Front Row: Office Hours Career Development Series

LaTisha Stephens is a recent graduate of California State University, Chico, and a past participant of our Office Hours Career Development Series which led to a fall internship with our organization, learn more about her experience with Music Forward below. 

My experience with Music Forward began when I attended the Office Hours Career Development Series, which my major advisor emailed me about earlier this year. After checking it out, one of the sessions that I was initially most drawn to was the one focused on resumes, described as being one where industry experts would provide tips and guidance to improve the resumes and cover letters of each participant. 

During the Office Hours programming, Music Forward also gave us valuable resources and the practice with professionals who coached us on how we could pitch ourselves during interviews. Once Office Hours ended, I felt like we really were given an advantage over other young aspiring professionals, feeling as prepared to begin applying for jobs as possible thanks to the Music Forward staff and the professionals that volunteered their time to offer us guidance. 

What happened next, I couldn’t have expected! It wasn’t long after the Office Hours series, that I got an email announcing fall internship opportunities with Music Forward for the Fall 2021 semester. 

I had applied to so many internships and jobs but experienced more rejection than I had expected in the past. The Office Hours series really showed me that I am not alone in that experience. However, armed with my newfound knowledge and confidence, the rejection didn’t stop me, and more than ever I was persistent about obtaining an internship. I am so glad that I followed my instinct because it brought me the opportunity of a virtual internship as the Program Intern with Music Forward Foundation! 

After learning that I had been selected for this chance to continue to gain professional experience within the music industry that I am so passionate about, I was excited but also incredibly nervous all at the same time. I had accomplished getting my first internship and I felt like this was a major stepping stone to new beginnings, or rather the next chapter of my life. 

I had a gradual start with my internship which I truly appreciated. Since running programs has so many critical details and deadlines, it was nice to be eased into it. I learned quite quickly that while all workshops flow at various paces, everything needs to come together for the program to be successful and have the impact intended. 

One of my first experiences with my internship was being a participant in  All Access Fest, the all-day virtual career fest that happened right before the official start of my internship. It was my first time ever attending something like this.

All Access Fest was very informative and it was interesting seeing how each topic in the discussion rooms was organized for participants to join based on their own personal interests such as venue careers, music marketing, a day in the life of a music professional, artists pitching and branding, and more. Not to mention networking can be difficult in the music field if you don’t have any guidance so it was great to connect with so many of the awesome keynote speakers who have found success in the music and entertainment industry. I appreciate Music Forward and the industry professionals taking time out of their day to give the youth advice in their field so they can one day follow in their footsteps.  

After All Access Fest, as a program intern, I worked with data in the operations department, spoke to young people who were participating in various Music Forward programs, developed and worked out all of the details for a successful workshop, and more. I’m glad that Music Forward saw my potential and brought me in to gain the experience of what it is like being behind the scenes of their programming and how they are developed from start to finish. 

I can truly say that this experience has helped me grow in a field that interests me, while I also focused on finishing my degree. And to think that it all began with me attending the Office Hours series!

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