Work Stories: Holly, CODA

This Is It! speaks to Holly about working as an Apprentice for CODA Music Agency as part of the Creative Employment Programme.

Having not worked in the music industry before I wasn’t really sure what’s what, but now I’m here I think it’s amazing.

What were you doing before you started working at Coda?

I was working full time in an administration role. I had just finished my a-levels and didn’t really know what I wanted to do, so I thought I should get some admin skills. It wasn’t the industry I wanted to be in, so after looking around a bit, I applied for this role.

 

What was it that interested you most about applying for this position?

It was mainly the company, I had looked around at other roles but as soon as I came across CODA I thought I want this job. I was looking at roles in the Music and TV industry and this one leapt out. They are such a highly regarded company, seeing the roster of acts they look after was really unbelievable. Music is such a keen interest of mine, I wanted to pursue it more and learn more about it.

That’s one of the great things about being an apprentice, as you start from the very beginning in this new industry, with everyone more than happy to help you.

 

Could you tell me a bit about your role here?

I’m the assistant to one of their agents, Kane; he’s a junior agent as he has only had his own acts for about 18 months. I came on as his first ever assistant, which gives him the opportunity to go out and focus on booking and potentially sign more acts!

It’s mainly administration duties at the moment, but now I’m starting to learn more about the bookings. Kane’s been teaching me a bit more about getting availabilities, discussing fees and what shows are right for what acts. Now I’ve got the basics behind it, I’m learning more about it and it’s really interesting. When I was doing the admin side I would see a show in the diary, but now I’m starting to understand why it is there and the reasoning behind it.

That’s one of the great things about being an apprentice, as you start from the very beginning in this new industry, with everyone more than happy to help you.

Last week I went to a show for one of our acts, which was their first live performance. After planning it all before,  it was really great to see them actually perform.

 

What skills have you learnt so far?

Organisation is one of the key things I’ve learnt. Having a task system and managing emails, making sure I reply to everything and chase people for things when I need it. I wasn’t bad at it before but now I’m so much better, you need those skills to be able to be good at this job.

 

What’s been your favourite moment since you’ve started working here?

Last week I went to a show for one of our acts, which was their first live performance. Most of our acts are DJs and now one of them is pursuing the live sector so the set is more technical and settlements are used to finalise fees.

After planning it all before, from making sure the presales and ticket links went out to sending the itinerary, it was really great to see them actually perform.

CODA is such an amazing company. I think having your foot in here can help you a lot as I’ve made a lot of contacts.

 

Have you faced any challenges during your time here?

I think one of the main challenges is if you have a day off it can be quite hard to catch up when you come back. Especially now it’s festival season, there is so much to do. I’ve got a lot of acts playing at the moment, a lot at the same festival, so you need to plan it all out and make sure you know what’s happening. It can get very busy so you just have to focus on the situation.

Where I last worked I was answering the phone and dealing with customers a lot, so I think that also helped me get the job as I could bring that to the role.

 

Has working here helped influence your future career?

Yeah definitely, CODA is such an amazing company. I think having your foot in here can help you a lot as I’ve made a lot of contacts. Having not worked in the music industry before I wasn’t really sure what’s what, but now I’m here I think it’s amazing. Having learned about the live side of it and the recording and publishing, it’s just so massive. Along with the bookings it’s nice to learn more about it and there is so much more to it than I could ever have imagined.

 

Could you give any advice to someone who could be starting a similar role or starting a placement?

I would say when you come across a job make sure you research the company. When I found this role I was researching on the website and noticed some of the acts have two agents. I made a note of this and asked about it when at my interview. I think they were pleased I had researched the company and had looked on their website. Also make a note of all the skills you have already, so any administration skills you might have. Where I last worked I was answering the phone and dealing with customers a lot, so I think that also helped me get the job as I could bring that to the role.

You can find out more about CODA here and more about the Creative Employment Programme here.