- Lucy Freeman, Marketing Chair

When I told my friends that the alumni from my club were funding a week-long professional development trip to LA for five members of leadership, they couldn’t believe it.

“Wow! Your club sounds so cool!”

They’re right. MUSIC Matters is an incredible organization, and the fact that an opportunity like the LA Trip exists proves how much the organization and its alumni care about the development of their members. This trip gave me insights to bring to the MUSIC Matters team back home and introduced me to roles in the entertainment industry I didn’t even know existed.

Each day of the trip we met incredible people from the some of the biggest companies in LA. One of my favorite meetings was with Brandon Shaw, the Director of Corporate and Executive Communications at ICM. We discussed ways in which MUSIC Matters could improve our public relations strategy, as well as build press contacts and brand awareness. It was incredibly moving to see how excited a Michigan alumnus was about helping and encouraging students, and equally as exciting to learn from someone with years of experience in the professional world.


Another personal highlight of the trip was our day of meetings at AEG. We met with Gary Gersh, Matt Ferrel, and James Allen. Gary, a member of the MUSIC Matters board, is an entertainment industry legend who has signed acts such as Nirvana and Counting Crows. One member on the trip, Noah, was even jokingly offered a job by Gary after demonstrating to him how to flip a Spotify playlist order. Matt Ferrel shared incredibly useful knowledge with us regarding how to structure marketing timelines most effectively for festivals (side note: he is also a partner at a super cool coffee shop with a location in Detroit, Populace Coffee). As a coffee fanatic and former barista myself, I loved seeing how he incorporated that passion into his career. Our last meeting of the day was with James Allen, who runs merchandise at Goldenvoice (think Coachella, Firefly, Hangout, etc.). I loved gaining insight as to how he effectively manages a team of creatives to create merchandise that fits with a festival theme, as well as what logistical aspects he has to consider to successfully pull off a merchandise line. The AEG offices are also super cool – decked out with neon light signs, concert photographs and posters, and even a jigsaw puzzle!

Although our days were chock-full of meetings, and that was definitely what we were most excited about, we still made time to have some fun in LA! Some of our favorite outings were walking down the Santa Monica pier, grabbing coffee at cafés, and getting ice cream sandwiches from Diddy Riese. I am also so grateful for the friendships that were formed during this trip. There is no group I would have rather walked an hour to four different coffee shops trying to find a table with.

So thank you, MUSIC Matters, for the incredible opportunity to travel to LA and meet with some absolutely amazing people. Opportunities like this are one of the many reasons I truly believe I am a part of the coolest club on campus.