By Mariah Simpson
During my senior year of high school, I knew that I wanted to study the music business as my major but I wasn’t sure about what college to attend. I had a few options to attend schools in either my small hometown in New Jersey or in a few cities across the country. Although I was scared to leave everything that I knew behind me, I decided to attend Pace University because of its location in New York City. I did a lot of research during my senior year to determine the best city to make it in the music business and I want to share that with everyone here. In my opinion, New York has 5 unique qualities that no other place can compare to:
Internships in New York City are an experience that you can’t get in any other area; there are so many opportunities for practically any field in the music business that you want to get into. Whether you want to work at a recording studio, a talent agency, or a concert hall – New York City has opportunities to intern in each realm. Additionally, it is much easier to get an internship during the school year because there are only a limited number of college students available to work in New York but a multitude of companies searching for interns.
2. Iconic Venues and Record Labels
Madison Square Garden, Barclays Center, Webster Hall – there are so many iconic venues in New York City that many people travel from all over the world to see. If working at a venue is the part of the music business that you want to work in, New York can offer so many more opportunities than any other city. In addition. there are many independent and major record labels around the city such as Epic Records in Midtown to Feel Up Records in Brooklyn.
3. Student Organizations Specifically for the Music Business
Grammy U is an awesome student organization that I recently joined for music business students in New York City. This organization is run by the Recording Academy (the same people who produce the Grammy Awards) and it offers exclusive opportunities to network with executives in the industry. If you are accepted into the organization after an application process, there are events such as Q&A Sessions/Meet and Greets with Shawn Mendes, Taylor Swift, the 1975, and more! I would not be able to be a part of this organization if I attended a small college in my hometown and I have already had the opportunity to network with so many people because of it.
New York City is one of the very few places around the world where networking opportunities can come up practically at any time. An example of this was when I was once at an event at my school and an executive from Atlantic Records was there talking to students! It was very exciting getting to introduce myself and to hear about the type of candidates the company was looking to hire. There would never be an instance where record label executives would be talking with students if I attended a college in the suburbs.
5. Professors Working in the Music Industry
Unlike colleges in smaller towns, colleges in New York City tend to hire Professors who are actively working in the field they are teaching about. For the music business, having Professors who are working musicians or former executives at a label give students the opportunity to learn about the current industry from a relevant teacher. Instead of just having a Professor read something straight from a book, a Professor in New York City can help apply what they learned in the business to the classroom setting.
New York City has given me everything I ever hoped for and more over the course of the past six months. A typical day as an New York college student really does consist of interning in the morning, going to class during the afternoons, and going to a broadway show or museum at night. I truly believe that I am getting the best quality education about the music business in New York and I am getting the most career opportunities compared to in my hometown. Choosing to attend college in this city has been one of the best decisions I have ever made and I do not have any regrets about it!