From Bucks to Decca Records (via Memphis), Jenni is another 2015 graduate forging a fabulous career.
Name: Jenni Champion
Studied: Music Management with Branding and PR
Who do you currently work for and what is your role?
I currently work for Decca Records owned by Universal Music Group. Decca is a label that has an incredibly diverse roster ranging from country to classical and anything and everything in between!
I work on the marketing team and was originally employed as an intern. However, as good timing meant that I joined a couple of months before a marketing assistant left I have now taken on the assisting role. I have my own roster of artists that I work on, including Rod Stewart, The Lumineers, Chris Stapleton and Ronan Keating.
What is involved in your day-to-day work?
It genuinely changes on a daily basis, some days I can be doing a lot of admin and other days I’ll be out of office working on video shoots or artist showcases. I work on half the Decca roster, with the Nashville releases, affiliate label releases and the majority of the frontline releases. I do have regular duties of scheduling our releases, arranging travel, getting artwork mocked up, helping with video approvals, working with budgets and our finance system (and so much more) but because my role has expanded, I’ve been able to get really involved and creative over the recent months and really feel like I have voice within the company.
What have been your main career achievements to date?
There have been so many things where I’ve felt proud of myself but it’s always nice helping on an event and getting good feedback. We held a ‘secret show’ for The Lumineers and I arranged an ‘after show’ event, which I was highly praised for. I’ve also been able to attend my share of music video shoots and it’s always great seeing the finished product go down well with fans.
Most recently, I’ve taken the lead on the making of an EPK (a sort of ‘introducing..’ video) for one of our new, exciting artists. I arranged it all and took the artist on a tour around London, which we filmed and will end up being shared with fans and the rest of Universal.
It was a real confidence booster to be able to take the reigns on this, and that’s something I love about Decca!
How has your qualification from Bucks helped your career?
My qualification from Bucks really helped in giving me an insight into how the music industry works and what to expect. My specific course of brand management also helped me to understand how an artist’s brand can play into their marketing campaign and how important it is to work out the brand before you begin marketing.
Upon reflection, what skills did your qualification give you that help in your job?
Along with a background into the industry, university in general taught me how to be good with timekeeping, organisation and develop an ability to work under pressure – the latter is something invaluable within this industry as it can be incredibly stressful (although incredibly rewarding at the same time).
What advice would you give to a student who is about to graduate into your role/industry?
I would say that if working in the music industry is something they really want, then to take any opportunity that comes their way and don’t turn your nose up at anything. It’s such a competitive industry that getting as much experience under your belt as possible early on is so important to make yourself stand out in any interviews you may get. It will also show passion, which is incredibly valued.
I half expected the music industry to be full of business people who didn’t enjoy music themselves and saw it as a money maker; however that really isn’t the case. I can’t speak for anywhere else but Universal is a company that is full of incredibly passionate music fans who want to employ others who love music just as much.
I’d also say to not take a break from job hunting at all, no matter how disheartened you may get. The industry is constantly changing and things crop up when you least expect them to!
Are there any misconceptions about your role/industry that you would like to address?
That we throw money around – we don’t. Everything, (EVERYTHING) is planned meticulously.
What advice would you pass on to your first year self?
Honestly, I would tell her to do exactly as she did. I always knew what I wanted to do and was always very determined. Being told ‘no’ to my dream position was never an option for me and I think that mentality really helped me. I bring that mentality and passion into my role now and it’s really helped me move in the company and be trusted.
Please tell us anything else about you, your time at Bucks, your industry or role that will be of interest.
I graduated with a first class degree and I lived at home the vast majority of my university career. It was just what worked for me as it meant I could work in between classes and wasn’t getting carried away with partying. I was aware I was in a class that was often less than enthusiastic about the music industry but I only used that the spur me on.
During my degree I took the opportunity to study abroad in Memphis, which really helped me get an insight into the international industry as it offered lots and lots of work experience roles. I worked with the University Record Label, Blue T.O.M Records helping with upcoming album releases, and with a personal concentration on traditional and online press.
During my time in Memphis I also helped to put on events at the prestigious New Daisy Theatre on Beale Street as well as The University of Memphis ‘Spring Fling’ with Big Sean.
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