A Female Music Exec’s Guide To Thriving In The Music and Advertising Industry

Women in executive roles are rising in industries that have been historically known for being male-dominated, and so it’s now more important than ever to continue the momentum and inspire other young women to break into these industries. As an Executive Producer at a Nylon Studios, a music and sound studio for predominantly advertisements, I am proud to be in a leadership position in two industries that have been historically known for being male-dominated: music and advertising. Being in this position, has allowed me to gather valuable advice and insight from my experiences and the experiences of my peers for rising female professionals.

So here is a guide to thriving in the music and advertising industry and crushing your career goals.

Timing is Everything

 So many factors come into play in order for projects and business opportunities to align, not only will you need the right tools and resources on hand, but you will also need timing to be on your side. The music industry is fast-paced and things change quickly, so try to remain patient, yet productive. Just because something isn’t happening right now, does not mean that it will never happen. They say that “luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity,” and this couldn’t be more true when starting out your career. Put in the work and trust that when the timing is right, that hard work will pay off.

It’s Okay to Not Know Everything

You are not expected to know everything about music or advertising when you step in to a studio. The important part is being okay with knowing that you don’t–and will never– know everything, but you must be willing to keep learning. Especially with new advancements in technology and the constant evolvement of each industry, you should never stop learning and never stop asking questions.

Onward and Upward

With music being so subjective, some things are out of your control. Have resiliency to everyday surprises and don’t dwell when certain things don’t go your way. Instead, focus on continuing onward and upward. There will always be greater projects to come.

You’re Too Young to be Comfortable

One of the greatest pieces of advice I’ve learned is that if you’re young and comfortable, you’re not in the right position. The early years of your career are for learning, so embrace the fast-pace and multiple hats that come with a role when you’re young. This is the prime time to explore as many facets of the career as possible, without having to fully commit to a specific path. Embrace that wealth of knowledge and uncertainty–this is the golden time that you will discover which direction best suits your talents and personality.

Work/Life Balance

 Sometimes we want to do it all and pour ourselves fully into our career, but it’s so important to find a healthy balance between having a career and having a life. It will keep you sane and thriving in both aspects of your life. Of course, both music and advertising can be demanding, and if you find yourself in a position where you are working long or unusual hours, make sure you enjoy what you do. Surround yourself with individuals that uplift you, and contribute to a positive company culture. When you have a good team and enjoy what you do, it shouldn’t feel like work.

Find Mentorship in Both Men and Women

 Value the people that value you, no matter the gender. I have had both female and male mentors that have been essential to my career growth. Connect with your mentors and let them advise you. Every mentor has something unique that they can teach you. Even in my role now, I constantly find mentorship in my superiors and vise versa. Currently, I’m in a position where my opinion and insight is trusted and valued based on my expertise, not my gender, and that is extremely fulfilling and valuable.

Get Involved With Organizations

With so many conversations and movements surrounding gender equality in the music and advertising industries right now, it really is a great time to chime in and become involved. Organizations like The Broad Exchange, The Girls Lounge, The 3% Conference, Free the Bid and many others are just one click away. Find the next event or digital conversation and network, everything starts with a conversation.

Overall, it comes down to being ready to work hard and persevere no matter the set backs. It truly is an exciting time to step into these male-dominated industries because we are working toward an industry-wide transformation to push aspiring female executives to better explore their place in the world of music and advertising.

This guest post was authored by Christina Carlo

Christina Carlo is the Executive Producer of cross-pacific music and sound house Nylon Studios. Carlo is at the helm of Nylon Studios’ U.S. division, offering a global array of musical aesthetics from a lineup of sonic talent across original composition, music supervision and sound mixing. A native Brooklynite raised on Long Island, Christina’s eclectic love of music stemmed from her flower child Mother and doo-wop singing Father, who filled the car with their musical stylings on family road trips.  She surely knew Jim Morrison and Dion and the Belmonts before Barbie and Rainbow Brite.

Her appreciation of all genres encouraged her to broadcast a wide variety of tunes and, years later, led her to a career in music production for commercials, as the broad spectrum of daily creative briefs enabled her to quench this musical A.D.D. Since then, she has been behind the production of thoughtful scores and expertly designed spatial audio of commercial content for the likes of Nike, Tide, Amazon, Samsung, Unicef, Vice, Axe, Intel, Corona, Audi, National Geographic, McDonald’s, United Nations and many others.

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