What is your occupation and how did you come to work in this field?
I am currently a Manager in the Business & Legal Affairs division of Sony Music Entertainment. In this capacity, my team is responsible for identifying ancillary markets to promote and distribute our music, which range from manufacturing deals with chains like Starbucks and Wal-Mart to digital promotions with brands like Motorola, Quaker and Pepsi.
Growing up, I wanted to become a sports/entertainment attorney. In addition to my general interest in each area, I was most passionate about being an advocate for athletes and musicians alike. When I entered undergrad, my dream was realized when I had the opportunity to intern at Sony Music Entertainment. This experience opened a new world of opportunities for me. The area that spoke to me most was Business & Legal Affairs. In this division, I wear various hats: strategist, problem solver, negotiator, researcher, and liaison. In my current role, I am able to parlay my passion for music with my enthusiasm for law.
What is the biggest challenge of your work?
The biggest challenge of my work is bridging the gap between music and technology. As new technology develops the law, in many ways remains inert, which poses challenges as it can limit potential revenue streams. So the daily challenge becomes developing strategies that operate within the scope of the law, but still enables us meet our goals.
What is your proudest achievement?
My proudest achievement is being able to pay it forward. As a child, I was blessed to be on the receiving end of the generosity of other people. The kindness of others often came in the form of mentorship and advocacy and was sealed with a promise that I would empower individuals by offering the same. Through board service and mentorship, I have had the opportunity to evoke meaningful changes in the lives of others.
What leaders, thinkers or doers do you admire most?
In my personal life, I most admire my mother for not only removing the word “can’t” from my vocabulary, but also for letting me know that I was not meant to play a small role in this world, but rather I was destined to do something great!
Professionally, I admire both Carla Harris, Managing Director at Morgan Stanley and Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox:
Carla Harris has taught me the importance of cultivating meaningful relationships and being vocal. Through her pearls of wisdom, I learned: relationships matter; asking matters; and making people see you matters.
As one of a few women to head a Fortune 500 company, Ursula Burns has proven that women are just as astute and effective as their male counterparts. She is a strong leader with an ability to understand the power of technology and innovation, which is a fantastic quality to possess in business. Witnessing her leadership and accomplishments inspires me to push boundaries in my career.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
My long-term goal is to integrate my professional and educational experiences with public policy making, particularly as it relates to intellectual property protection. I intend to play an integral role in the planning and implementation of strategic initiatives in areas of legislation, regulation, and policy on a worldwide basis to protect the rights of intellectual property owners. I am determined to effectively leverage my proficiency in foreign languages and knowledge of intellectual property globally – where I plan to work on anti-piracy issues and act as a liaison to legislative bodies, government agencies and trade organizations.
Extracurricularly, I expect to continue my philanthropic work through board service. In this arena, I would like to continue focusing on youth development and education. In addition, mentorship is critical to success, as such I plan to lend my resources and serve as a mentor to students and young professionals.
What would be your advice to young people who want their careers and lives to have an impact?
- - Be the change you want to see.
- - Be passionate about what you do.
- - Be impeccable with your word.
- - Operate with integrity.