Being in Newhouse, we are constantly used to hearing success stories of people who are working for well-known companies; ABC, NBC, ESPN and Viacom are among a few. They did not all start there though, and you don’t have to either. I remember when I was looking for an internship during undergrad, I wanted to work for the best of the best. I was looking at companies that were too large for my skill set, and I ended up stressing myself out. A family friend of mine reached out to me about someone she knew at Cumulus Broadcasting Company, which at the time was a company I never heard of. I had, however, heard of their 4 local radio stations (93q, Rebel 105.9, 95X, and The River 105.9).
I was both desperate and excited, so I took the offer to help promote those stations at various events throughout central New York. Even though they are a small company, I grew up with their stations, which made it fun to promote them. I developed new skill sets and built relationships with local professionals. Not only that, but I was working for the second largest owner and operator of radio in America, which opened the door to my internship with the leading owner and operator of radio in America, iHeartMedia. I’m glad I started at a smaller company, because it prepared me to do similar tasks at iHeart on a much larger scale.
Do not underestimate the opportunities inside a small company.
With demanding expectations in society, we are constantly being told by family members, the media and our peers what is best for us. We become experts at being hard on ourselves instead of finding the value in smaller opportunities.
Last week, I had a rough few days where the stress of figuring out my career path put me in a really negative mood. There are so many different directions I could go in the music and entertainment industry. Some days I want to be a talent agent and other days I want to manage artists. Everyone wants a great job right out of school, but the really smart ones are realizing that…
Some of the greatest opportunities are found in lesser-known places.
A perfect example happened to me the other day. I met with Professor Oesterle from the Bandier music program at Syracuse University to discuss my interest in managing country artists. He showed me that the day-to-day lives of artist’s are actually managed by companies most people have never heard of. For example, even though the band A Thousand Horses is under Big Machine Records, a label distributed by Universal Music Group, McGhee Entertainment manages their day-to-day lives. Have you ever heard of McGhee Entertainment? I personally congratulate you if you have. A Thousand Horses may not be huge yet, but they are opening up for Jason Aldean on his Six String Circus Tour. Let’s just say I remember when Taylor Swift was opening up for Rascal Flatts.
I decided that whatever happens, things will fall into place and every job I have, no matter what size, is an opportunity. An opportunity to meet people, gain experience and possibly discover new interests. This can apply to everyone, and it’s important to remember that…
No two people are going to have an identical path to success.
It feels like there is a lot of pressure because, for many of us, this is our last year of school. All I know is that from now on, I’m going to keep a more open mind about what’s out there and I hope you do the same. It may seem like time is running out, but really it’s just the beginning of some great life experiences.
–Kelly Myers is a graduate student studying television, radio and film