Music-focused Event Planning

Kayla DeStefano
Emphasis Area
Spatial Organization & Design Thinking

Kayla DeStefano interned with DUSK Music Festival and gained experience with the music industry and festival planning.

How did you get your internship? 

I secured my internship with DUSK Music Festival through Handshake (the University’s database for job and internship announcements). After I applied, they got back to me and invited me for an interview. Since my boss and I were in different parts of the country, we interviewed using video chat. I was worried about the interview because I feel much more confident interviewing in person. I was happy to find out that she thought I’d be a great fit for the opportunity and I accepted a role on the DUSK marketing team.

Why did you choose this internship and what was the experience like?

The biggest reason why I chose this internship was that I wanted to do something in the music industry or music festivals, and I feel like being part of DUSK, I got the best of both worlds. Another reason was that when I had the interview, I could tell that the company was going to be a good fit for me and would help me grow. The energy throughout my entire internship was amazing and it was a great place to intern.

The most significant contribution that I made was managing the DJ competition which was a part of the festival. I had to listen to eight hours of mixes and decide who would end up in a “battle of the bands” type audition. I planned most of it and made sure that everything looked great and worked for the actual competition. It was really cool to be a part of and get the chance to listen to some really great young DJs.

My favorite thing about my internship was the result of how the festival turned out in the end. Seeing people enjoy your hard work and appreciate the detail in some of what we did was so satisfying. It was really meaningful to me because I’ve always wanted to be a part of something in the music industry. So being able to say I was a part of this great festival is a dream.

My internship has influenced my plans for the future in many ways, but mostly it has just introduced a whole new world of opportunities in the music festival business which I would have never had before. I heard about different paths you could take within the industry, which also ended up being a skill that has helped me in other industries as well. I hope I will continue my work in the music industry and find a place to work with as great of an environment as this internship has. [As a note, after writing this spotlight, Kayla was promoted to Festival Director for DUSK.]

What advice do you have for other students as they search for or begin their internship?

My advice for other students is to do as many informational interviews as possible (you'll learn how to do these interviews in the class PAH 383 Pre-Internship: Building Career Readiness. Getting this insight will help you narrow down places and internships that you might not be a great fit for. It is also nice because the person you are interviewing becomes a connection in your network.

I would also say that you need to be prepared to get A LOT of rejection emails or companies that just don’t respond in general. You will find one that you feel is a good fit for you and where you’re a great fit for them, it’s just patience and persistence.