For those of you looking to get in to the notoriously oversubscribed music industry our latest interview should prove to be music to your ears. Robin, CEO here at WEXO; in affiliation with t5m, tixdaq and WE7, once interviewed the legendary Ron Fair about producing records, discovering artists and making music. For those of you that don’t know, Ron Fair is a veteran A&R executive that has had a hugely successful 25 year career in the music industry. He is famed for discovering unknown artists and turning them in to huge stars. Some examples of the acts that Ron Fair has been responsible for are Wild Orchid, Christina Aguilera, Prima J, Vanessa Carlton, Ashlee Simpson, the Black Eyed Peas and the Pussycat Dolls. He has also helped engineer Lady Gaga’s single ‘Speechless’ and her album ‘The Fame Monster’.
By bringing you these interviews with leading industry figures WEXO hopes to give you an insight in to what you will need to do and what will be expected of you if you get in to the career you want. Gleaning information on industries by learning from the experiences of others can be very useful, but, as the old adage goes, ‘information’s pretty thin stuff unless mixed with experience’ so let us help you get out there and grab some first hand experience as well.
As I’m sure many of you are aware the apprentice has started up again; this time the junior version, and this got us thinking here at WEXO, what advice would we give to those of you starting out? An internship can often be your first real experience of what it’s like to be in a professional business environment and we have put together a few basic skills and suggestions from some experienced individuals that we think will help you shine.
In keeping with the apprentice theme, in the video below, our CEO, Robin Kennedy, interviews previous winner Tim Campbell about what he has been up to since winning the apprentice and what advice he has for young people starting out.
Tim’s main tips are dress smart, be enthusiastic and don’t worry too much about how much experience you already have. A belief in what you want to do is vital as it’s the one thing that can’t be taught. We here at WEXO couldn’t agree more. Be appreciative of the time the experienced people around you are giving you and make sure you get as much out of them as you can.
One tip that Robin suggested is getting to know everyone’s name quickly and remember it. As in life, remembering peoples names in business helps to build a rapport. One way of doing this is to offer to go and get the coffee for the office. (it is likely someone will sponsor you for this so you won’t be out of pocket) This will allow you to jot down their names, job roles and perhaps even what they look like. (don’t leave this lying around though). This will help you brake the ice and come across in a positive light. Learn the names and you’re on to a winner. Now when you ask questions, or would like to be involved with something that is going on, it is far more likely people will make time for you.
It is important to be able to do the basics well. We’d like to think that the WEXO companies won’t treat you quite like Brad in the cartoon above but, from time to time, you might find yourself doing some photo copying. Therefore make sure you know how the one in the office works. Find out how on the first day; when you are expected to be asking loads of questions, rather than looking confused two weeks in. Finally, make sure you can do what you have put on your CV. If you’ve claimed you’re a pro with Excel or can use Database don’t be surprised if someone asks you to use one of them. The most common issue is people who claim they are experts with Microsoft Office and then find themselves lost when asked to put together a Power Point presentation or an Excel spreadsheet. One quick search using the almighty ‘Google’ can almost always answer any queries you may be having. Most of all, enjoy it and keep your ears open – it’s an exciting time starting out and who knows where it might lead. Good luck!
In the most general sense of the word, an entrepreneur is someone who organises a business venture and assumes the risk for it. But true entrepreneurship goes way beyond that simple definition.
When most people think of entrepreneurs, a few well-known names probably come to mind, Henry Ford, Alan Sugar, Bill Gates… But the truth is there are millions out there. Entrepreneurs provide real growth in an economy, they spot a gap first and move fast to exploit it. They take the risk to get the reward. They are undoubtedly a hugely important feature of any economy.
But what do they all have in common? The vast majority of them certainly didn’t start off as world conquering business moguls. Alan Sugar started off making money by boiling and selling beetroot form a stall in Hackney. He later went on to start one of the most successful British computer companies of the 80’s and 90’s. Henry Ford started off dismantling watches of friends and repairing them. He went on to start the first mass production line and give the world the first affordable car, the Ford Model T. I’m using these people as examples because they are well known but the idea holds for all entrepreneurs, famous or not.
Everyday people start up businesses doing a variety of different things, but they all have one thing in common. An idea that they can do something better than it has been done before. The idea is where all entrepreneurs start, however, the distance between the idea and the reality is probably going to be further than you imagined! One way to bridge this gap is to gain as much experience as humanly possible. A great way to do this is to learn from others. Skills you learn that may not even seem initially relative may be of great use down the line.
‘It’s much easier to learn from other people’s mistakes than from your own. It’s often much cheaper too!’ Robin Kennedy WEXO Co-Founder
Many of the companies listed on WEXO are small to medium sized enterprises, started up by experienced people who have spotted a gap in the market they know they can exploit. As members of WEXO you have the chance to get in with these companies and learn first-hand what these seasoned entrepreneurs do day to day. Opportunities within large companies are great and the experience will undoubtedly be useful. But for those of you with that entrepreneurial flair, looking to be a trail blazer of the future, these are unique opportunities that you shouldn’t over look.
Tomorrow will see the polls open and the race begin to be the first party past the post. Who will gain the 326 seats needed to form a government? Will Britain see its first coalition government since the 70’s? If the papers are to be believed then it is looking increasingly likely to be a Lib Lab government come Monday. (the rumour in the Telegraph is that Gordon Brown will be disposed of quickly after the election and replace by David Miliband). Interestingly though the spread betting on the city indexes tells another story, with the odds seeming to suggest the money is going on a Tory victory.
The results of the election will undoubtedly have an affect on those looking to get in to a career but regardless of the outcome, as ever, the onus is very much on you to put in the work and make yourself as employable as possible. You don’t have to do this alone though as WEXO is here to help. We would strongly encourage you, if you haven’t already done so, to look at our previous blog posts on the role of social media, video cv’s and how to make the most from your internship as well as many other usefull articles.
Make the most of your membership benefits by using the member’s area of your account which is full of useful tips and links to companies that can help you with anything from CV writing to finding discounted career development courses. Also, as ever, feel free to get in contact. The staff at WEXO is made up of recent graduates of varying interests and experienced business men and women that are more than willing to help.
WEXO would also highly recommend reading two books:
‘Dude, where’s my career?’ by Tanya de Grunwald. This is ‘a helpful handbook for the’ real-life graduate’ and having met Tanya herself and seen how passionate and informed she is about helping graduates WEXO believes this book will be a great help to those of you out there who are looking for guidance.
‘Now you’ve been shortlisted’ by Denise Taylor. The aim of this book is to help you go from being shortlisted to getting the job and is full of useful tips that can help you stand out from the other applicants.
Whatever your political inclinations WEXO encourages you to get out there and vote. If you are unsure on each parties policies or are unsure how to vote, below today’s post you will find a link to the BBC who have clearly bullet pointed the key party stances on the main issues as well as a link to votematch, which is a useful quick test you can take to help you decide which party best suits you. Have a great week.