August 15, 2017


As summer concert season winds down,  interns are also wrapping up their summer internships.  We caught up with Cherie Hu, Ticketmaster's Product and Distribution Marketing Intern​, to learn the exciting and unique way she secured her internship, the new skills she'll take back to Harvard, and more details on what an internship at LNE offers. Check it out below:  ​​​​

Tell us a bit about your background. Where are you from, what school do you attend, and what's your major?

I was born and raised in Scarsdale, New York. I'm entering my final semester at Harvard University, majoring in Statistics with a minor in Music.​

Which internship role did you take on at Ticketmaster?

I'm a Product and Distribution Marketing Intern, working with the awesome Distributed Commerce team!

 How did you hear about the program and what steps did you take to land the internship?

Unlike a lot of the other Ticketmaster interns, I didn't find out about the program through my school's career office or other traditional recruiting channels—in part because relatively few Harvard students are interested in music or entertainment, let alone travel to LA for internships at all.

Prior to this summer, my main relationship to the music industry was through journalism: I joined Forbes as a contributor in November 2015, covering the intersection between music and tech, and interned with their Media & Entertainment team in NY last summer. One of the first articles I wrote during that internship was a comparative deep-dive into Live Nation, AEG and Pandora (which had recently acquired Ticketfly at the time), analyzing everything from their earnings reports to their public strategic partnerships. The article caught the attention of none other than Michael Rapino, who reached out to me (on Twitter, of all places) asking if we could chat over the phone about some of my conclusions in the piece.

At the end of our call, I mentioned that I was still in my junior year, and he said he would be happy to discuss future opportunities at Live Nation if I was ever interested. That moment still feels surreal even looking back over a year later: while I was an avid musician and loved going to live shows, I had never really thought seriously about a professional career in live entertainment until Michael put that opportunity on the table. Come last December, with Michael's help, I got to chat with several different departments at Ticketmaster across marketing, strategy and tech, and ultimately settled on Distributed Commerce as aligning best with my interests at the time.

What draws you towards working in the live entertainment industry?

I'm driven first and foremost by a passion for music. I've been performing for my whole life (I started playing piano when I was five, and joined a choir in college), and love the experience from both sides of the stage—whether creating memorable moments for audiences of complete strangers, or being in the crowd fangirling over my favorite artists. From a financial standpoint, against the backdrop of a wider entertainment industry that still seems to be digging itself out of its historical pessimism, live entertainment continues to grow and innovate in really exciting ways, and I'm excited to be contributing even in minor ways to its transformation.

Tell us some of the biggest highlights from your experience at the company.

I loved attending the Ticketmaster Summit—from hearing Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller give the inside scoop on his incredible career, to learning more about Ticketmaster's Sports business, to meeting several execs who work closely with Distributed Commerce but with whom I would otherwise only interact remotely. The Intern hackathon was also an unforgettable rollercoaster ride: it was my first-ever overnight hackathon, and I went in with very little coding experience, but my team is now building out our demo into an actual internal tool for Ticketmaster's Event Operations team (specifically automating event validation prior to an onsale). It's been a really great opportunity to collaborate directly with Ticketmaster employees, while expanding my understanding of Ticketmaster as a larger company beyond the scope of my internship role. All the Ones to Watch concerts have also been really fun, and I've been impressed by the consistently high quality of artists that come through!

 Give us some insight into your day-to-day. Any cool projects you're working on?

I spent most of my first month here diving into data around the native Ticketmaster API integration with Facebook—evaluating performance relative to the rest of Ticketmaster's business in order to inform product changes like notification optimization across the sales cycle of an event. More recently, I've been expanding into an analysis of Ticketmaster's wider Affiliate Program, looking into questions like what types of affiliates over-index for incremental users, and where there might be opportunities for last-minute ticketing that we're not yet leveraging.

Any notable skills or learnings that you'll take back to the classroom at Harvard?

The biggest takeaway by far has been how to present and communicate data analysis in a succinct and actionable manner—in terms of demand for actionable insight, businesses definitely move more quickly than classrooms. Also, I'm really thankful that the Distributed Commerce team has given me full ownership over most of my projects, which was daunting at first but taught me a lot about planning ahead, managing multiple contacts/resources and keeping the relevant people up-to-date about progress and insights in the most effective way. In general, I think learning about the sheer complexity of the ticketing business will be really valuable for me both as a consumer and as a professional working in the music industry, regardless of whether or not I end up in the live sector.

To end on a live note – which concert are you most excited to see when you head back to Boston?​

Thundercat at the Paradise Rock Club in September. I bought a shirt from his last show at the same venue and I wear it all the time, so it wouldn't hurt to go back and see him again!

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