Q&A with High School Ambassador: Karolina

Our High School Ambassadors summer internship program at the San Diego Symphony concluded last week. Over the course of six weeks we hosted 30 high school students from all over San Diego County in two different cohorts of three weeks each. Students participated in group projects, leadership workshops and got meaningful experience with audience members working as ushers at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. We asked one High School Ambassador to reflect on their personal experience in the program. 

  1. What is your age and what grade are you in?
    I'm 17 years old and in 12th grade.


  1. How did you find out about the San Diego Symphony’s High School Ambassadors Program and why did you apply?
    My band director ended up sending it out in an email. I was intrigued to hear about it and my parents encouraged me to apply. I was surprised to hear a few other students from my band program applied and only one other classmate and I got in! I was excited to have something to do for a few weeks with students from San Diego’s diverse high schools.


  1. What was your favorite experience during the High School Ambassador Program?
    Just meeting new people! I wouldn’t have met these people normally during a school year or have learned anything about them unless I had applied. The experience made me excited to get up in the morning and see what was in store for the day, not only with making friends but also just learning the ins and outs of the San Diego Symphony. A tour with the front of house managers or having concert duty made me realize how diverse a community the San Diego Symphony has created with its concerts at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park. I loved being able to help people to their seats and handing out programs - it was tiring sure, being on your feet for 3 hours, but it made me feel good, like I was making a difference.


  1. What are your plans after high school graduation? How do you see your experience in the High School Ambassadors program playing a role in your future plans?
    I plan to go to a 4 year college with a major in theater and a minor in English Literature or language. This program has shaped how I will be able to handle money in the future. You wouldn’t normally learn about how the economy or taxes or how net income works during a regular school year and the High School Ambassadors program gave me some of that knowledge instead of learning through trial and error what works and what doesn’t. I feel more confident in my abilities to handle my finances later down the road. 


  1. What would you tell another student who might be considering applying to the High School Ambassador program? 
    Go for it. Apply—100%. I didn’t think this program was competitive but then I found out 150 students from across San Diego applied and only thirty students got in. It’s a fantastic program and I understand how it’s so competitive - the staff are amazing and the things you learn about are things you wouldn’t normally learn in a school year. Financial literacy, concert ushering, behind-the-scenes experiences with the San Diego Symphony, public speaking, marketing, the list just goes on and on. Every single person we talked to was amazing, and it makes me want a job at the San Diego Symphony later down the line! 

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