March 6, 2014
5 for 5 Student Spotlight: The Hip-Hop Professional wants you to meet Kirby Cook (Syracuse University)
Q: What’s your major/area of interest and what school do you attend?
A: I am a senior at Syracuse University in the Bandier Program for Music and the Entertainment Industries with a marketing minor in the Martin J. Whitman School of Management.
Q: What are some of your current projects or activities that you are engaged in on campus? Also, have you completed any beneficial internships/summer programs?
A: I am currently completing my time at Syracuse University in Los Angeles, CA in the SULA program through the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. During this incredible semester-long experience, students are given the opportunity to take classes while simultaneously interning in their respective fields.
I have previously interned at Universal Music Group with Bravado International during one of the busiest concert touring seasons to date, as well as Finally Famous Entertainment. Here in LA, I have been interning with the music marketing firm Cornerstone Agency as well as working on outside projects with individuals I’ve had the opportunity to connect with throughout the years. I’ve been able to work closely with both mainstream and upcoming artists, as well as on national advertisement and branding campaigns, all of which have provided me amazing and rewarding experiences.
Throughout my college career I have been afforded remarkable opportunities, but I am always working on making my next move. After graduation in May, I plan on moving to either NYC or LA to pursue my career in music marketing, combining music and culture to create experiences that align with an artist and their personal brand.
Q: How hard is it being a student and balancing the work you do towards your career goal?
A: I don’t think it has been difficult at all. Everything in life is about prioritizing and time management. I have been able to balance schoolwork, networking, internships and a social life all while maintaining a GPA that has placed me on the Dean’s List every semester, and not once have I ever felt overwhelmed.
Success is a habit and excellence is undeniable. You have to consistently work hard on perfecting your craft, developing your brand, and allowing yourself to use each obstacle you might encounter as a learning experience to ensure continuous growth.
I thoroughly enjoy challenges and the pressure that tends to come with them. I have chosen to pursue a career in a field that is considered beyond cutthroat and requires your attention 24/7, but it is my passion and I intend on tackling all of the goals I have set for myself full force.
I’ve learned to embrace the chaos and use it as an incentive and to my advantage, not as an excuse.
Q: Have you had any good mentors helping you along the way?
A: I have never had a formal mentor, however I have an amazingly supportive family as well as friends that are just as passionate and driven as I am who all support my dreams, which definitely always helps.
There are many people in the industry I admire and respect, but if I could pick two mentors they would be Karen Civil and Elliott Wilson. Although eyes have especially been on them recently, both of these industry mavens have been putting in amazing work for years, and have always been two people I particularly look up to. While I appreciate both of them for their unique perspective, they similarly exemplify qualities I believe are the true reflection of cultural icons. They effortlessly combine a relentless work ethic, respect for their craft and their peers, along with unparalleled knowledge and experience; I would love to not only learn from them, but also hope to one day make an impact similar to the one they have been able to.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
A: In 5 years, I envision myself having an established and respected presence within the music industry. It takes a special person to have not only success, but also longevity in this field and while I of course desire to have a sustained and successful career, I more importantly want to contribute to the culture as best I can.
Growing up in Detroit has given me such a unique perspective as well as hustle, and I know that will help me along my journey in providing my value to this industry. The long term plan is to own a music marketing and branding agency, but essentially, the goal is to be apart of a much great music and create as many amazing artist experiences as possible.