Now working as the executive Assistant to the C.E.O of Sony Music Entertainment, Entertainment Business Management graduate Simon Lakeman has toured with some pretty cool bands since finishing at JMC Academy.
Tell us about your time since graduating from JMC Academy?
Since graduating from JMC, I worked as a Touring Manager for Stephen White Management for 5 years, touring nationally bands and artists including British Singer / Songwriter Leo Sayer, Australian Country Music Singer, multiple Golden Guitar winner and 2008 Australian of the Year Lee Kernaghan and legendary Australian Rock n Roll band Rose Tattoo. After finishing with Stephen White Management I managed Mark Gable and Choirboys for their 30th Anniversary year culminating in their 30 year anniversary show on the 14th August 2010 at the Metro Theatre .
In 2010 I started working as the Executive Coordinator at Sony Music Entertainment for the Chairman and CEO, Australia and New Zealand and President Asia, Mr. Denis Handlin AM. In 2013 I was promoted to Mr. Denis Handlin’s Executive Assistant.
How did you get your first position when you graduated?
My first position in the Music Business was actually after an impromptu meeting with Stephen White at his offices in Willoughby where I was introduced to him by a mutual friend. We hit it off and was offered the position of Touring Coordinator. I had worked throughout my time at JMC at the Old Fitzroy Hotel in Kings Cross that had a local theatre attached to it and regularly had bands performing. In my 5 years of working there I made many contacts, friends and acquaintances involved in the music and entertainment business.
What is one of your favourite things about being the executive assistant at Sony Music Entertainment?
Working for Denis Handlin who has being leading Sony Music for over 32 years and having the privilege of being mentored and guided by such a person is something I look forward to every single day. Being able to work in an industry I love and being able to make a career out of a hobby. Being introduced to music genres I would normally never listen to and coming away each day with a greater appreciation of the extremely diverse landscape of the industry.
What did you learn that you weren’t aware of before working in the entertainment industry?
That it is not all glitz and glamour, it is long hours and hard work. People in record companies have to have an ear for music and have a high level of business acumen that work in tandem with each other. Attention to detail is key. It is not an industry that is 9 to 5, it is almost 24 hours a day 7 days a week , but if you love what you do you wish it was 25 hours a day 8 days a week.
What advice would you give to current students currently studying ENT and wanting to get an opportunity like this?
To get yourself out there and immerse yourself in the business, go to gigs, introduce yourself to people, listen to every type and genre of music, read, read and read about the industry daily. It is such a fast changing landscape that you need to be constantly on and keeping up to date with the changing nature of the industry. Be prepared to work your way up and to do the hard work it takes to be successful. Don’t give up and keep following your dreams.
To find out more about studying Entertainment Business Management at JMC Academy, click here.
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