Alumna Finds Dream Jobs in the Music Industry

Brittany Kish '14

After she graduated with her Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies, with concentrations in business administration and music, Brittany Kish '14 knew she wanted to start her career in the South, and something about Texas caught her eye. Now she works for two companies she loves – CakeMix Recording and iHeart Media in Dallas.  

"With hard work, dedication, faith and confidence in myself I feel blessed to say that I not only have one, but two dream jobs!" Kish exclaimed.  While she still maintains her ultimate goal of singing professionally, "I absolutely love what I do. I work in a recording studio, so being able to get personal studio time is something to strive for."

According to Kish, the moment she walked into CakeMix Recording, she knew she'd found the job she'd been looking for. "The owner and his wife looked at my resume and were in awe of everything I had done during my time at MCLA," she said. "I not only was hired on as a sales associate, but as the marketing and promotions coordinator for the studio."

About that same time, Kish also heard from iHeart Media, regarding a spot on their promotions team in the Dallas/Dallas Fort Worth area. "I went to a group interview with 10 people," she explained. "Two weeks later, after thinking I didn't get the position, I received an offer letter saying that, out of 30 applicants, they wanted me to fill one of the three open spots."

CakeMix handles recordings for a variety of purposes. In addition to working with bands and individual recording artists, the business is available for voiceovers, musical symphonies, and more. Its music and sound appears in syndication on the major television networks. However, CakeMix is perhaps best known for work for the cartoon television series, Dragon Ball Z.

At CakeMix since June, Kish is in charge of a side business belonging to the owner, called "On Hold for You." For this business, the studio does the recording and production of the music one hears when on hold during a phone call.

"We do all of the casting and script writing," she explained. "The client just has to give us a general idea of what they want the message to be like and we do the rest. What makes this so cool is we can do it from anywhere – our clients don't have to be in Texas." 

In the evenings and on weekends, Kish works at iHeart Media – the company behind iHeart Radio.

"This job is the job for anything in the music/entertainment industry," she said. "Ever go to an event or a concert and see that iHeart Media is a sponsor? I'm that person in the red shirt, spreading the word about the one and only iHeart! It's just a fun environment to be able to work in."

Kish credits MCLA with her success. "Not only did MCLA prepare me for the actual job, but for the process it took me to get here," she explained. "I was taught not only the knowledge of the music, art, and entertainment industry, but how to get there. From the resume and cover letter writing to the mock interviews, I left MCLA comfortable in knowing I could take on anything that came my way."

She continued, "MCLA will prepare you, with guidance throughout. I still keep in touch with professors and advisors. You're at MCLA not only to get an education, but to gain connections for a lifetime."

Since he graduated from MCLA in 2013, Max Roman Dilthey has amassed more than five million readers through his cycling, hiking and backpacking website, MaxTheCyclist.com, and with online publications his writing has appeared in, such as The Solar Tribune, The Houston Chronicle, The Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Livestrong.com.
 
Because of this work, Dilthey, who double majored in English and environmental studies at MCLA, recently won the 2016 New England Outdoor Writing Association's Award.
 
"I write about things that mean a lot to me, and I think anyone can connect with someone's experience if the story they're telling is meaningful and honest," Dilthey said.
 
"I think it's great that a lot of my work resonates with people. I especially love the community on my site, where I have regular readers who comment and tell me what they think about my articles. That feedback really makes me want to write more and more," he added.
 
Dilthey originally planned to major in art. He switched to English after a positive experience in a writing course. Then, during his sophomore year, he became "hooked" on biology after taking a course to fulfill a science prerequisite, and ended up adding the environmental studies major soon after.
 
"I don't think I'd have picked either of these majors if I wasn't inspired by the courses and professors at MCLA," Dilthey said.
 
Now a graduate student in the Sustainability Science program at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he is completing his master's degree and beginning work on his Ph.D., Dilthey's many activities include working with a team of Ph.D. students and faculty to co-author a paper on adaptation and mitigation for climate change resilience in coastal environments.
 
Dilthey also teaches his own class," Sustainable Living: Solutions for the 21st Century," a four-credit course for first-year UMass students.
 
In addition, he's working with the Residential Academic Programs Office to develop new connections for first-year students and programming partners across the University of Massachusetts system as they create a general education course on life at college.
 
"I push the benefits and importance of a diverse, rich, and multifaceted education to my students any chance I get, using my time at MCLA as an example of the power of interdisciplinary learning. I am immensely proud of our school, and I am lucky to have started there. I would not be here without MCLA," he said.
 
In fact, Dilthey finds himself spending a good deal of time telling students about the benefits of his experiences at MCLA, such as how they can find opportunities in clubs and the value of  learning from a diverse selection of classes.
 
Dilthey, whose writing also is featured in Adventure Cycling and Bikepackers magazines, discovered his love for camping, hiking and backpacking during his senior year through the MCLA Outdoors Club. There, he learned everything he needed to know to eventually lead trips himself. The experience, he said, was "transformative."
 
At UMass, Dilthey said he has one of the strongest backgrounds in environmental law among others in his department. "MCLA taught me that the courses outside of your major or focus can sometimes be the most valuable to your career. 
 
He recommends MCLA – and the English and environmental sciences programs, in particular – to prospective students.
 
"Both of these degrees are absolutely as rigorous and comprehensive as degrees from other colleges, and I have never once felt underprepared for my career and graduate school. I know a lot of my peers that graduated with me would say the same thing," Dilthey said. "Our entire group is doing amazing things, and we're all still connected because of the sense of community we had at MCLA."
 

Copyright 2015 Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts