by Tina Truong, Class of 2016
Throughout my college years, I have quickly learned that life often goes in directions opposite from what you originally planned. I was a biology major at my local community college, struggling to pass the general sciences and math courses required to transfer into a four-year university and eventually, medical school.
Although I had planned to begin my studies at CUA right after graduating high school, I didn’t want to make that big transition yet. Those two years at home helped me realize my real passion. I could not force myself to love math and science. It just wasn’t my forte. I liked reading, writing, talking, planning – anything but math and science.
When I was finally ready to transfer to CUA, I found out that they had a “Media Studies” major. I transferred in the middle of my second year of college, Spring of 2014. From then on, I officially became a CUA Media Studies major and never thought about studying math or science again. I finally found my field of studies, and it intrigued the heck out of me.
The field of Media Studies is more than just studying films, technology, social media, etc… It goes in depth and analyzes the history, development, and the impact that both culture and media have on each other. I entered this field knowing absolutely nothing, and now I look at everything with a different perspective. I’ve also been able to apply the material with my experiences.
From my passion and love of music and concerts, I picked up two internships throughout my college career. My first was with DC101 – Washington DC’s rock/ indie/ alternative station, also part of iHeartMedia. I now work part-time as a Promotions Assistant for all of the iHeartMedia owned stations in DC and in Baltimore, totaling nine different stations. Promotion Assistants help with administrative tasks such as compiling research, databasing, or handling prize winners. We also work at all kinds of station events; we’ll have station appearances with businesses that are opening or having a promotion. We’ll put on a happy hour event at a pub or at the 9:30 Club with a band that’s in town and only listeners who win tickets can attend.
I have also had the chance to work at numerous concerts throughout the year. If you’ve been to a Merriweather, Verizon Center, or Jiffy Lube Live show and have seen a iHeartMedia station tent, you’ve seen the Promotion Assistants. We promote the artist and we give away tickets to upcoming acts. It is extremely important to know your audience to effectively market
the station and giveaways. The best part of my job is that I can attend concerts for free. I have been to over 100 concerts in the past three years. I feel so lucky to have seen and met so many artists that people dream of seeing.
Last year, I was able to work at Hot 99.5’s Jingle Ball backstage and help with the meet and greets. I worked that day for 15 hours, but there was also the technical crews, tour crews, catering crew, janitorial crew, engineering crew, and so many more who worked longer and ten times harder than I did. To be part of a team that executed an incredible and successful live show
for almost 20,000 people felt phenomenal. Earlier this year, I was once again lucky enough to work DC101’s Kerfuffle in which Incubus, The Offspring, and Panic! At the Disco played. I casually ate lunch in the backstage catering area where Brandon Boyd of Incubus also casually ate… a few tables down from me! It was one of the coolest things ever. This winter, I’m looking forward to helping out with DC101’s Holiday Show with Fall Out Boy, Awolnation, Bastille, and The Struts!
My second internship is currently with the 9:30 Club/I.M.P. Promotions, the most notable DC concert venue and promotions company. If you’ve ever been to the 9:30 Club, you know exactly what kind of atmosphere it is. If you haven’t – it’s intimate and lively. Our office is just as cozy and vibrant – it’s in a townhouse a street away from the venue and the interns work together at a round table on the first floor. It’s our place where creativity flows and we can pitch our marketing ideas. We help market the artists and shows at the 9:30 Club, U Street Music Hall, Lincoln Theatre, Echostage, and Merriweather. iHeartMedia and 9:30 Club correlate a lot, and sometimes the events even overlap, like the event I worked last weekend, Weekend in The Country promoted by WPOC!
I am more than blessed to work in an environment I enjoy. I can’t get enough of the music and live shows. It is unreal to think that my undergraduate college career will soon be coming to an end – and it felt like forever in the beginning! It is bittersweet, but I am excited to move onto the next chapter of my life. After I graduate in a few month, I hope to pursue a career in the media and communications field where I can still be a part of the music industry and utilize the knowledge I’ve obtained from all my media classes at CUA.