The fourth annual Best Job Ever conference brought some of Nashville’s best in the music industry to Belmont on Saturday, September 10, 2011.
During five hourlong sessions, students learned from successful music business professionals who spoke about what students expect various areas of the field and how they can prepare themselves for potential industry success.
The Curb College changed the content of the program from previous years. While the cover of this year’s conference program promises “Learn from top professionals about what to expect once you have landed your dream job in the industry,” the college is now aiming to expose “students to a wide variety of jobs in the industry,” said Hannah Easley, Coordinator of Student Enrichment.
Multiple elements of the industry were represented at the conference, including A&R, management, sponsorship and event production, engineering, and marketing.
Toni Ulicnik, a freshman music business major, was looking forward to learning about the various jobs in the business.
“It might help me decide what direction to go,” she said.
The keynote speaker for the event, Grammy-nominated George J. Flanigen IV, stressed that he wanted students to know that in the music business, opportunities still exist.
“The doors are not locked; the doors aren’t closed. There is no secret club,” he said.
He noted when he started out, he had to “trudge through the mud. There wasn’t a Belmont when I started.” Through his experiences, he wanted to show students various ways to “avoid the landmines.” He would be the first of the day’s panelists to advise students on a central theme.
“Internships are opportunities. Do them, and find them,” he said.
This theme was expanded on in different sessions. According to a number of speakers, students should make a lasting impression as an intern and use these opportunities to build relationships while learning.
Dominique Horton, a music business major, had every intention of taking advantage of the opportunities the conference offered. The 20-year old sophomore wanted to network during the conference, hoping to meet representatives from CMA and CMT.
“I want to work in country music. I hope to learn and network,” she said.
The list of speakers was long and impressive, and included names like Lady Antebellum producer Paul Worley.
One of the panels, Best First Job Ever, stood out because of their unique status—all three were Belmont Alumni. Shea Fowler, A & R Coordinator for Big Machine Label Group, Laura Wright, A & R Manager for EMI Music Publishing, Colleen Taylor, administrative assistant to Scott Borchetta at Big Machine Group, all vividly illustrated to current students what possibilities awaited them if they took advantage of opportunities the university offers.