Featured (List) Featured (Slider) News

Blue Hawk Records HostsAlumni Industry Event

Monmouth University’s Music Department hosted an Industry Alumni Networking Event that was produced by Blue Hawk Records and hosted by Joe Rapolla, Professor and Chair of the Music and Theatre Department, on Tuesday, Oct. 11 in Lauren K. Woods Theater.

The event included a panel of Monmouth University alumni who either currently work in or have previously worked in the music industry. Panelists held job positions ranging from photographer, sales planner, new content manager, keyboardist/vocalist, marketing agent, publicist, and many other fields within the music industry.

The panel took turns discussing their experiences at Monmouth, their jobs within the industry, and their internships early on in their careers. Both current and prospective students attended to hear from the MU alumni panel and learn more about career paths in the music industry.

Monmouth University alumna Jessica Henig, who graduated in 2008, came to Rapolla with an idea about how to connect students with people who now work in the industry. From there, Henig and Rapolla worked together to coordinate the networking event.

Henig, who now works in the technology business as a Senior Director of Global Partnerships at Partnerize, attended the event to share her insight about the music industry with current MU students.

Other panelists included Bryan Herring, ‘14, and Zach Sandler, ‘20.

Herring is known for being the keyboardist, backing vocalist, and leading member of the band Gaslight Anthem. Having just returned from tour a few days prior to the event, Herring shared his views on how life affects personal development, as he is now home with his wife, who is also a Monmouth alumnus and was also a part of the music industry program, and young daughter.

Sandler is now an assistant to award winning photographer Danny Clinch. He is also the associate producer for the Transparent Clinch Gallery at the local Sea.Hear.Now Festival in Asbury Park. He has also worked on different productions with many well-known artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi, and select members of Pearl Jam.

Despite their different experiences in the field, all members of the panel had some similar words of advice. They all said that they had wished they had more internships, describing how this allows students to see how they would be able to work in their industry as professionals later on and helps students decide if they are on the right career path or not. Even though many people think they have found their calling, oftentimes people end up switching careers or changing their entire field.

Panelists advised students how to manage mental health and well-being and deal with Imposter Syndrome, the feeling that one is not qualified to be in a certain field. Panelists also urged students to stay true to their art and music as they pioneer the rocky terrain of the industry.

Aside from the alumni event, Blue Hawk Records hosts other events throughout the semester such as open mic nights, a campfire jam, and the Compilation Album release show at the end of each semester.