Music Industry alumna pursuing passion as graduate student in New York City
University of the Pacific Music Industry Studies graduate Cassandra Gaal ‘20 is now attending graduate school at New York University. She is earning a Master’s in Music Business to fuel her interest of the music and entertainment industry and marketing for live events.
One of the main reasons she went into the music business stemmed from going to concerts. “Watching the stage hands and crew work to put on a show was always so intriguing, whether it was a full-blown pop concert, the symphony, a dance recital or even a talent show” said Gaal.
One of the biggest influences on Gaal going to grad school was talking to alumni from her program. She explained “Being able to talk to them, especially the ones who came back as class guests, really helped me understand that graduating and immediately getting a job isn’t for everyone, and I was one of those people. I went to grad school because I wasn't done learning.”
While at Pacific, Gaal took advantage of the various events and services that Career Services offers. She had her resume and cover letters reviewed every year by a Career Adviser, which helped her apply for jobs and internships. She also did mock interviews with real employers in order for her to gain applicable skills. “The career events and grad school events really helped. I was able to find more connections and learn more about the paths that others took to get where they are” said Gaal.
Pacific provided her with many opportunities to advance her career. “In my program, we did a lot of resume, cover letter, essay and research writing, as well as putting together a portfolio of our greatest works to show a future employer” Gaal explains. At Pacific, she was a Pacific Ambassador, Orientation Leader and Peer Mentor, where she learned valuable leadership skills. She also interned for artist manager Ryan Aceto, ASM Global Stockton, and helped to promote live events and music programs. She volunteered for the Music Industry Club’s Battle of the Bands for two years in a row and helped promote the event with fellow Pacific students.
Gaal originally applied to graduate school to keep it as an open option, but is now glad she did. Her advice for students is to always apply when there’s an opportunity to do so. “I always tell people, the only time they have a 0% chance is if they don’t apply or try, so you might as well do it.”