Connecticut College News
About 50 students turn out for Sundays with Alumni02/25/2010
At Sundays with Alumni Feb. 21, alumni offered <br>advice on the music industry to about 50 students. Pictured from left are panelists Claire Cook '09 and Andy Karp '89 with moderator Ben Parent. <i>Photo by <br>A. Vincent Scarano.</i>
The music industry is a hard one to break into. Claire Cook ’09, marketing coordinator at Columbia Records, told students recently that persistence is key.
“I had fifteen interviews before I was hired, and I keep each one of those business cards on my desk to remind me how hard I worked for it,” said Cook.
On Feb. 21, Cook and Andy Karp ’89, who ran the Artists & Repertoire division for Atlantic Records, offered about 50 students advice on the music industry during “Getting in Tune: Careers in the Business of Music,” the latest event in the Sundays with Alumni series.
Ben Parent, songwriter and art director of CC: Magazine, moderated the discussion, designed to connect alumni with current students seeking career advice.
Cook majored in film studies and theater at the College and first worked with Columbia Records through an Office of Career Enhancing Life Skills internship. Now she works on marketing projects for artists as varied as Susan Boyle, Bob Dylan and Brandi Carlisle.
“I feel better prepared than my colleagues at Columbia,” she said. “Many went to pre-professional schools for music, but Conn exposed me to so much more.”
Meanwhile, Karp, who majored in government at the College, has been in the record business for the last twenty years signing artists like Kid Rock and Simple Plan.
Like Cook, he emphasized that the music industry can be a tough field to work in, saying, “The business beats you down more than it props you up.” Karp advised students to look for temporary positions and internships at a label they want to work at, noting that this path often leads to a great job.
Many students in attendance said that they hoped to pursue a career in music. About two-thirds of the room identified themselves as musicians, while the rest were more interested in the business aspect of the discussion.
The next Sundays with Alumni panel, titled “In Style: Careers in Fashion,” will take place March 7 at 4 p.m. in Cro’s Nest in the College Center at Crozier-Williams. Panelists include:
Erin Tubridy Gates ’01: Principal, Element Interiors and author of one of the Washington Post’s “Top Ten Design Blogs of 2008;”
James Hardy ’83: Senior vice president/head of stores, Rugby Ralph Lauren; and
Michael Mombello ’83: Executive vice president of men’s design and merchandising, Tommy Hilfiger.
All are welcome to attend.
-Matt Zientek '10