Alumni Spotlight: Arina Martin

Arina Martin, a 2021 graduate who studied Music with a concentration in Music Industry, is living the dream of working for one of the popular music streaming services: Pandora and SiriusXM. Although she is passionate about what she is doing now, the road to get there has not been easy.

Originally, Martin’s plan did not include working within the music industry at all. She said, “I had started off as a biology major with a concentration in molecular cell physiology and did this for the first year of college.” At first, she enjoyed science and wanted to be a doctor, but since she has always had a passion for music, it seemed like the perfect fit. 

Reflecting back on her time at Monmouth, Martin was actively involved on campus. During her four years, she was part of the Sea Sharps A Cappella as the Gig Manager, Treasurer, and Musical Director. She was also the Secretary and Vice President of Blue Hawk Records, Secretary of Blue Hawk Studio, Secretary of Doctors Without Borders, and a general member of MU Players. 

On top of being so active on campus, there is also the aspect of attending classes. But there were a couple she enjoyed, including Chamber Choir, Business of Music, Principles of Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Gender Studies, and Social Media Marketing. 

Joe Rapolla, the Chair of the Music and Theatre Department and the Director of the Music Industry program, had the opportunity to work with Martin during her time as an undergrad. He said “Arina was a standout student, always willing to contribute to key programs and departmental activities and initiatives”, adding that “When Arina obtained the internship at SiriusXM Radio, I had no doubt that they would see what she brought to the table. So, it was no surprise that SiriusXM asked her to stay and take on such a critically current role.” 

With so much going on in her world, the pressure was real. Martin said, “Some of the challenges that I personally faced were mental health issues, especially during the pandemic, and generally trying to create a healthy, balanced lifestyle.” She added that she wished she would have utilized Counseling and Psychological services (CPS) on campus more often.

The first step she took to getting real world experience was being the Social Media Marketing intern for an independent music artist Brianna Musco, a Monmouth alum. Martin aided in creating unique social media content, brand content, and coordinated business opportunities. 

Martin also had the opportunity to intern at Pandora and SiriusXM during her time as an undergrad, and owes it all to Career Services. She said, “They had sent out emails to Monmouth students about the SiriusXM internship opportunities, so I had applied.”

She said that her time as an intern there was full of unforgettable learning experiences. “Sirius XM has a wonderful internship program that allows the interns to have a well-rounded semester full of hands-on work,” Martin said.  She tracked and analyzed social marketing analytics, while also creating creative content for brand campaigns.

With such an incredible opportunity to work in her field of interest, she said that she enjoyed every moment of the experience. “Working on Pandora’s Social Team brought new things to the table every day, as brand marketing is a field that never remains stagnant,” she said.

Martin didn’t stop there- she landed a full-time position as a Multicultural Social Media Marketing Coordinator at Pandora due to the great work she put in as an intern.

She said, “My team had told me very early on that I was doing impressive work, and that they wanted me to stay full-time so that I could grow within the company.” She attributes this opportunity to her hard work, and to her team for teaching her everything she knows about marketing and recognizing her potential.

Martin is very close to her team and admits that the highlight of her day is working with them. “They’re very kind, funny and supportive people that have all gone out of their way to mentor and teach me aspects about my job,” she said. However, not everything has been easy, per se. 

Martin has faced some challenges in this role, including the difficulty of learning many tasks and marketing skills related to brand marketing, and being on top of inevitable changes in marketing trends.

As someone who has been through the internship process, Martin has some advice for those actively searching for internships in any field. “Do your own research on what career(s) you want to pursue, utilize Career Services and Monmouth’s other resources, always ask questions, and apply for different types of internships to test out what you like,” she advised.

Speaking from personal experience, Martin said that when she applied to her first social media marketing internship, she was not 100 percent sure if that’s what she wanted. But now, she can’t live without it.

As someone who works within the music industry, she has some favorite tunes of her own, including Black Swan by BTS and Dakiti by Bad Bunny and Jhay Cortez. Thinking about the future, her main focus is becoming a brand marketing expert, but for now she believes she is in a good spot and is excited to grow within her position at SiriusXM + Pandora.

For many college students, the most dreaded question is: What do you want to do with your life? For some, that may be easy; but for others, not so much. Martin wants to assure students that it’s okay not to have everything figured yet. She said, “Take things one day at a time and continue brainstorming different career options. The path to finding your ‘dream job’ isn’t always linear.”