Listen to the interview (approx. 45 min.) or download it.
Graduated in 2015 with a major in Music Business. Principal Instrument: voice.
Position: Public Relations Specialist at GasBuddy, a tech company that makes an app which provides details on gas stations and convenience stores. Jessica tracks mentions of her company in the media and writes reports to inform the higher-ups. She pitches stories to the media, looks for opportunities for her company’s people to be interviewed, and writes press releases. She also helps the integrated marketing team with creative ideas for the company blog and newsletter.
Overview: After graduating in the spring, Jessica spent the next 7 months gigging and working on a film-related project with her band 95 Hyde. She also did a marketing internship with George Howard Strategic, where she realized how many of the music business skills applied to other industries. But by the end of 2015 the internship was long over and the music project was winding down and it was time to get a day job. A friend of her mother knew someone at a staffing agency looking to fill a PR position (titled “communications assistant”) and put in the good word; Jessica applied for and got the job, spending the next 6 months working at Pioneer Investments.
That job, however, was temporary, as it normally was filled by work-study students from NorthEastern University, so by mid-2016 as its end was imminent Jessica applied to over 25 companies in the Boston area, including GasBuddy, looking to do PR or marketing. Several challenging interviews later, she got the job. Initially hired as a “Public Relations Coordinator,” Jessica was recently promoted to “Public Relations Specialist,” which involves more writing and creativity.
You can see Jessica’s LinkedIn profile here.
Choice quotes: “I love people–talking to people, getting to know people, performing for people was a big part of my life as a musician. PR is all about that–getting to know people, spreading the word about the company, talking about it in a positive way. Making new contacts, new friends.”
“GasBuddy had only two people doing PR–me and my boss. I’m handling many projects at the same time. Time management is key. Also to be able to work independently, but to ask for help if I need it.”
“When looking for a job, if you find someone doing something interesting, reach out to them and ask if they can do coffee and if you can get advice. You might not get a reply 100% of the time, but a lot of people want to help.”
Jessica rocking out with her band, where she played bass and sang lead. “I bring a very unique understanding of PR as a musician & performer. A lot of that has to do from networking, which I experienced a lot of at Berklee. Looking for gigs, opportunities. It got me really comfortable with networking and promotion.”
Jessica as a Berklee student, with friends, at the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) conference. Music remains an important part of her life, but she shares some advice for current students, “Things can work out really well if you’re willing to explore & learn from options outside music, even if it’s something you don’t want to do immediately. I was scared when I took that first job at Pioneer. I didn’t think that was me. But doing it I learned a lot more about myself and what I do and don’t like. You always can go back to music. There are lots of opportunities out there, and now’s a good time to take advantage of them!”
You can learn more about Jessica at her personal website, jessprouty.com.