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Solent's music business team invited alumni back to lecture students on how their working practices have had to change during the coronavirus pandemic

17th June 2020

To ensure students remain up-to-date with industry, engaged with their course, and able to network, Solent's music business team invited alumni back to lecture on how their working practices have had to change during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“Due to everybody working from home, we wanted to maintain a sense of community by offering online social events and guest lectures for our students,” explains James Hannam, Course Leader. “We often invite our amazing graduates to speak with our current groups, but it felt particularly important at this time as the music industry, like so many other sectors, adapts to the effects of a global pandemic.” 

Jo Howarth graduated from BA (Hons) Music Management in 2018 and is now a Management Assistant at YM&U Group working across a small roster of artists, songwriters and producers - which includes Take That, Gary Barlow and Emily Burns - and Rachel Lloyd, who graduated from BA (Hons) Music Promotion in 2016 and is a Music Central Assistant at WME. 

“I loved my time at Solent,” says Jo. “The course helped me grow in confidence massively, and I wouldn't be where I am without it, so it's always an honour to be invited back, and I love sharing my experiences with the current students to be able to show what's achievable for them in the shorter term.” 

Jo Howarth

Jo Howarth

As Jo and Rachel work in different areas of the business, they were able to tell students how the pandemic has affected both their working practices and planning schedules, and also discuss opportunities and positive changes that may arise after the pandemic eventually subsides  

“Covid-19 has affected my role in the sense that I can’t be in the office,” continues Jo. “But I’ve been really lucky that it’s almost business as usual otherwise. Obviously the income from live music has disappeared, so we are working to minimize the damage from that for our artists, and we’re also trying to utilise our artists' digital platforms and find other ways to fill the hole live music has left in release campaigns.” 

Veronika Zapletalova, who is in her third year of BA (Hons) Music Management, attended Jo and Rachel’s lecture. 

“I really enjoyed listening to Jo and Rachel’s stories, since they both graduated from Solent,” Veronika says. “It’s really nice to hear the insight of what’s next after you graduate, and over the last few months the number of industry contacts I have made really stands out to me. 

“With everything switching to online options, from tutorials to researching, I was initially worried about finishing my final major project, but now I’m grateful for how Solent approached the situation, the supportive initiatives they created, and how supportive the staff were - I’m even hoping to be able to start a Master's degree.” 

Rachel Lloyd

Rachel Lloyd

“I remember the guest lectures during my time at Solent being really insightful and a chance to understand what roles were out there,” adds Rachel. So, I was really glad to be able to help and offer advice. 

“It’s really important to diversify skills and interests, keep up-to-date with music news and remember you’ll only get out what you put in - it’s the extra-curricular stuff that makes you stand out!”