Mustang Consulting in New York

Jade is a junior dance major with a minor in psychology and is from Jacksonville, Florida. This summer, she is working with 11 other SMU dance and CCPA students, along with Dr. Maria Dixon, on a mustangconsulting project to help revitalize the Dance Theatre of Harlem’s touring company. Other Mustang Consultants will be adding their entries to this blog throughout the summer.

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Our big moment: an update from Jade

Our packing began on August 2 so that we could be prepared for our departure on August 5 … Boxes, suitcases, bubble wrap, and tape were just a few of the ingredients that went into our packing pot. No one ever told me that it would take so long and be so hard. It was no joke. I did not realize how much stuff I had accumulated over what would seem like a short time. Ten weeks had flown by so fast, and now it was time to go.

Time to show what we’d learned
In the midst of all the packing we were preparing for our final presentation to The Dance Theatre of Harlem. Board members, faculty and staff, the executive director and the artistic director were among the individuals that we would have to present to. This was our defining moment, where we would put all the interviewing, transcribing, observing and analyzing to work. We had to tell them what all this meant. Nerves were up in the air, and that feeling I had in my stomach when we first arrived had just returned. The thought of speaking in front of such powerful, intelligent individuals frightened me. I just knew I would fumble on the simplest words.

But it was time. As I took my place in the presentation, Dr. McPhail, the new chair of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, popped into my head. “You are the expert” is what he said to us before he left, and up there in front of those people I was.

After the successful presentation, the overwhelming feelings that come along with leaving family filled imy chest. I tried to hold them back, but tears poured down my face. I had gotten so close to this organization, and leaving it would be extremely difficult. I particularly feel in love with the artistic faculty. They proved that no matter what you look like – Black, White, Indian, or Hispanic – the art form of ballet could be seen on you! They made me and the other team members of mustangconsulting love them.

When it came time to go, I stayed back after my colleagues dispersed and took the scene of Manhattan in for one last time. From the first day that I had arrived to now, everything was in slow motion. No more flying people, no more horns honking, and lighting up billboards. For now it was just New York and me. Here my dreams have become reality.

Back in D-TOWN
We have arrived back from New York City after two months of hard work and networking. It is hard to believe that I was back in Dallas, or as my friends would say, “D-TOWN”! The richness of the experience NYC gifted to me is much harder to put into words now than it was before. I and my colleagues are different people. Seeing us as students transform into professional business men and women – not only being the part but dressing the part – is a memory that I will have forever.

“Do one thing everyday that scares you,” Eleanor Roosevelt said, and we did just that. We got over our fears of public speaking, navigating through the streets of the Big Apple, working in a group, answering to a strong-willed boss, and Mr. Mitchell I must not forget. We did things that we never could have imagined, and all thanks to individuals who gave the now professionals of mustangconsulting an opportunity.

- Jade

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