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MusicPart of Humanities

George Connolly BA Music, 2014

Marketing Officer, London Chamber Orchestra

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Hi, I'm George Connolly and I studied BA Music within Humanities at the University of Southampton.

The flexibility of the music course was extremely satisfying - I had the freedom to choose exactly what I wanted to study, meaning I really enjoyed the work and performing I was doing.

 

What made you choose to study at the University of Southampton?

As well as being in the top bracket of universities in the country for music, Southampton’s combination of campus lifestyle with access to a great city was very appealing.

How did Southampton help you settle in to university life?

The halls of residence run events in the first week, which were a good place to make friends. Music is quite a small course so I quickly got to know people with similar interests. Student ambassadors and freshers reps were all really helpful as well.

What did you enjoy about the course?

The flexibility of the music course was extremely satisfying - I had the freedom to choose exactly what I wanted to study, meaning I really enjoyed the work and performing I was doing. The new studio and performance facilities are also very good.

What extra-curricular activities did you do alongside your study?

Taking part in a wide range of gym and sporting activities were great social experiences as well as a health benefit! Creating my own society, the Electronic Music Society, really helped me to develop my leadership and communications skills and experience that I still draw from today.

How did your studies and experience at Southampton shape your future?

I was fortunate enough to secure an internship at classical artist management firm HarrisonParrott during summer of my second year, which led to a full time job at the London Chamber Orchestra immediately after I finished at university. Aside from the musical knowledge I've gained from my degree, the communication and collaboration skills that I’ve gained from performing music and organising events have proved invaluable in my working life.

As the Marketing Officer at the London Chamber Orchestra, I have been responsible for the planning and implementation of all marketing for the orchestra’s annual seasons, from putting together the season programme to ticketing for the concerts, flyers, social media and maintaining the company website.

When you graduated what was your ambition and do you feel you’ve achieved it?

My ambitions finishing university were to get a foot in the door of the music industry. I was fortunate enough to manage that almost straight after completing my studies, starting at LCO at the end of June, I even had to take a day off for my graduation ceremony!

Do you have any future ambitions?

My future ambitions are to further my career in the industry, ideally moving towards electronic and pop. I would love to one day set up my own artist management firm.

What are you most proud of?

Putting in the effort required to achieve first class honours in my degree whilst not sacrificing a good social life (or sleep!). It helped that I was on a course I really loved.

What advice would you give to a Southampton music student?

Try everything! If you put the effort in, you can have a really rounded and satisfying university experience. Put in the effort in first year; the mind-set you get into will make the following years a lot smoother. Lastly, make sure to back up your work! I almost lost my entire dissertation 8 days before the deadline because of a laptop crash.

In a competitive industry, the relevant extra-curricular activities can play a massive part in making you stand out from the crowd. Do things for yourself: organise events and concerts; write blogs on the things you are passionate about.

Network as much as you can, and don't be afraid to ask people you meet for career advice, as you never know where it may lead. Companies receive so many CVs, it's the people who follow up and make an impression that will be memorable.

 

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