.
These projects included working on a filtering system for booking entertainment groups and venues; determining how to draw upon celebrity sponsorships and work with companies to create sponsor-related content for future shows; and comparing ticket sales to identify trends and strategies for marketing improvement. Dennett also went to various arenas and worked their operations to get a feel for the venues.
Dennett’s favorite initiative, however? The Secret Shopping project.
“They paid for me to go to a whole bunch of event concerts in MGM and outside of MGM and evaluate the experience,” Dennett explains.
She took extensive notes and pictures and observed all aspects of the guest experience—and got to enjoy artists such as Ed Sheeran, The All-American Rejects, and Mumford & Sons. She compiled her findings in Excel spreadsheets and presented them to guest-experience managers at the end of her internship.
From this experience, Dennett learned to empathize with guests and anticipate their needs depending on the venue and concert—a key part of experience design. Throughout the summer, she learned to apply other principles from her major as well.
“With some of the projects I worked on, I’d try to do some design thinking experience or some of the more creative things we learn in our major,” she says. “I would apply those things to a project to breathe fresh air into the corporate entertainment world.”
Dennett knows she has the skills and passion to contribute to the “crazy industry” of corporate entertainment, and the summer internship required by her major confirmed what she already suspected about herself.
“I’ve always dreamed about working for an entertainment company,” she says. “And finally doing it made me see this is real—this is what someone’s job is, and it’s something that I can do.”
Media Contact: Jordan Christiansen (801) 422-8938
Writer: Afton Izu