In February of 2023, the UMEM Student Group will be taking 5-7 committed UMEM students to Beverly Hills to attend the Pollstar Live! Conference! We are hosting several in-person fundraisers over the spring semester, but we need support from beyond Missoula, MT as well! That is why we have partnered with the UM Foundation to set up an online fundraiser that can reach all of our UM Alumni who support beginning entertainment industry professionals!
All donations to this fundraiser will be put towards the accommodation expenses for Pollstar Live!, and any remainder will be saved for future trips by the UMEM Student Group (IEBA - Nashville in Autumn of 2023, etc., Pollstar Live! 2024, etc.). Jack Person, our current President, would like to see the UMEM Student Group flourish in the next few years as we rebuild from the pandemic. With support from alumni, we can turn this student group into a catalyst for the most promising entertainment workforce yet. After several years without any live events, there is a new surge in demand for young professionals to join the entertainment industry. The UMEM Student Group's mission is to develop any interested student both personally and professionally to make them a perfect candidate for any entry-level entertainment position.
This past October, we took five students to IEBA (International Entertainment Buyers Association Conference) in Nashville, where students were introduced to many professionals in the industry, from agents to venue managers to ticketing software professionals. The students worked closely with Maria Brunner and Pam Matthews to network with industry executives in fields they are interested in, and the students even got to visit WME's Nashville Office, where they got a personal Q&A session with UM Alumni and current WME Agent Austin Mullins. Experiences like these not only make for incredible stories and fond memories, but they also benefit students greatly when applying for positions out of college.
In every one of our meetings, Jack Person leads the group of 15 students (with more students joining every week!) in an hour-long session with several key components:
- Professionalism - Interview Skills, Employment Opportunities, Business Cards, Guest Speakers, etc. - The last meeting we had, we discussed resume-building with a guest speaker from the College of Business - Kathleen Tarkalson.
- Fundraising Events - As a group of mostly UMEM Students, it is only fitting that we host events to fundraise for our group. We will be hosting two artists to perform during the Parade of Lights in Downtown Missoula on Dec. 3rd from 3-6 PM, and the group will be selling and putting tinsel in kids' hair during the event. The Downtown Missoula Partnership has been gracious enough to let us partner with the Dana Gallery for our venue.
- Conferences - How to act, how to network, and what you need to know before going to a conference like IEBA or Pollstar Live! is all crucial information for students. We cover this information extensively each meeting so that students will be prepared to get jobs and internships in the field.
- Goal-Setting - As a group and as individuals, goals need to be set early on so that the student group can make a plan of action and develop into something great. This student group has never before met on a reoccurring basis unlike Switchback Records, so this new method of instructing students warrants continuous improvement. We like to make it a point to plan ahead, so that students to go to conferences know what they want to look for in employers, and so our group can continue to grow.
We very much appreciate any help you can provide us as we get this student group started back up. With the transitioning of UMEM Directors this year, the new world post-pandemic, and the influx of students looking to join this group, we are very lucky and grateful to have alumni and past connections that we can count on to keep our program stable. This group is a new adventure for current Director, Dr. Andrea Luoma, and for all the students who never got to go to a conference due to Covid-19.
Thank you again for your support, and we can't wait to see you in Beverly Hills!