Monmouth’s Career Development took about a dozen students to visit the Sirius XM + Pandora office in New York City as part of its new Career Trek initiative on Thursday, Nov. 3. Career Development advertised the trip as a free-of-charge opportunity for students to meet one of Monmouth’s top employers and explore the various career paths available, as well as network with industry professionals and alumni.
Per its website, Sirius XM + Pandora, also known as just Sirius XM, is one of the world’s largest audio entertainment companies with a variety of departments, such as News, Sports, Entertainment, and Music.
The trip to the office began with a tour of the building’s open-floored suites, overlooking Radio City Music Hall. Upon checking in, Monmouth students were met by their guide and host, Alison Rivera, intern recruiter for Sirius XM.
During Rivera’s tour, students met with a Monmouth alum, Ron Gaskill. He said, “I wish I had more internships and took more job opportunities as an undergrad at Monmouth.”
One of the main goals of Career Development’s Career Treks is to expose students to a variety of work opportunities while in college to prepare for a successful career post-graduation.
According to Jeff Mass, M.A., Director of Employer Engagement for Career Development, “Career Treks are employment exploration trips providing students the opportunity to visit top employers to experience various career paths and connect with professionals and alumni in a variety of industries.”
Although Gaskill stressed how much he loves working for Sirius and Pandora, he wanted to emphasize the importance of having multiple internships if one has the ability.
“Internships are a way in the door for a lot of companies. It shows you what it would be like to work for a particular place. Also, upon completing an internship and being hired full-time, you are often paid more.”
Students also met New-Jersey native radio personality, Heather B, known for her show, “The Happy Hour with Heather B.” Her program is featured on “Sway’s Universe” with journalist Sway Calloway.
Heather introduced the students to Calloway, who then invited the group to watch his interview with rapper GRIP, who recently released a new album. Students then had the opportunity to participate in the interview alongside Calloway.
One of the visiting students, Gigi Abinader, asked GRIP, “When did you know you wanted to do this as a career?”
GRIP responded, “I think it was when my mom asked me what I was planning on doing and pushed me to just make a decision…It was one of the things that pushed me.”
Karla Alvila, who runs Monmouth’s Latin program on WMCX 88.9, followed up, “Walk us through what your creative process looks like.”
He replied, “It differs— sometimes I’ll just be in the car and a beat will come to my head. It’s mostly about the hustle though; as long as you work towards your goals, you can accomplish anything…Outwork everybody.”
GRIP did not start his career in music until he dropped out of college, discussing the hard work that goes into making a career for oneself in the music industry.
Upon finishing the interview with GRIP and Sway, the students made their way around the various departments, visiting the multitude of alumni that have made Sirius XM their home.
Mass reflected, “Our students were able to get a deeper understanding of what it takes to join the entertainment industry in different capacities.”