Attending music festivals may not sound like work, but it’s all part of the job for Cassidy Kotyla, a rising senior at UMass Amherst who spent her summer shooting photos and videos at festivals and concerts as an intern for College Weekly. The West Hartford native was also a remote social media and editorial intern for InLove Magazine, where she wrote press releases and sponsored content posts and helped with photo shoots.
“I've learned that the media industry is no joke,” she said. “Lots of people will have different ways of editing or writing, but it's about how much time and effort you put in and the amount of passion that drives you towards success. I've met a lot of people this summer, some a lot older than me, that have been working to perfect their craft for years.”
Covering concerts has its privileges — like the chance to meet and interview artists — and for Cassidy, a highlight of the summer was interviewing Norweigian record producer and DJ Alan Walker at Firefly Music Festival in June.
“Meeting such an influential person and talking to him just like I would be talking to my best friend was a complete dream, and I constantly think back to that moment as a little push to always go that extra mile,” she said. “I love meeting and interviewing new faces, as it opens viewers up to the diversity of the world.”
A journalism and communications major with a certificate in film studies, Cassidy hopes to become a professional journalist who travels full time. She said UMass has given her the skills and confidence to succeed in the media industry.
“I truly believe UMass has pushed me towards getting those valuable connections, helping me to learn how to stand out from the crowd and how to never back down when I'm faced with a challenge,” she said.
Here are Cassidy’s tips for landing an internship:
“Follow your passion, whatever that may be. A lot of people settle for internships that they don't necessarily want and don't trust that everything will work itself out. In addition, don't be afraid to try things that are out of your comfort zone. I'm not necessarily known as someone to take over a Snapchat account for a day, but it by far was the highlight of my summer.”
Connect with Cassidy Kotyla on LinkedIn.