With offices and employees spread across the globe, sometimes it takes time to get to know everyone. In our series ‘What The #&@$ Do You Do?!’ (WTFDYD), The Orchard highlights Orchardites from all over the world to learn more about their role at The Orchard and experience working in the music industry.
For this segment of WTFDYD Naledi Nyahuma Seck, The Orchard’s VP of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, sat down with Jasmine Gordon, College Marketing Representative.
Jasmine, tell us what the *&^# you do!
My name is Jasmine Gordon and I’m a second-year comparative women’s studies student at Spelman College with a focus in Branding and Marketing and a minor in Entrepreneurship. I’m from Bergen County, New Jersey, but I reside in Atlanta, and I currently serve as the Atlanta College Marketing Representative at The Orchard.
How long have you been in that role?
I’ve been in this role for about 8 months. I started this past summer in June, so it’s been a little minute now!
So tell us, how did you find out about the role?
I was just searching for different job postings online like I normally do and I came across this one. I follow a lot of job postings like ‘Girl Get Hired’ posting on Instagram and that’s where I normally find out about a lot of different positions that are opening and stuff like that. So really utilizing social media and my normal google searches is how I find different opportunities like this and I came across this one and had an amazing meeting with Allison and I got the position!
What is it like to be a College Marketing Representative and what are some of your responsibilities?
As a college marketing representative we run an Instagram page, a Facebook page, a Twitter page, and we also post on our personal TikTok accounts. If we have 2-week campaigns we sometimes have physical promotion as well included which is honestly one of my favorite aspects. When we do have physical promotion we get to go around the city (whichever city we reside in) to different places also on campus and pass out different physical promotion that we have and I feel like that is one of the greatest things about the role because we’re able to network with those people that we’re promoting to and with the different reps around the city. We keep in contact and have a group chat with all of us together so we’re always networking and just keeping in touch.
Can you talk about the unique experience it has been to attend Spelman and how it has impacted your industry involvement on and off campus?
It has actually been a very unique experience attending Spelman college because it’s a liberal arts school, so we don’t have a music industry major, we don’t have marketing, we don’t have business administration, so it’s been very unique trying to connect my interest in the music industry with what I’m doing at Spelman. Like I said I’m a comparative women’s studies major so when I tell people that, they’re always like, “what’re you gonna do with that,” but it’s actually been fun trying to figure out how I can connect the two and make it cohesive in a sense.
It’s been really fun especially being in Atlanta because of its music scene and there’s so many different people that are aspiring to be in the music industry. There’s so many different connections that you make just being around the city and going to different events. I’m also a GRAMMY U member, so through that we have Atlanta chapter events and it’s a great place to be. I think it’s one of the perfect hubs like New York or Los Angeles for this industry. If I wasn’t going to Spelman I wouldn’t be in Atlanta, so I feel like that has definitely helped and I think I chose the best HBCU out there!
Can you also tell us about the Spelman Women in Hip Hop?
Oh yes! I also serve as the social media and public relations chair for Spelman College Women in Hip Hop. We are an organization that is for students that want to go into the entertainment industry and in the music industry as a whole. We host a lot of campus events with artists such as Rubi Rose and Dess Dior. We just have a lot of different people that come out and we host these events for other students that are also interested. We have a street team of a bunch of different students that are in our student body and then they’ll eventually graduate if they want to go into being in the executive board. It’s a perfect organization that we have that’s pretty much the main music industry organization that we have on campus right now so we’re just really working to leverage that club into something bigger and I look forward to have some plans in the future to connect Orchard artists and bring them onto Spelman’s campus in partnership with our organization.
Where do you see yourself short-term immediately after graduation, what’s the ideal for you in terms of multiple roles, city, any of those kinds of goals or dreams – what would that be?
I definitely want to be at a record label or any DSP, distribution company, one of those sorts doing branding and marketing for different artists and just being able to connect those artists. I love doing brand partnerships. I feel like that’s another thing I want to be touching on in the future. I don’t like to box myself in when it comes to what I do because I just feel like it’s fun and exciting doing different things. I also love doing graphic design, creative design, and I definitely want to get into experiential marketing as well so I feel like in the future I don’t know what my job title will exactly be to fit all those things that I want to do but that’s definitely what I want.
I just want to be able to be at a place that will allow me creativity like The Orchard has been able to do these past 8 ½ months. I want to be able to keep continuing to let everything that I want to do fit in this very role because with The Orchard I’ve been able to do experiential, creative design, digital marketing. I’ve been able to do everything, so I feel like something like this would definitely be where I want to be in the future.
