I recently spoke with music industry professional and recent graduate Sarah Young, a current business coordinator for the company InGrooves, based in London. InGrooves is a business distribution company offering marketing and technology as part of thei
r services with the aim of helping independent artists, labels and content owners to deliver music.
What is your current company of work and how would you describe your position within the company?
So my current company is in London and its called InGrooves and we are a digital distribution company.
And what is your role within the company?
So my role is a business co-ordinator and as part of that I do HR, and i’ve been in the business development team going out and signing new deals with labels.
Since leaving university what lead you to reach this position?
I had worked while at university at local festival 2000 trees and from there started looking at local venues and running events. From there I went on and worked at Gloucestershire college and did marketing and events there and that’s on the other side of it so more than planning rather than the implementing. Then through connections and other ties, it led me to this company and they kind of made the role for me.
Within your role, how do you develop the relationships with the people you are working with? With colleagues and any clients?
With clients, normally its kind of instruction through someone else, it could be someone else within the company or an external third party. Quite often we meet at networking events and things like that and what I do is try and maintain a relationship over email and over the phone and meet in person and keep it friendly and light and make sure I’m promoting the business and what we do in a very positive way and in a way that’s relevant for them.
You mentioned about working as an artist liaison manager at 2000 trees, when working as an artist liaison manager what management qualities did you find most help you carry out the role?
I would say being able to deal with difficult customers so when you’re put in a confrontational situation with an artist, or manager, or tour manager etc. you need to be able to think strategically and have an overall knowledge of the festival which means I can resolve those situations easily and effectively.
Is there an aspect of leading teams that you find particularly tough or would like to improve on?
Not really, I guess just making sure that everyone’s comfortable and confident that they know what they doing and being able to realise that. Sometimes people don’t tell you that they’re not so sometimes its difficult trying to know how people really think if they’re not admitting it.
What do you think would make a bad manager?
A bad manager would be someone who doesn’t have the interests of their staff or isn’t recognising what their staff members need. They would be selfish and only be out for themselves rather than thinking about their time and working with them to improve their skills, in a way that will work for them.
Is there any sort of managers that you’ve come across that you’ve took inspiration from or any principles or qualities that you like in them?
Yeah, I’d say my last manager when I was working at Gloucestershire College, she was really good at driving you forward into an area that you might not necessarily have thought would work for you but then it did. She would call you up on things but only to make you better at your job and in your career overall. So, she was a really good driving force and because she was forward and wouldn’t let you get stuck in a rut.
So is that something you do as well when you’re managing teams of people?
Yeah definitely, I’d try and make sure they’re having a really good experience and learning a lot and that they are getting a lot out of the experience that they can take away and use in their next step in their career.