Career Treks: A First-Person Experience of SiriusXM + Pandora

Eighteen students from various majors came together on a Career Trek, organized by Monmouth University’s Career Development team, on Thursday, Nov. 3, The trip’s destination was to SiriusXM + Pandora’s NYC headquarters, located at the Avenue of the Americas.

We hopped onto a train bright and early at 8 a.m. chatted with our classmates, and watched as the landscapes swooshed by on the train. Once we arrived, we had the chance to get some steps in by walking to the headquarters and looking around at NYC’s bright and bustling avenues.

First stop, we checked in with security and made our way to the 36th floor. We were greeted by Alison Rivera, the University Recruiting Senior Manager at SiriusXM + Pandora. Do you know the saying “Man plans, and God laughs?” Well that’s exactly what happened!

Instead of a typical studio tour, we were invited into Sway’s Universe, on Shade45, a SiriusXM live lifestyle radio show. Rapper GRIP was interviewed by Sway Calloway about his new album and MU students had the opportunity to ask him a few questions on the radio.

Next, we had the opportunity to hear a panel from fellow MU alumni Ron Gaskill and Arina Martin on their journeys at SiriusXM + Pandora. Students asked a multitude of questions spanning career advice, internships do’s and don’ts, and more. Some notable advice that stood out was to seek different opportunities through clubs and internships so that you can broaden your experience and even connect those experiences as an asset to a later job.

For example, don’t limit yourself to just being involved only in TV if that’s what you enjoy; try dipping into the fields, of radio, graphic design, or Public Relations. Through those experiences, you’ll be able to learn tons and stand out when interviewing for a different job that you hadn’t necessarily planned. In this industry, it’s always good to be safe and stretch yourself to be a flexible candidate. Students also learned that the music and entertainment industry is fast paced, making it rarely boring.

Norma Sanchez, a junior communication student, shared her feelings about the trip. She said, “This trip allowed me to have an insight into what a day in the life in this office looks like. It also lets students see what workspaces in the corporate world actually look like. My favorite part of the event was the panel at the end because I got to hear from knowledgeable and experienced alumni in the industry.”

Karla Avila, an MBA Graduate Student, shared that her favorite part of the day was being live on air. She said, “I’ve done college radio here at Monmouth for years so this was such an incredible experience for me. And to top it off, I was able to ask the guest artist GRIP a question live on air where I shared the mic with Sway and the other co-hosts, which was amazing! It was an experience I will never forget. Definitely went back home with a smile on my face and told my family and friends everything that happened.”

Career Treks like these allow students to get an inside scoop into a specific field and company. Julia Angeliadis, Career Development Outreach Coordinator at Monmouth University, explained the true benefits of joining a trip such as this one.

She said, “Our Career Treks will expose students to various industries and employment opportunities, which will in turn provide them a clearer picture of viable options for their future. Visiting employers first-hand will help students explore their interests, identify their talents, and achieve their professional goals.

They will also have the chance to engage with and ask questions to C-Suite leaders and other experienced individuals to gain insight into what it is like working in a professional environment.”

After a cooped-up pandemic, these trips are a real adventure for students to participate in. Students should be on the lookout for more Career Treks like these to take advantage of soon. Career Development’s next career trek is already set in motion for Wednesday, Nov. 16 to Hackensack Meridian Health. Next on the lineup of Career Treks for the Fall semester includes Publicis Media, OceanFirst Bank, and J&J.

To wrap up the day, we huddled together for some group photos and parted ways to have some lunch. Students ventured through the streets, tasting the best pizzas and other delectable treats that NYC has to offer. Later, students caught the train home to Monmouth University, where it was back to business as ususal.