Senior Spotlights: Tara Muoio

Where are you from?
I’m from Breezy Point, NY which is a little beach neighborhood in Queens (one of NYC’s five boroughs).

What is your background in music?

I grew up singing in my church choir, taking piano lessons, and listening to music around the house, but I didn’t really get into it on my own until high school. In high school, I was very involved in my school’s concert choir and a capella group and developed an interest in learning music theory. I also picked up the guitar on my own and have been teaching myself ever since!

Why did you decide to come to NYU?

Honestly, I initially didn’t want to come here at all when I was looking around at colleges. After my mom took me on a tour of the school, however, I began to think more and more that this was the place I was meant to be. My dad convinced me even further by reminding me that other young women and men my age would LOVE to be in New York City and even though I was from here, that didn’t mean that I couldn’t also go to school here. I decided to come to NYU (and specifically the Music Business Program) because I couldn’t see myself living or working without music, but I didn’t want to pursue a career as a performer. I liked the fact that I could continue my music education at one of the country’s top music schools while also studying business at one of the nation’s top business schools and learn about the music industry from renowned faculty and people who were making a difference in the industry.

Who are some of your favorite musical artists?

The Beatles, Sara Bareilles, Bleachers, Lorde, Adele, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (and formerly Jack’s Mannequin), Bruno Mars, fun., Carly Rae Jepsen, Smallpools, Passion Pit, Emily King, Bastille, Bombay Bicycle Club…to name a few.

Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

Long live pop-punk. That’s all I have to say.

What have been some of your favorite music business classes/professors in your time here?

I really loved my music publishing course with Jennifer Blakeman. She’s a great teacher and the subject is super interesting! Our final “song parody” project is super fun.

Have you had any really cool music-related moments in New York?

I saw Lorde at Webster Hall my freshman year, and it was her first EVER show in the US after her first album release. Now look at where she is!

What was your best Internship?

I loved all of my internships, but I would say my best one was at Warner Music Group as a Marketing & Sales Intern under their Warner Classics & Erato labels.

What is your dream job?

Honestly, I never really had a “dream job” per se. I think this industry changes and morphs so often, and that may mean that my dream job doesn’t exist yet. To me, my dream job is whatever I’m doing that I end up loving.

Are you leaving the program with different career aspirations than you had when you entered the program?

Absolutely, yes.

What is your advice for any incoming freshmen or transfer students to the program?

It’s okay if you don’t know what exactly you want to do in music yet. There’s a world of opportunity waiting out there for you.

Senior Spotlights: Grace Pozniak

Where are you from?

I am from Cohasset, Massachusetts.

What is your background in music?

In high school, I started going to a whole bunch of shows in Boston. Most of them were Warped Tour-esce bands, and I got involved with a really tight knit Boston community that formed around this music. I also starting playing drums in sophomore year of high school. I realized nothing brought me as much joy and satisfaction as music, so I decided to pursue it for a career!

Why did you decide to come to NYU?

I decided to come to NYU for a few reasons. First, the opportunities in the music world are unparalleled at any other university or city. Moreover, the town I grew up in was tiny and homogeneous. I wanted to break out of that and be somewhere were differences are celebrated rather then stifled. I knew I could be whoever I wanted to be at NYU, and that wasn’t something I had genuinely felt at any previous point in my life. I also wanted to be surrounded by people who were passionate about what they were doing, sharing what they love and making the most of their college experience. Lastly, I knew I would be incredibly bored at any other school where I was isolated and couldn’t do a million different exciting things every day!

Who are some of your favorite musical artists?

Right now, a few of my favorites are Pinegrove, Big Their, PWR BTTM, Hop Along, Mitski, Vundabar. It changes all the time!

Do you have any musical guilty pleasures?

I love One Direction and I am not ashamed.

What have been some of your favorite music business classes/professors in your time here?

I really enjoyed Concert Management with Carlos Chirinos and Music Publishing with Jennifer Blakeman.

Have you had any really cool music-related moments in New York?

Yes! Every music moment feels cool, to be honest. But my favorite definitely was the first year I worked at Governors Ball. I was on site for about a week and a half before the festival started, and it was simply incredible to watch the way the whole site was put together in the blink of an eye, then be flooded with attendees for three days, then be broken down in about three days. It was really incredible to participate in making it all happen, and I definitely felt like a newbie the whole way. 

What was your best Internship?

This is so hard. Two standout ones were with Founders Entertainment (Gov Ball, The Meadows) and the one I’ve had now for a year with Sofar Sounds. While both deal with live music, the scale is so different and it’s been really interesting to see the similarities and differences. I worked with amazing, inspiring, caring, and passionate people at both that really shaped my music business experience and personal life trajectory.

What is your dream job?

This is also hard! I think my dream is to one day start my own music festival that is totally based on giving back, like a benefit festival with volunteer and donation aspects. It’s not totally fleshed out yet obviously, but I am really into using the power of music for good.

Are you leaving the program with different career aspirations than you had when you entered the program?

Yes! I didn’t really even know at all what I wanted to do when I entered the program. I just knew I wanted to work with music. But my love of live music and the possibilities to combine my social justice aspirations and music have really formed and grown during my time here.

What is your advice for any incoming freshmen or transfer students to the program? 

Everyone’s experience is so different, so I think its tough to give advice that would work for everyone! I would say to simply make the most of it. Don’t be afraid to explore, share your ideas with anyone and everyone, dream big, send cold emails, dye your hair, start a conversation with a random person in class. There is no other time in your life where you have such incredible and different people surrounding you every single day, so take advantage of it. Don’t be afraid to be different, there is no right answer! And go to class!

