Ajani Otieno-Rudek ’20, City Farm Presents, Brooklyn, NY


This summer I’ve been living in New York City, and working as an intern for City Farm Presents, an entertainment production and marketing agency created by the programming and hospitality team behind The Bell House and Union Hall venues in Brooklyn, established in 2017. This involves daily work in the City Farm Corp. office, and frequent trips to the various sites (bars, venues, etc.) owned and managed by the company. City Farm Presents regularly hosts events and performances by musicians, comedians, podcasts, and more. This role has given me my first “real world” experience in the business side of the entertainment industry. I’ve applied many skills I’ve gained from Skidmore to researching partners/competitors, filling out documents/invoices, planning for upcoming events, reaching out to collaborators, working with the various departments in the office, and picking up smaller projects for the company.

This has been the rewarding experience I was hoping for this summer, and due to the friendliness of the City Farm staff, it has been a comfortable experience as well. I found the opportunity through Handshake, as City Farm’s CEO has a daughter who recently attended Skidmore, so the connection is strong. I would definitely recommend this experience to anyone who is interested in gaining real-world entertainment-related work experience, and willing to do extra busy work. This has been a very helpful and realistic first-step to the type of place I could see myself working some day, so it is very reassuring to know that my studies have an end-goal.

My typical weekly schedule at City Farm has been work in the office on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9-5, and regularly picking up shifts during events after work. The most recent shows I worked were a part of the Sequence Music Festival, featuring several artists with a significant following. It’s been a lot of fun to work these events while also taking in the performances.

Just as exciting as the internship itself has been the opportunity to live in New York City for a summer. I lived near Union Square, Manhattan; a perfect location full of some of the best food I’ve ever had and a lively city experience. An experience like this didn’t even cross my mind as a possibility until I received Skidmore’s internship funding, which has helped me tremendously with housing and general living in the Big Apple. I’m very thankful for the support I’ve received, and am very glad I made the decision to intern this summer. It’s been an invaluable experience to live and work in the city that I’ve been told many times I’ll have to live in to pursue my passions. I’ve made new connections, and even brought up friends and family from Boston to share a piece of the experience with me.

All-in-all, this has been a great summer and an undeniable look into what my future could look like, if I choose that sort of path. My hope is to stay connected to the company in some way after I come back to school, in case it becomes helpful in the future.

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