October 2016 Family Newsletter

Changes with the Fall

Dear Spiders Family,

And we’re back! Just like that, we’ve got another year of Spiders in full swing. The fall season has brought plenty of changes: we have seven new Spiders, ten seniors preparing for graduation, and two Spiders abroad. And to top it all off, we’re introducing new Spiders branding! I’m in Los Angeles for the semester, and in my absence, we are fortunate to have fellow Spider Kirsty Fraser picking up the slack!

In this newsletter, we start by saying “Hello” to our new Spiders. They’re now part of our increasingly big and impressive Spiders Family!

Then, we check in with Mikey Brandt ’15 to find out about his career at booj. As a web developer for the Denver-based company, he is on the verge of moving up to a management position. Read on to find out more about Mikey’s life in Colorado and his advice for graduating Spiders.

You’ll also find a feature on our favorite summer reads. Though we don’t have a Spiders book club (yet), we came back from summer break with loads of recommendations. If you have any reading recommendations for us, we would love to hear them! Give us a shout at spiders@syr.edu.

I hope all of you have a terrific October as the leaves begin to change. Please enjoy this new edition of the Spiders Family Newsletter.

Will Skalmoski

Meet our Newest Spiders!

Click on a Spider to learn more about them.

Alumni Spotlight

Mikey Brandt

For the October newsletter, we caught up with Mikey Brandt ’15, who is now working as a web developer for booj, a web design and development company based in Denver, Colorado. We asked Mikey about how Spiders shaped his career path, his upcoming transition to a management position, and advice for job-seeking Spiders.

As a native of Brewerton, NY, Syracuse University was never Mikey’s first choice. However, while college touring, he realized that the University offered cutting-edge facilities he couldn’t find anywhere else.

Mikey majored in information management and technology in the iSchool, and after working at FIXit for two summers, was looking for work experience more in line with his career goals. He  joined the Spiders team as a web developer the summer before his junior year.

As a Spider, he was able to collaborate on meaningful projects and produce work in a deadline-driven environment. He credits his time at Spiders with boosting his resume and giving him the valuable skills and experience he needed to stand out in an increasingly competitive industry.

“Spiders gave me a preview of what I was going to do in life,” he said. “It gave me two years of experience, in an actual production environment.”

Following his graduation in May 2015, and a two-day road trip from Syracuse to Denver, Mikey began working for booj.

Booj specializes in the real estate industry, with the aim of fostering a network of small businesses, driving innovation, and providing the resources of a larger corporation. As a web developer, Mikey builds websites for clients and ensures that they have a platform on which they have a voice and their business can succeed.

Mikey is grateful for the head start from Spiders, as it was a smooth transition to booj and he was able to excel in an unfamiliar workplace. A year on, and Mikey is now on the path to a management position in the development department, which he feels is a natural progression from his current job.

He is aware that a new position carries new responsibilities. If any emergencies arise: a client has issues logging into their account or a site goes down, he’ll be on the front line responding whether it’s 11 a.m. or 11 p.m.

Mikey’s advice for graduating Spiders?

“Apply to everything. It’s always good to get your foot in the door. Look at every single website and job posting.”

Mikey applied to 50 different jobs his senior year and heard back from 10 employers, including booj. Once you land that interview, being confident will either make or break your chance of getting the job. 

Summer Reads

Just because we’re Spiders, doesn’t mean we can’t be bookworms!

Check out our summer bookshelf on Goodreads >

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The Next Big Thing

Spider Katie Canete spends her summer in the music industry

Headphones in and volume up, Spider Katie Canete spent her summer on the search for up-and-coming artists.

At a six-week internship with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, talent research was just one of the highlights. Giving Katie a fresh outlook on the music business, the internship in Midtown Manhattan cemented her desire to pursue a legal career in the ever-evolving industry.

The prestigious internship, offered through the Bandier Program at Syracuse University to two of its students per year, is made possible by the namesake himself, Martin Bandier, chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV.

Katie has always had a love for music, but didn’t want to perform or teach the subject as a profession. When she heard about the Bandier Program, which focuses on music business and entrepreneurship, she ultimately fell in love with the path.

“I wasn’t too certain about what I wanted to do initially,” Katie said. “But I knew that this was a great way to keep music in my career and do something behind the scenes and hands-off from the creative end.”

Now a junior, Katie has plans to attend law school after she graduates, and has an LSAT prep book to prove it. From law school, she is interested in working at a law firm, and then moving on to an in-house position at a music company.

A large chunk of Katie’s time at Sony/ATV was devoted to analytics research, which she thoroughly enjoyed. Her biggest accomplishment was creating a spreadsheet of hundreds of emerging artists who were generating a lot of buzz over the summer, a list which Sony/ATV still uses.

“I was using a lot of online platforms to see which artists were getting a lot of week to week interaction,” Katie said. “It’s all about finding the next big artist through weeding out the bad ones and top artists everyone already knows about.”

As Sony/ATV is more pop-oriented, it is on the lookout for artists who have commercial viability. While the artist has to show increased engagement each week, they also have to fit in style-wise. Toward the end of her internship, Katie had the opportunity to pitch one of her favorite artists she came across at an artist and repertoire (A&R) meeting, and suggested they add him to their “watch list.”

This was not the only industry experience Katie had over the summer; a few days after her internship ended, she hit the road with Camplified, a music touring company. Camplified features budding artists in unique concert experiences. The company is booked by summer camps to host a day-long music festival and provide brand-sponsored activities for the campers. As a tour manager for Camplified, Katie traveled to 30 camps across the Northeast and Midwest in the space of just over a month, often finishing work at 10 p.m. and leaving at 7 a.m. the following day.

A demanding, yet rewarding position, Katie led a crew of 12, including social media and visual content teams. Acting as a “liaison between the show and the camp,” Katie would meet with the camp director to go over a game plan and discuss the scheduling and layout of activities.

Aside from her summer experiences, Katie is involved in several student organizations on campus, most notably 20 Watts magazine and Orange Music Group (OMG). In her position as the Director of External Operations for 20 Watts, she drafts the budget, keeps the social media marketing team on their toes, and looks for opportunities to collaborate with other student organizations.

As the vice president of OMG, Katie helps organize concerts showcasing student artists at SU’s Schine Underground. The group hosts the much-anticipated Battle of the Bands every year, and this semester is planning a special Election Day show on November 8th, which ensures free entry with a ‘I voted’ sticker.

The way Katie sees it, each experience brings her one step closer to her future career. Her work in the legal department of Sony/ATV and event management with Camplified, as well as involvement on campus, gives Katie a taste of what is expected of a career in the industry.

And of course, even though Katie’s internship with Sony/ATV Music Publishing is over, she’ll continue to keep an ear out for the next big artist!

Overheard in the Office

“I dabbed a lot yesterday, and now my neck is sore.” – Ellie Haines

“I had a terrible dream that I bought $300 worth of Subway. And I hate Subway.” – Jez Sabaduquia