Q&A with Strategic Communication student Taylor Cislo, director of Program Council
Taylor Cislo, a CU Boulder junior, was walking through the booths at the Be Involved Fair her freshman year when a large “music industry” banner caught her eye. Looking back, it was a moment that changed her college experience.
It turned out that the booth was hosted by Program Council, the Center for Student Involvement’s student-led entertainment and event planning organization. The council, created in 1953, has hosted greats like the Rolling Stones and Chance the Rapper, and is known for popular events such as its annual film series and WelcomeFest.
“I talked to the people at the table, and they said that if I passed out posters for them I could get free tickets to the Fox and Boulder Theater. I couldn’t pass that up, so I decided to join the Street Team,” said Cislo, who has aspirations for a career in the music industry. Any CU student can volunteer with Program Council’s Street Team, which is responsible for spreading the word about their events.
Cislo, who is studying strategic communication with a double minor in business and music, was a member of Street Team for four months before she was hired for a paid position working for Program Council. She quickly moved up the ranks, working as the VIP coordinator, public relations director and marketing director.
Now, three years later, she’s the director.
One of Program Council’s main goals is to provide educational opportunities for students to gain experience and insight into the entertainment industry. As director, Cislo wants to introduce other students to Program Council so they can gain professional skills while getting a taste of the entertainment scene.
We caught up with Cislo to find out what she has gained from her experience with Program Council and why she wants to share that experience with other students.
What are some things you’ve learned about yourself through Program Council?
Program Council helped me realize that I enjoy being hands-on and creating a lot of connections. Moving into the director position, I was able to make more connections with local businesses, student organizations and different people in the music industry from different companies. That’s probably the coolest thing about joining Program Council. I also realized that I enjoy being a leader. I like being able to help people and be in charge of different projects.
How have your Program Council experiences and your studies complemented each other?
Being a student, especially in CMCI, I feel like I have learned a lot of strategic ways to promote different things, to write critically and to send out impressive emails, and I use these skills every single day in Program Council.
At the same time, I had already taken a few basic APRD (Advertising, Public Relations and Media Design) classes, and then I got thrown into the public relations director role. I had to write press releases all the time, and I didn’t actually know how to do it. I faked knowing what to do for a while, and finally in class, I realized I had been doing it right the whole time! So, these experiences kind of balanced each other out.
Tell me about an experience with Program Council that has prepared you for the workforce.
The first show I worked on was Peach Tree Rascals. This was recently, actually. I hadn’t been able to work an in-person show because of COVID. In the morning, we woke up and started setting up the stage. I ran to the airport to pick up the band. Then the show went on, I did the ticketing, all that. It was a full day of music! I think we left at 1:30 a.m. after starting set up at 8 a.m., so it was a very long day.
I feel like that specifically prepared me for working in the music industry, which is what I want to do. It gave me a small taste of what it would be like. It's going to be really stressful and crazy, but it’s going to be really fun at the same time.
Who should apply to work or volunteer for Program Council?
The biggest thing that I wish everyone knew about Program Council is that, if you like music, regardless of whether you want to work in the music industry or not, this is a great place to connect with people who have similar interests. For instance, I know that many people in Greek life like to go to concerts. Why not work with us and get free tickets?
Interested in getting involved with Program Council? They are currently hiring for paid positions and always taking volunteers for their Street Team. Contact Program Council on their website or at 303-492-7704.