When film major Josh Murray began searching for paid internship opportunities, he had no idea that he would find one in the Montereau Retirement Community. Founded by the William K. Warren Foundation in 2003, Montereau is a locally owned nonprofit retirement community that has earned a reputation for raising the bar for life plan communities.
Montereau recently began a partnership with The University of Tulsa School of Music for its Student Immersion Program, which allows two music students to live in apartments on the Montereau campus in exchange for performances and intergenerational activities with the residents. Following the establishment of this partnership, Montereau jumped at the chance to host another TU student. “We created an internship program as an opportunity for young adults to gain work experience while finishing their degrees,” said Public Relations Coordinator Nancy Moore. “This works well with our partnership with The University of Tulsa in casting interns for different roles within Montereau.”
“… you don’t think your internship is going to come from a retirement community”
Murray has taken on several responsibilities since beginning his internship. He manages the Montereau social media, shoots video for several projects and edits the community’s Vitality Matters Podcast. Before Murray arrived, Montereau managed its social media by committee, with heads of various departments having administrative permissions to make posts. “It was scattered and not very streamlined,” he said. They cut down the administrative access to Moore and Murray, who creates 90% of the content and established the cadence for social media promotions. “He is an integral part of our social media team,” Moore said.
Murray’s true passion, however, is with video and audio. He handles the filming and editing for projects like Montereau U, an educational module taught by residents on subjects ranging from how to do your taxes to what should be in your pantry. “Every now and then, I get to put out a video on social media that I put together, which is fun for me. I’ve gotten a little bit of creative liberty on some things, and that’s what I enjoy,” he said. In addition to filming and editing, Murray helped Montereau update their film equipment based on the quality of gear he has used in TU’s Department of Film Studies.
When not working on videography, Murray records and edits audio for the Vitality Matters Podcast. The monthly podcast introduces many fascinating residents and community members, including two TU Communications Hall of Famers: Steve Turnbo, retired public relations expert and a former Department of Media Studies adjunct instructor; and Jenk Jones Jr., retired editor of the Tulsa Tribune and a member of the Kendall College Board of Visitors. These guests speak as experts in their field on trending topics and new initiatives put forth by the community.
Throughout his internship, Murray has had many opportunities to interact with people in the film and television industry. In the first few weeks of his internship, he attended a taping for a news segment with Montereau’s culinary officer, where he got to observe the inner workings of a television news station. Murray received even more unique opportunities when Montereau hired Flying Colors Media, an alumni-owned video company, to produce a promo for the community. “I got to talk to actual people in the industry,” Murray said. “As far as film, you don’t think your internship is going to come from a retirement community. I didn’t know what opportunities this was going to lead to, but I got to meet all of these people within my first couple of weeks.”
“He jumped in on day one and is not afraid to ask questions …”
Over the course of his internship, Murray has discovered that the ties between TU and Montereau run deeper than both the immersion and internship programs. “There is a big connection I found between TU and Montereau. There are several alumni there,” he said. “They’re a curious community, and they see a very large man walking around, so they come up and ask, ‘What do you do?’ And I’m like ‘I’m an intern from TU.’ So many people I’ve met there have gone to TU. It’s a strong bond.”
Murray, who is finishing his first year at TU, hopes to continue his work with his newfound friends. “My internship would be over by the start of summer, but Montereau said they weren’t ready for me to leave yet – and I don’t want to leave yet,” he said.
“Overall, he is an outstanding intern!” said Moore. “We feel very lucky to have him as a part of our team.”