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NDSU student helps produce country music awards show

Andrew Young, left, interviews Montgomery Gentry on the set of "The Price is Right."

An NDSU communication student is getting some big-time experience while interning for the Academy of Country Music in Los Angeles. Andrew Young, a fourth-year student from Napoleon, N.D., has spent the past three months in Hollywood helping produce the "47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards Show."

Young, son of Than and Charlotte from Napoleon, N.D., started the internship on Jan. 17 as a member of the academy’s small creative media productions department. From the start, his role has involved major responsibilities.

A few of those have included conducting interviews with Taylor Swift, Montgomery Gentry and Craig Morgan; helping produce a segment with Lionel Richie; writing two spreads for the academy’s quarterly magazine and producing a video graphics package for during the awards show.

Young says celebrities don’t make him nervous, but the responsibilities he has been entrusted do. “Sometimes I have this feeling, like I’m just this kid from North Dakota. I’m still an NDSU student, I don’t have my degree yet … it makes me nervous but it’s exciting too, to know that I’m able to operate. It’s very empowering and rewarding that they’re giving me these responsibilities because they trust me.”

Young largely attributes his ability to perform at a high level to his experiences at NDSU, both in the classroom and while working for the Bison Information Network.

“My experience at NDSU, especially as general manager at BIN, really enabled me to step into my role here,” Young said. “Every class in the communication field focused on experiential learning. It gives me an edge in this industry having that experience. Every class offers hands-on learning – how to edit, how to shoot … you’re not learning the idea of writing, you’re literally writing stories.”

Those skills will shine the evening of the awards show in Las Vegas too, as Young will be in the pressroom with the winners during the show and will be conducting red carpet interviews beforehand.

Young plans to return to Fargo at the beginning of May. After he graduates from NDSU in December, he hopes to find a position in a creative media department in Fargo.

Last summer, Young interned for ABC in New York. He was a news gatherer on Diane Sawyer’s news desk.

The "47th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards Show" is set to air on CBS Sunday, April 1, at 7 p.m. CST.

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North Dakota State University
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