As you’re preparing for the true workforce after Spelman, what are some challenges you’ve faced to this point as a student or as a Black woman or any of those challenges coming from the workforce that you’d like to see either change, evolve, and advice for students in those same shoes?
The music industry is very male dominated so that would be my first instinct, but I was lucky enough to be placed at a company where it’s very heavily women populated, so I feel like I haven’t really had to deal with it for too long. I want to create a space in the future where it could be like a female empowerment group while doing exactly what I love to do. So I feel like that’s something in the future that I definitely want to work towards and that was a challenge that luckily I didn’t have to face for too long, but I don’t want other women in this industry having to face anything like that feel like there’s not enough representation of us, especially Black women in particular. That’s why I love Spelman so much and I love what we’re doing with Spelman College Women in Hip Hop because it’s a heavily Black women populated organization trying to all make their way into the music industry or in the entertainment industry as a whole so that’s definitely something that I want too, you know make everything kind of work out for other Black women that want to work on the music industry and don’t have to feel like there’s not enough of them where they’re at.
What are some things that bring you joy in your everyday life?
Some things that bring me joy in my everyday life would definitely be self care time. I really love taking time for myself and shutting off my computer. Being like alright I’m going to take a quick little brief moment. The music industry, I can tell already, is 24 hours so it’s a brief break, but I’m like I’m just gonna shut everything off and breathe. That’s brought me a lot of joy. Definitely wins – when I see a video that I posted on my instagram page do very well, that brings me a lot of joy because it’s like wow, my hard work is actually being recognized by other people on social media so that’s another thing.
And also just enjoying living in the moment and being around people on campus and stuff like that because I always have to remember that at the end of the day I’m a student, but sometimes having a lot of jobs you can kind of get distracted like oh wait I forgot about my campus life. I think taking the time to maybe go to a basketball game, Morehouse basketball game, or something like that brings a lot of joy as well.
Before we wrap I wanted to give you an opportunity to talk a bit about your experience as a scholarship recipient, the Recording Academy scholarship. Can you tell us, what is it that you won and what has that experience been like?
That is the most amazing and life changing experience that I’ve ever gotten before! So back in the summer they had announced that they chose 4 HBCU students for the Your Future is Now Scholarship recipients in partnership with Black Music Collective, Amazon Music, and the Recording Academy. They awarded all of us the scholarship and told us they would be flying us out to New York in September to complete an immersive rotation program.
In September, I went to New York and we visited so many different record labels. We went to Republic, we went to RocNation, and of course we went to Amazon Music’s office and we went to the Recording Academy office. We met so many amazing people and I still keep in touch with so many people to this day! It really catapulted us into other opportunities. At that same trip I got introduced to a future opportunity that the Recording Academy was doing which was called the Quinn Coleman scholarship. Then I applied to that and got the scholarship as well! I have the pleasure of being an intern at the Recording Academy also!
In February, they had reached out to us and said they’d be flying us out to LA to go to the Grammys, so we just got back 2 weeks ago and we got to go to LA for a week and attend the 65th Grammys and attended the Recording Academy Honors and that was just such an amazing experience. We got to meet so many different music industry professionals. We got to meet the CEO of the recording academy and see the same people we met in New York. We got to really network and build a lot of connections while we were out there and I’m just super grateful for this program. It’s gonna be opening back up in the fall for new students who want to do it, so I encourage every HBCU student to apply to this! I think this is one of the best opportunities that anybody could receive if they do want to get started in the music industry. It’s perfect!
Wow! Congratulations, that’s amazing! Last words, any advice for students who are applying to be College Marketing Reps? What can they do to stand out?
I would say to be you and be creative. That is one thing that has helped me so far. I don’t box myself in! The recording academy can tell you how wild my video submission was for the Your Future Is Now scholarship. Be You! Do everything that you can and don’t be afraid. I feel like a lot of people are like “oh no I don’t think I’d be chosen for this. There’s probably so many people that are gonna be applying so why would they choose me?” But you can’t doubt yourself. Believe in yourself and if you really want it chase your dreams and it’ll happen. Never give up too! There’s been multiple times where there’s opportunities that I haven’t been able to receive, but I never gave up. I knew what I wanted to do and I just kept pushing and now I’m here as a College Marketing Rep at The Orchard and I’m so happy!