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Music Student Caitlyn Long Explores International Music Industry at UMG Sweden

Caitlyn Long is a fourth-year Northeastern University student pursuing a degree in business with a minor in Music Industry. For her last co-op, she lived in Stockholm for almost a year working for Universal Music Sweden. As a member of the International Export department, her team was responsible for marketing Nordic music across the globe. We recently caught up with Caitlyn to learn more about her role and how she prepared for her experience abroad.

Tell us a little bit about your role! What were some of your responsibilities?

The International Export department was responsible for marketing Nordic artists from Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark out to the rest of the world, and our day-to-day was constantly evolving. Some of my primary responsibilities included creating one-sheets for artists on our roster, generating and analyzing global streaming reports for artist management teams, coordinating with our international offices on releases, and writing and editing press releases and artist biographies. Outside of these tasks, I was also involved with setting up marketing campaigns for various releases, brainstorming and presenting my ideas on artist social media strategy, and coordinating phone interviews between artists and journalists.

How did classes prepare you for your co-op experience?

The semester before I left for Sweden, I took Music Industry Marketing and Promotion, which was such a great way to start flexing my creative muscles. Our final project involved creating a marketing and promotion plan for an artist and presenting our plan and implementation strategy to our peers. It gave me a lot of insight into the different aspects of a marketing plan, and it was a ton of fun!

Did you notice any unique qualities or key differences with the Swedish music industry?

Swedish songwriters, producers, and pop artists have defined so many different eras of music, and it was such a life-changing experience from an industry perspective to work in the same country that gave us legends like ABBA, Robyn and Avicii. Countless music industry professionals have tried to crack the code of why Swedes are so incredible at making good music, and I do think a part of it can be attributed to the country’s tendency towards early adoption and keeping up with the latest trends. I also love that certain songs have an unmistakable sound that, no matter the environment, can invoke the reaction “that’s so Swedish!”

What was one of your favorite projects?

It’s so hard to narrow down just one of my favorite projects throughout this experience, but some of the standouts were working on Tove Lo’s new album Sunshine Kitty and getting the opportunity to be just a small part of the release of the beautiful posthumous Avicii album, TIM.

What advice would you give to a student preparing for an international co-op?

Moving internationally comes with a unique set of challenges, including culture shock and homesickness. For me, it was helpful to research Stockholm beforehand and create a list of restaurants and attractions I wanted to visit. By creating a checklist of things to do during my down-time from work, I was able to keep both my body and mind active. I also found that joining Facebook groups was super helpful and informative. For any women or non-binary individuals looking for a community abroad, check to see if there is a Gone Girl International chapter in your city! They organize events with other ex-pats looking for a group to socialize with during their free time and even arrange international trips to other countries. If you’re able to visit neighboring countries during your time abroad, I highly recommend it.

I’m so grateful to have had the chance to work at my dream job, and I’m thankful that my time at Northeastern afforded me that opportunity. Over the last year, Stockholm became my second home, and I can’t wait to go back.