Katherine Cooke with the Crested Butte Film Festival- LEAP Student Highlight

img_1961Katherine Cooke is a second year graduate student, completing her second of the two required LEAP internships. Read about her first internship as Evaluation and Assessment Analyst at the Gregory Allicar Museum of Art.  This time around Kat is exercising some more tools in her toolbox as the Marketing and Communications Intern with the Crested Butte Film Festival. She is completing her internship remotely from Fort Collins, Colorado, but hopes to be moving back to Crested Butte once the semester is over in May.

When I first met Kat it was in LEAP 500, the very first class within the LEAP curriculum. If there’s one thing that all of us who were in that class (and future classes) remember, it was that Kat Cooke loves Crested Butte, Colorado. An adventurous and talented snowboarder, Crested Butte is where Kat and her boyfriend Joey called home before making the move to Fort Collins to begin her studies in Arts Leadership and Cultural Management. By the second semester, some us joked that Kat would not only go on to be the Executive Director of an arts organization in Crested Butte but most likely become the Mayor of Crested Butte, winning on a platform of sheer love for the place.

Of course a joke, her love for the mountain town and drive to return is what led her to reach out to the Crested Butte Film Festival despite there not being any internship opportunities. After identifying the organization as a place she’d like to work, Kat used the confidence and skills she learned inpicture1 LEAP as a way to frame why she would be an important addition to their team. Kat contacted the festival, explaining why she would be an asset to their team, her love for Crested Butte, and almost instantly the festival offered her a position as an internship, giving her the flexibility to work from home. In speaking with Kat she recalled “LEAP gave me the confidence to reach out. Everything we’ve learned showed me that it’s okay to reach out to an organization.” She explained, “All you have to do is have confidence that what you’ve learned and the skills you have could be valuable, and to know that you understand how the organization works, and the information and skills from the program are useful.” In other words, Kat decided to take a LEAP by reaching out to the festival, something we believe in and support in our program.

As the Marketing and Communications Intern, Kat is working to integrate the sales and marketing platform Hatchbuck, implementing onboarding campaigns to ensure continued communication with sponsors, understanding how to present relevant content so that when it reaches its audience it isn’t flagged as spam, and she’s conducting independent market research, using skills acquired during her first internship.

We’re all confident that her high-quality work and passion will be so useful to the organization they won’t be able to let her go! We’ll have to wait and find out!