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Almost Famous

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Danielle Graziano ’18 is an arts and entertainment management major at Lubin with a marketing minor. She’s interned for heavyweights in the music industry like Atlantic Records and Live Nation, but before that? Graziano was a competitive figure skater.

Danielle Graziano ’18 seriously rocked her time at Pace. She’s about to graduate as an arts and entertainment management major at Lubin with a marketing minor, and her heart is set on the music industry. With internships at the likes of Atlantic Records and Live Nation, working gigs for OneRepublic and Ed Sheeran, it’s pretty safe to say that Graziano has already broken into this big-time business. At Pace, she’s been heading up P.A.C.E. Board as co-president, overseeing many events on the NYC Campus that you probably attended: Setter Jam, Amateur Night, and The Voice auditions, just to name a few.

While she’s certainly gifted in media management, Graziano wasn’t always behind the scenes. She used to be a competitive figure skater way back when! We got to pick her brain about all things music, interning, and life advice.

Why did you end up choosing Pace? What set Pace apart from other universities?
The first reason why I chose Pace was the world of opportunity. I’ve always had an interest in the music industry, so I wanted to come to New York for that. I’m from a small town in Massachusetts, so obviously the music industry was in NYC. The second reason was the actual major. There’s no other school that offers an arts and entertainment major, or really had something like that. I came here on the Pace preview tour and absolutely fell in love with it. I was like, “Yes, this is it.” Everyone seemed awesome and I just got really great vibes compared to all the other schools I looked at.

How did you hear about Career Services?
I went to a few employee spotlights with Career Services before I heard about their general meetings. I thought, “I need to get going on my internships and I need help with my resume!” So I went in and booked an appointment with Maria Pesantez, who was absolutely incredible. I also went to workshops and they really helped me get my resume ready, honed my interview skills—everything. They were so accommodating, and really wanted us to succeed.

What internships have you had?
They’re all primarily in the music industry, but the first one I worked at was a publishing company called Water Music Publishing. I was a branding and social media intern, and I got to work with an artist who’s actually one of my good friends. Then I had a gig at Warner Music Group in promotion, and that was an incredible experience. I still talk to and work with some of the supervisors from there. After, I moved over to radio promotion and marketing for Atlantic Records, and that was also within Warner Music Group. They have an amazing group of interns—they’re all so awesome!

I also worked Live Nation this summer as the special events intern, and pretty much worked a lot of private shows for actual tourists. For example, we threw a pre-party with OneRepublic, and handled a lot of the event planning and execution. That was actually in their Hartford office, so it was close for me since I didn’t live on-campus over the summer. 

Look at your market when you’re searching for internships. If you’re home over the summer, Pace gives you opportunities to do internships wherever—even outside New York. Last fall, I worked at a marketing agency handling lot of production, some magazine launches, a lot of marketing, and social influencer work. Right now I’m at Superfly’s event operations team. They produce music festivals!

What was the preparation process like?
First, I had to figure out exactly what I wanted to do and with who. I did lots of research into different companies before making an appointment with Career Services. I attended cover letter workshops and got myself ready, applied to Warner Music. I also got a recruitment email from Professor Chris Ramos, who runs the arts and entertainment management program. Then I used Handshake for reference and resource stuff.

As for prepping for interviews: I did more research and identified key terms about each company pertaining to the position, like what to wear. In-person interviews are different—you have to be more prepared in terms of your appearance, direct eye contact, good handshakes, etc. Personally, I like phone interviews better, but either way, you have to show them your personality and how confident you are through the phone. You have to be bubbly and nice and treat it like a real conversation—treat them like a real person.

Of all your employment positions, which did you like the best? 
Warner Music Group was definitely one of my favorites. I really got a full company wide experience, and everyone was really helpful. I got to talk with different departments and work for a lot of artists, like helping with Ed Sheeran’s release party—crazy things like that. Obviously, there was more to it than the fun stuff, but I really liked my supervisor there. 

Live Nation was also an absolutely incredible experience for me, too. I got a lot of hands-on work and my bosses really let me take the reign on things. Being the co-president of P.A.C.E. Board, along with my friend Rachel Andrade ’18, is fun, too. We run all the NYC Campus entertainment events like the Setter Jam concert, Amateur Night, and The Voice auditions that happened with SDACA.

Is that more stressful for you or do you have a lot of fun?
It’s so fun! It’s a lot of work, but I absolutely couldn’t imagine my years at Pace without doing it. I’ve met so many people from being in that club. From booking agents to artists to talent—everything. We’ve worked with musicians DNCE to all their managers, and it’s really a lot of hands-on work like handling people over the phone and coordinating with DJs. 

What was a defining moment for you while working at that position?
One of the best moments was when Ed Sheeran’s album, Divide, released. We threw a big party and I got to meet him and his executives. It was really awesome. Also, I loved to track the numbers of the rating department with them, so like tracking all the hit tracks through numbers and social media and charting and radio. I have a weird passion for that. Also, really any event I got to work was definitely a highlight. Some of them were working a show for OneRepublic, or Sam Hunt, or John Mayer, to an FX launch for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

How did you decide on your major? What is it about media management that draws you?
When I visited for a tour at Pace, I already knew I wanted to do music, but also business, so I wondered what the best fit would be. At one of those tours, I got to meet Professor Ramos, who recommended arts and entertainment management. It was important for me to have that business side of it. That was the reason why I chose it, and I’m minoring in marketing because marketing and promotion go hand-in-hand. It’s important to have backgrounds in both when you’re working in the music industry.

What motivates you?
Getting the chance to influence people and help them succeed in the industry. I also love being surrounded by my classmates who are all doing really cool things. I think being in a leadership position on P.A.C.E. Board also motivated me because I want the club to succeed, and I want to build my personal brand. I’m a highly motivated person and a very big go-getter. I like to try new things, but when I started working at Warner Music Group, I was definitely motivated to do even bigger things, and became a well-rounded student because of it.

Were there any performers that inspired you as a kid?
I’ve always loved live performances and radio. My first concert was Hillary Duff. I kept begging my parents to let me go to concerts all the time. Ever since I was young, I always wanted to be involved with music. What influenced me were a few radio personality people, and I also loved Demi Lovato. With everything that she’s gone through, she inspired me to work hard and want to be in the industry even more.

Tell us a surprising fact about you! What’s something most people don’t know?
I used to be a competitive figure skater. I would compete in this little dress, which I was over by the time I stopped. I did that in Massachusetts until I was 15, then I broke my ankle and the fear of jumping came back, so I couldn’t really go further. I did other sports in school and worked instead, but yeah, I skated for eight years.

Do you have any advice you’d like to give other Pace students?
Be yourself no matter what—for anything that you do in life. I have a crazy personality, but I’m also kind of shy, too, and I’ve never changed myself for anything. Also: try to be personable with everyone. It will bring you a long way and help other people out. Basically? Follow what you want in life, don’t think anything is a stupid idea, and never, ever doubt yourself. 

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