On Tour: My Summer internship at CAA

Live music has always been my passion, so when I was given the incredible opportunity to work in the music touring department of the world’s leading entertainment and sports agency, Creative Artists Agency, I could not have been more excited to purse my passion as a career.

CAA’s massive global presence undoubtedly contributes to its longevity as one of the most dominant forces in the industry, and my station in the New York office was just one of the many all across the world, from Los Angeles, to Nashville, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Memphis, London, Beijing, Stockholm, Munich, and Switzerland. But due to the collaborative culture ingrained into the company’s ideals, the offices are all interconnected and accessible at any time, feeling more like a tight-knit family than an international corporation.

Whereas other agencies function by agents individually signing and servicing their clients, CAA works in a team-based structure, where one artist has a team of agents advocating on their behalf and working together to negotiate the best opportunities for them. So it was very common to see music agents across the company collaborate on booking tours, each person on the team handling a different territory and communicating as liaisons between talent buyers and artist management. My experience at CAA was very unique in that I was not assigned to one agent/assistant team, but instead was scheduled to rotate to everyone in the department, making every day a new shadowing experience working with various artist rosters, from new hip-hop stars to classic rock legends. By the time I finished my eight weeks there, I could confidently understand the intricacies of a music touring deal from start to finish. And because I was constantly pushed to go outside of my comfort zone to learn more, I was able to explore the music sponsorships and music marketing teams as well.

The internship program itself outside of my assigned department revolved around pre-professional workshops and speaker sessions given by influential agents throughout the company in music, film, television, sports, consulting, marketing, even the president of the company taking time out of his day to sit with the interns. We were really treated like valuable members of the community and were constantly encouraged to learn about every part of the company, getting to know as many people around the office as possible. We were also invited to special company-wide presentations, whether that was listening to Arnold Schwarzenegger talk about climate change, the co-founder and CEO of Netflix talking about the future of entertainment, or a panel of women agents relaying their experiences in a male-dominated industry.

This internship was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I will never forget. Having the opportunity to attend any concert in the New York City area, bonding with coworkers at shows, and reporting back to agents all across CAA’s offices was a rewarding experience and a dream come true. Mentorship could not have been easier to find with everyone in the office eager to sit down with me and answer any questions I had about their work, and there was no shortage of advice given back to me for my future career. Getting to come into work everyday and look around to find everyone else equally as excited was another factor in me genuinely enjoying my internship this summer, and there is no doubt I will continue working in music.

Kara Saffrin is a Senior Studying Radio /Television/Film who interned at Creative Artists Agency in New York.

Rocking and Biking through the Summer

Riders finishing the first day of Bike MS.

This summer I was pulled in two, new directions as I had the opportunity to intern for not one, buttwo incredible companies. My time was split working as a Special Events Intern for the National MS Society and working as a Promotions Intern for Entercom Communications. Even though my roles had similar titles, I split my time doing vastly different tasks.

National MS Society

On an average day at the National MS Society, I was reaching out to potential donors. But most of my summer was spent soliciting donations for one of our biggest events, Bike MS: Best Dam Bike Tour 2017 in which over 1,600 riders participated in a two-day ride to raise over $1.5 million. I had the pleasure of attending the ride and seeing how the donations I collected were used and appreciated by the riders. The  money will be used to fund research and connect people living with MS to resources and support.

Riders finishing the first day of Bike MS.

Soliciting in-kind donations was frustrating and full of rejection at times, but I was most proud of myself for obtaining items from Yogi Tea and Blistex to put in completer bags. These companies are not local to our offices, and we needed them to  not only donate but cover the shipping costs as well.

Each day I had to challenge myself to step outside of my comfort zone and ask strangers for donations to help our cause even if they had not heard of the National MS Society. This internship has helped me become more confident in my professional abilities by giving me an opportunity to experience both failure and success and measure those experiences independently.


Meeting Above Waves.

At Entercom, I began each day by posting photos from promotional events onto each station’s website and finding appropriate and relevant articles.

In the office I also had the opportunity to shadow others in many different roles including the Director of Promotions and the Vice President of Programming. By connecting with people in different departments, I was able to work on projects that interested me. One of them was to research geographic areas where they could try to gain listeners. In those areas, I selected different sites where we could host events to introduce people to the brand.

While at Entercom I attended many street events that promoted the station. At Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival, we held a contest so that listeners could win a

meet-and-greet experience with DNCE. I helped fans take photos with the cut-outs of the band members and handed out merchandise.

In addition to these events, up-and-coming bands would come into the office and perform small sets to introduce their music to us.

Working at Entercom  has been fun and exciting, I had to be flexible and ready to solve any unexpected problems. Everyone at the station was always welcoming and willing to answer my questions about the industry.

Allyson Snyder is a Sophomore Communication Studies Major and interned at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and at Entercom in Wisconson.