How To Become a Campus Representative
What Exactly Does a Campus Representative Do?
Sony Music Campus Representative Caylie Landerville says, “As a College Marketing Rep, I help come up with creative ideas to market and promote artists under Sony labels, specifically in the Philadelphia market, focusing on the younger adult/college demographic. A typical day includes checking to see what tasks I have been assigned, as I often have a few tasks a week to complete by a certain date. Some of these include online marketing campaigns in which I creatively promote new releases or upcoming tours through social media and our Sony Music U regional handles, offline marketing campaigns that entail generating excitement for artists by securing visibility through posters, hand-to-hand marketing tools and also interacting with lifestyle accounts such as record stores, coffee shops, campus orgs and more.
Tour campaigns revolve around artists that are coming to a specific city; I promote and set up events in order to generate excitement prior to the show, attend it, and then complete a detailed report on it. We also come up with unique activations for specific artists involving various ideas, from artists interacting with fans in different ways to distributing merchandise in a highly populated area.”
Campus Representatives work under the umbrella of a record label’s marketing department and report to the Marketing Manager. They may help out the Marketing Coordinator as needed. Since they interact with management at a variety of music organizations in their local community, Reps may build working relationships with radio Program and Music Directors, concert venue staff, and Record Store Managers.
To apply to most College Reps programs, individuals must have at least two years left in their degree program, which means the majority are college sophomore or juniors. Most successful College Rep candidates have already worked as Interns or held a student job with a campus venue or radio station. While working a Rep position, students make connections that can lead to more internship opportunities, and even to entry-level gigs immediately after graduation.
A Rep’s job duties generally involve marketing and promotions, so it makes sense for them to move into a similar role at a record label, music venue, or another music organization. However, the breadth and depth of the work they do — not to mention the connections they make on-the-job — will give Reps access to many different career paths while they’re still in school.
Education & Training
Since Campus Reps are hired to work within their local college communities, enrollment in an undergraduate degree program is a job requirement. To become a competitive candidate for open Rep positions, Landerville advises, “I would recommend college students study something related to Business and Marketing, and to be highly aware of the music business, if not focusing on it in their major. I am a Music Industry major at Drexel and I feel it has helped me to be able to understand certain factors within this job that I wouldn’t have otherwise been aware of.”
What skills do you need to be a Campus Representative?
“I had four internships within the music industry before landing this job, so as much experience as possible is always helpful,” Landerville says. “One of the special skills that I feel is necessary for this job is the ability to communicate clearly, and with various types of people. This may seem to be the case with most jobs that involve marketing, but when it comes to music specifically, you never know what type of people you are going to have to work with or deal with, either professional or unprofessional. To an extent, it is important to be able to put yourself out there to network with both. This is the case when it comes to working/attending shows, making connections with lifestyle accounts, and coming up with creative ways to be able to make new music appeal to people without it coming off as solicited or unwanted promotion. Any marketing or promotion experience is a bonus when it comes to this job, [as is] being efficient at controlling social media, and also [having a] high involvement [level] on your college campus.”
As so much of a Campus Rep’s job is making connections, Landerville says, “People with creative and outgoing personalities would most likely succeed in this type of job. It is also important to be comfortable with talking to new people and being able to put yourself out there.” A passion for the type of music you’re promoting is also essential.
Although Campus Reps are part-time workers, they do work regularly. Reps handle many of their job duties on their own, but they also benefit from having connections to others in similar positions. Landerville explains, “I try my best to put in at least a few hours every day of the week for this job. If I have a show to attend that night, I will count that as my time put in for the day. I work often with the other Reps in my city and from other cities to come up with ideas, have connections with music-related organizations in the city and on campus, and also communicate with record stores constantly. Most of the people I work with are in my department, but when at shows I communicate with the Touring Managers at the labels.”
College Marketing Rep candidates who have internship experience and are working towards a related degree program will have an edge over other students in the running. Landing a Rep position can be an amazing springboard for students who want to build a career in the music industry while still in school. Landerville says, “Being in this position while in college has allowed me to make connections I never would have expected to have at my age. I am so lucky to be employed by such an amazing company that wants the best for its employees. That being said, as a College Rep, we attend an annual conference every year where we meet with all of the labels and a few other companies under Sony, which is an incredible experience and opportunity to network. Every year they emphasize how much our work means to them and to their artists’ success and they are always looking to potentially employ top Reps by the end of their college career. I connected with one of the Marketing Managers at a top label this past conference; she ended up offering me an internship in-office for this coming summer, which I am extremely excited about. Overall, this position gives you experience with some of the most successful people in the music industry and teaches you so many skills. It has already set me up for amazing opportunities and hopefully, there will be more to come.”
How Much Does a Campus Representative make?
“As employees, we are paid a weekly salary for the same amount of time every week,” Landerville says. All College Marketing Representative programs offer a stipend; certain programs can also be applied towards college credit.
Unions, Groups & Associations
If you’re interested in a position as a College Marketing Rep, online resources will be essential in your job search. “I think it is important to have your LinkedIn up-to-date and to use it as a resource to look for position openings,” Landerville recommends. “An organization that is great to be involved in is GrammyU, a program that hosts events under the Recording Academy in order to provide resources and information/mentorship from industry professionals for college students aspiring to be involved in the music industry. I have learned so much from this program and I work with them to organize certain events for our artists in Philly.”
To make yourself a competitive candidate for College Marketing Rep positions, Landerville recommends students:
- “Put yourself out there on your campus and make sure you are involved or gaining experience relevant to marketing or the entertainment industry.
- Be aware or involved in organizations around your city.
- Be outgoing and confident about your ability to know your market.
- Always be making connections and following up with them.
- Biggest step: follow up after you interview, more than once if necessary! The company is probably busy with multiple other tasks to worry about, so following up is a huge key to making sure they know you are serious about the position and that you care to keep checking in.”
What is the single biggest suggestion you would give to someone wanting to get into this career?
“Put yourself out there whenever you can, and make sure you are comfortable with talking to various types of people.”
What’s the #1 mistake people make when trying to get into this career?
“Not being aware of the most recent news in the music industry, or [not] being familiar with the company and specific details about them.”
What is the question people should ask about this career but rarely do?
“What I’ve learned so far being in this position. I feel that I covered what I’ve learned mostly in the other questions, and would touch on all of the incredible connections I’ve made and exposure I’ve had to artists and important people in the music industry. I also have learned how it is so important to keep in touch with your connections and that hard work will eventually pay off if you keep pushing yourself.”
What is one thing I should have asked which I didn’t?
“My favorite part about the job.
My favorite part of the job, overall, is all of the amazing concerts I get to attend and write reports on, and the new artists and music that I discover through the tasks I am assigned. I’ve been exposed to so many different kinds of music and artists that I probably wouldn’t have known about if it weren’t for this job.”
If you could describe in one word what makes you successful, what would it be?
Extra Credit: The Beatles or Rolling Stones?
“Beatles all the way!”
Caylie Landerville is a Philadelphia-area College Marketing Representative with Sony Music U.