Ever since I can remember, I have always believed I can do absolutely anything I put my mind to. Regardless of how outlandish the idea might seem, or how many people tell me it can't be done, I've never discounted my own gritty determination when it comes to getting what I desire. And it's worked out very well for me.
14 months after graduating college, at the age of 23, I landed my dream job as the Website Content Manager and Fan Club Manager for country superstar Keith Urban. I am asked constantly how this is possible, so here we go:
I can remember the first concert my parents ever took me to, because the experience truly changed my life. Sitting in the balcony at that Boyz II Men show I felt something come alive in me. From that night forward I knew I would eventually work in the music industry. I didn't know how, or when, but I knew I was going to make it happen.
I eventually graduated high school in my small town in central Maine and was faced with the decision of where I would go to college. I knew I didn't want to be an accountant, or a finance major but I couldn't put my finger on where to go to get the type of education I could use to land a career I could really be passionate about. At a complete loss, I ended up going to a small business college in Rhode Island, and I was completely miserable.
The summer after that dreaded freshman year of college I took a road trip with a friend to Nashville to attend CMA's Country Music Festival. The moment I arrived in Music City, the feeling I had experienced at that Boyz II Men concert so many years prior hit me like a ton of bricks. THIS is where I am meant to be! This amazing city that's filled with endless opportunities to work in the entertainment industry -- this is it. I returned to New England a week later and immediately put in an application to attend college at Belmont University in Nashville, which offered a Music Business major.
The three years of college in Nashville were amazing. That is not to say, however, that I didn't work my butt off. I took advantage of every single opportunity I could and was ruthless about networking. I interned every semester I attended Belmont and when I wasn't interning, I was volunteering. From radio telethons, to selling merchandise for local bands in 100-degree heat, to coordinating events at my school's concert hall; I did it all. I emailed every radio station in the city of Nashville and offered to help them in any way I could in order to bolster my resume before I graduated college. Sleeping in on weekends like a "normal" college student or slacking off my senior year was completely foreign to me. There is nothing romantic about hard work, but it will always pay off.
14 months after graduating college, I landed my dream job with Keith Urban. Ever since that day in July of 2009, I have carefully maintained many of the relationships with my former coworkers and significant people within the music industry. This has allowed me to move back to New England and still work in the country music world -- something many people told me would be impossible to do. I've helped craft the social media content calendars, websites, blogs, press releases and more for some of the largest names in country music, from my couch in Winslow, Maine.
So what does my story mean for you?
- Never allow someone to tell you you're incapable of making your dreams come true. Ever.
- Hard work always pays off.
- Learn your dream industry inside and out and then network your face off.
- Carefully maintain the relationships you build with coworkers and acquaintances because it will always come back to help you in the future.
- Listen to what truly makes you happy and go after it.
If you have never had a support system who has told you that you can achieve absolutely anything you dream of, then hear me now: with hard work, and a game plan, you can do whatever it is you desire.