Internship Review

A big part of our program is the opportunity we have to include internships into our schedules! Check out some internship reviews from our current students below:

 

Abbey Keyes (Sophomore)

Company Name: Paradigm
What They Do: Talent Agency
Semesters Interned: One (Spring)

Pros:
-Really hands-on experience, truly taking part in the business and the work
-They have shadow sessions, which basically means you shadow another department in the agency like brand partnerships, tour marketing, business affairs, talent/lit etc, so you can see all the different parts of an agency.
-Really dedicated to creating a well-rounded experience for you as an intern and helping you learn
-Paid

Cons:
Not totally a con, but it is a more intense internship, you’re busy all the time and it can be stressful. So, it depends on what you’re looking for.
Company Culture: The company culture is friendly overall. Everyone enjoys being around each other and are friends. Your bosses will really want you to learn. There are other parts of the agency that are really intense and can be intimidating.

Project/Fun Fact:
The coolest project I’ve worked on is doing a Visa Itinerary. What that means is when you book an American tour for a non-American artist, you essentially have to prove to the government why they should grant this artist a visa to tour. That includes gathering different flyers of them headlining, different press to show their relevance, but also routing out three years of their tours. This project is super helpful because it forces you to think as an agent would have to in routing these tours around the country.

Olivia Johnson (Junior)

Company Name: Reservoir Media
What They Do: Independent Music Publisher
Semesters Interned: One (Summer)

Pros:
Interns get a lot of direct work with the catalog, and are given a lot of “real” work. Coffee runs and the like were not intern responsibilities at Reservoir. The focus was always on providing interns with real work experience in addition to learning experience.

Cons:
The internship was unpaid, which I don’t think anybody really likes. That being said, it’s way better to have an unpaid internship where you actually learn, work, and acquire useful skills for the industry.

Company Culture:
Reservoir was a really positive work environment for me. The open office floor plan makes it very easy to communicate between departments, and the rapport between employees makes it feel less intimidating than the typical corporate office you might picture. It did feel a little intimidating at first, because there are so many comfortable, established relationships in existence, but for anyone willing to strike up a conversation with someone, ask questions, and engage outside of their department, I think this is a great relationship-building company.

Coolest Project:
I signed an NDA my first day at Reservoir, so I can’t disclose anything revolutionary, but I definitely had a lot of fun familiarizing myself with a very diverse catalog. And 2Chainz. I know so many 2Chainz songs now.

Bre Byrd (Junior)

Company Name: MAC Presents
What They Do: Music Sponsorship and Activation Agency
Semesters Interned: 2 (summer and spring)

Pros:
Though MAC is a small agency, they have great connections with industry big shots like Cara Lewis. Because of this, they do a lot of work with her roster… and sometimes Metro Boomin or Taylor Bennett will casually walk into the office as you’re eating lunch. Along with this, MAC’s small nature makes the ability for interns to get face time with full time employees very high. We often work with them one on one to complete research for daily projects. Lastly, occasionally you may get the opportunity to work events – but it isn’t guaranteed.

Cons:
The internship is unpaid – but that’s not much of a surprise. Another unfortunate downside can be found in the fact that because the company is so small, the number of hiring positions after graduation is likely small as well.

Company Culture:
Relatively laid back; agencies are heavily project/client- based so that means some days interns are doing extensive research into a brand and all past music campaigns they’ve done in recent history. But sometimes, interns are just reading music blogs and advertising publications to keep up to date on industry trends for a good portion of the day.

Coolest Project:
I signed an NDA so I can’t fully say but it involved the love of my life, Chance the Rapper.

Hayden Sitomer (Senior)

Company name: Ground Control Touring
What They Do: Boutique Booking Agency
Semesters Interned: One (Spring)

Pros:
Laid back work environment, really welcoming coworkers, you learn a ton about the touring industry, a great opportunity to make connections, you get to hear unreleased albums, *free* concert tickets!
Cons:
You are asked to intern 2-3 full days a week, fast-paced environment (but in a good, challenging way!)

Company Culture:
Collaborative, casual, tastemakers, young.

Coolest Project/Fun Fact:
There are often ~dogs~ in the office!!

Chrissy Payne (Junior)

Company Name: Two Sheps that Pass
What They Do: Boutique PR and Marketing
Semesters Interned: One (Spring)

Pros:
If you say there’s a certain thing you want to work on/client you want to work with, they’re cool with it; they reimburse you for travel fares and lunch, they take interest in you as a person since it’s such a small business
Cons:
Lots of copying/pasting emails (gets really tedious really quickly); if there’s not a lot of clients on at the moment, you get kinda stuck twiddling your thumbs because there’s nothing to do; the office space is very small with no windows

Company Culture:
Very laid back and intimate. Vera (the owner) is a pretty cool lady who takes interest in what’s going on in your life. They’re very flexible about working around any issues that pop up with coming in. They all want to make sure you’re having a good time.

Coolest Project/Fun Fact:
Right now we’re working with Peter Buffett (son of Warren Buffett), who’s put out this super political album, so that’s pretty cool. I scored him an interview with a writer at Forbes. Fun fact: Two Sheps was behind the RuPaul Collectible Dolls!

Tara Muoio (Senior)

Company Name: Warner Music Group – Warner Classics & Erato
What They Do: Major Label
Semesters Interned: One (Spring)

Pros:
Every intern gets a semester project that they work on independently. Because I’m a marketing and sales intern, mine is a mock marketing plan for an upcoming release that I’m going to present to my supervisor/executives at the end of my semester. It’s really cool to have something tangible to work with and be creative with that’s totally my own.

Cons:
There’s a lot of red tape surrounding what an intern can do at Warner (or maybe it’s just my department). I’m not allowed to run phones or interface with press contacts via email, for example, which is some general office experience that I think could be valuable.