Young & Talented: Westminster alumni Smaragda & Weronika
We had a little chat with Westminster alumni Weronika Garczyk and Smaragda Alexandri as they shared their stories about their experience studying Commercial Music at the University of Westminster, their work at Musicpreneur Hub as well as their vision and future plans!
How is life after uni? How did your studies help you after graduation?
Smaragda: Well, I never thought I’d say this but I kinda miss Harrow. I personally had a fantastic time during those three years and my studies did not only help me develop a spherical understanding of how the music industry works but they also somehow helped me understand who I am, what I want to do in life and most importantly why. I also met many amazing people, with some of which I am happy to be currently working with such as Tommy Darker, CEO of Musicpreneur Hub and guest lecturer in our course (Commercial Music) and Weronika who is my colleague!
Weronika: When I was at uni, I really wanted to work as a music curator, so with the help of two lovely ladies Lama and Stephany I created a platform called k28 that I would use to give exposure to artists and music that I found interesting and I believed in. I quickly realised that I’m gonna have to work hard to promote it and that’s when I discovered entrepreneurship and the more analytical and tactical part of the music industry. I found it super interesting, so interesting I wanted to do more of it. The only thing that bothered me was that my new interest had a very corporate and money focused nature. Anyway, that’s when my dear friend Smaragda almost fell from the sky and asked if I would like to join the Musicpreneur Hub team. I feel like I am really lucky being able to work for Musicpreneur Hub, because I can keep that entrepreneurial/business mindset without being vicious, because most of what we do is non-profit.
So what is, exactly, Musicpreneur Hub?
S: Musicpreneur Hub is an online knowledge-sharing platform that makes it possible for anyone to ask a question and receive feedback, advice, and tips from industry professionals from all over the world. It is an essential tool for music students, independent musicians, music enthusiasts and basically anyone that might have music or music industry related questions. It’s free and very simple to use. Here’s how it works:
– You go on http://musicpreneurhub.com/
– You submit your question
– The Musicpreneur Hub team receives it
Then, we scan the universe to find the right experts to answer your question. And within a few days, you receive customised answers and advice as well as some information about the experts who answered you!
W: We also organise monthly masterclasses on different subjects. Our first one was about playing live, getting gigs and making a profit from touring. Our last masterclass (11th November) was about turning fans into paying fans and everything around sales whether it’s records, tickets, merchandise or whatever else you can sell as a musician. The next masterclass will be in December! The subject is yet to be announced, but the format always is: lecture -> workshop -> 100 days learning programme that is designed to help our participants meet their goals. It feels good because we are helping people and that’s really important to me!
[You can find more information about the masterclass here : How to get 100 paying fans in 100 days]
What do you love the most about Musicpreneur Hub?
W: The platform is free to use to anyone anywhere in the world, I think it’s, in general, democratising because we are giving free access to music industry knowledge and on top of it it’s coming from people who are currently working in the industry so they know it as it is now. Also, if you consider how expensive education is in general, unaffordable even for many people, this project is a real chance for many to get started with their own music careers.
S: What I love the most about Musicpreneur Hub is the fact the answers our users receive are not generic but tailored to their specific needs. It’s really hard to get the opinion of an industry expert on a personal matter if you are not already part of the industry. I remember my biggest nightmare while at uni was getting professional feedback on my projects! I found it so difficult to find the right people and even more difficult to get in touch with them. I really wish Musicpreneur Hub existed back then because that’s basically all we do!
Loads of graduates search for work at more established companies, what are the pros of working for a startup?
W: I think because it’s a startup we get to try a bit of everything and I get to be responsible for projects or managing a team. I’m still figuring out what I want to specialise in, but right now I learn a lot and I get to put my new knowledge into practice, so I also gain experience. I’m really glad I didn’t get to work in an established company, I would probably end up doing very simple and basic tasks the whole time, but this way I get to be creative, I am taking risks and I learn much more much faster.
S: We get to build our company’s culture and because Musicpreneur Hub is a startup, it was possible for us to base it online. The core of our team lives in the UK, Greece and South Africa and our experts are from all over the world. I really like that we work remotely, it makes it possible to work while traveling the world.
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