I’ve just been down at the 2010 Secret Garden Party wearing my other hat as manager of gypsy swing band, Mano de Dios. They blew away the Main Stage on Friday and the Gaia Soundscape Stage on Sunday. I’m not entirely sure what happened in between but bizarrely there was much talk of generals, the humidity and mead. We even found ourselves playing at a gig in Oxford on the Saturday night. What was interesting about going to the festival as a manager though was realising the amount of people involved behind the scenes and seeing how many vocations collaborate to make events like this happen.
I’ve met a lot of WEXO users recently interested in getting into the music industry and I’m lucky enough to share an office with a new era music company. The impression I get is that that most people looking to break into the industry still want to work in A&R – finding the next big band. But with traditional revenues at the major labels in decline due to free downloads etc there’s just not the same requirement or the same kind of job role as detailed in a very amusing way in the book Kill Your Friends (essential reading for an inside perspective on what life used to be like!).
But the thing is that there are plenty of other roles available in the music industry and it’s worth finding out more about jobs in the worlds of synchronisations and publishing or looking at working in the big revenue contributors of Live (e.g. Live Nation) or Merchandising (e.g. Brothers Entertainment Merchandising). We’ve got plenty of music companies on WEXO too.
We’ve got a long way to go but if you’re interested in management, I’d be delighted to speak to you and the most informative reading (if a little dry) I can recommend is The Music Management Bible. Otherwise the video above is me interviewing management maestro Terry McBride on why not to be a Civil Engineer, why to work in the industry and how he sees it changing…
2 weeks to recover and we’ll be back at The Big Chill and Standon Calling (reduced tickets here) on the 7th and 8th August. Hope to see some of you there.
I have just finished a month-long internship at Carve Consulting, a digital engagement practice who advise clients how to successfully manage their social media strategy and online image.
I became interested in this internship after hearing Paul Harrison, managing partner at Carve, talk at a WEXO ambassadors meeting earlier in the year. His impressive presentation described the effect social media is having in changing the way companies think and operate and made me keen to learn more about what Carve do.
After doing my own research on their website and reading some articles about social media on the Internet, I applied to become a summer ‘twintern’ at Carve. Following an interview with Paul Harrison and Adelaide Harrison, I was offered to join the team for a month.
My experience at Carve has completely surpassed my expectations. Not only were the Carve team extremely welcoming, they have also taught me a great deal. What I loved about the internship was that I was immediately given useful work to do, with real clients to engage with. For instance, even after the first week at Carve I was accompanying the team to meet clients, taking part in devising strategies and helping to write proposals and presentations. I found being able to have this level of input and responsibility was invaluable as work experience.
Looking back on the following few weeks of the internship, I am amazed at how many different projects I was able to work on. In one month I worked on projects for music companies, wine companies, charities, banks and online video companies. What was exciting was that each company required a different strategy and approach, which brought a great deal of variety to the experience and kept it very fast-paced.
My internship at Carve has been a hugely rewarding experience and one that will undoubtedly help me in the future.
This experience has emphasised to me the value of real work experience, which may have a direct benefit for gaining employment in a similar area or provide an invaluable insight into employment opportunities you may have been unaware of to help your career choice.
It’s been a while since I stuck my oar in on the blogging front but I wanted to share with you my comings and goings with WEXO over the last week or so.
Last Saturday, WEXO were one of the Exhibitors at The Sunday Times Festival of Education at my old school, Wellington College. This was a unique event with presenters ranging from OW Rory Bremner to Michael Gove MP, Lord Baker to Germaine Greer and the Duchess of Kent to my old economics teacher John McArthur (now at ISCO). I counted 84 speakers in total who waxed lyrical on everything from dyslexia to addiction, the disadvantages of exams (too late) and British schools preparing a world class workforce. I was busy preaching the WEXO word and getting people to guess how many sweets were in the jar (217 – well done Mark Little on 210 – your £50 M&S voucher is on its way) but I did make it to the last of these talks. John Morewood, Graduate Recruitment Manager of HSBC (my old shop), Hugh Husband (McKinseys), Sir Anthony Cleaver (nice red socks) et al discussed how poor numeracy and literacy are from applicants (please at least use spell check for starters). The audience then quizzed the panel about children not knowing what to study for specific vocations (we have just started working with www.u-xplore.com to this very end). At the end, it was particularly interesting to hear the Secretary of State for Education talk about his new ambitions including a return to traditional A-levels with exams at the end of 2 years. Bizarrely, his patter sounded more socialist than capitalist and I was particularly impressed with his ability to take 6 questions in a row and then address each in turn with no more than a glass of water in his hands. There seems to be a common view (which I subscribe to) that teachers need to be better trained and supported; and that this country needs to focus more on Science, Engineering, Maths & Technology.
On Monday, WEXO were honoured to be invited to a Gala Dinner at the Royal Albert Hall to celebrate The Prince of Wales’s 25th Year as President of Business in the Community (BITC). HRH, Sir Stuart Rose, Philip Green and Stephen Howard were there to present the prizes and Stephen Fry compèred. It was uplifting to hear such homage paid to HRH. It even made me wonder whether Price Charles was in fact a force for good?! It was a shame that Sir Stuart’s Work Inspiration initiative, which WEXO wholeheartedly supports, (and as a business you can too here) was not referenced; but it was encouraging to see SMEs recognised in The Small Company of the Year Award which went to the wool company Herdy. Was it their lamb that was so delectably rustled up with the buttered spring greens and warm rosemary vinaigrette (washed down with lashings of Rothschild Viognier Vin de Pays)?
After three days of hard labour, on Wednesday evening I was due a break and got invited to go and play tennis at Buckingham Palace (pathetically childish excitement ensued). A great friend works for the royal family (now there’s a WEXO blog we’d like to read) and had been asked if she’d like to use the tennis court. The gardens at ‘BP’ are lush and beautiful and HRH has one of the biggest flower pots known to man. Sadly the only Queen in residence was of the Apoidea variety.
Co-Founder & CEO
P.S. As per a recent Press Release, WEXO is campaigning to let SMEs recoup the costs of a 3 month paid internship from forthcoming VAT hike. To register your support, please comment below.