On December 9, 2016 a group of young aspiring professionals from EBS Brooklyn, (Employment and Business Services,) were treated to a tour and employment workshop at SoundCloud’s New York office in Chelsea. SoundCloud, founded in Sweden and headquartered in Germany, is an online platform that allows users to listen to and upload original music and audio content.
The visit was arranged by Karen Zuckerman, Director of Community Partner Engagement. Attending visitors from EBS-Brooklyn included Jarod Ellis, Elyssa Zeller, Ryan Cobourn, Corey Lynch, Kishon Buddy, Justin Walker, and David Grotell, Employment Skills Coordinator.
A Shared Passion for Music
The day began in the common area, where a bass guitar, keyboard, and drum kit is available for visitors who want to flex their musical talent while waiting. In addition to wanting to learn more about professional work environments, many in the visiting group expressed a general interest in music.
“I’ve been creating music since I was 15 or 16 years old,” Jarod Ellis said. “This is a good challenge for all of us today.”
“I’ve been writing poetry for a while, and after I got sick music really helped me relax,” Elyssa Zeller said. “I started writing my own songs, which family enjoyed. Coming here can help me grow as an artist and a person.”
“When I listen to music, it makes me want to be a star,” Ryan Cobourn said.
Fostering Professional Relationships
Samantha Cope, the Workplace Specialist, is the manager of SoundCloud’s New York office and greeted the group before briefly explaining what her company does and showing them around the facility. After serving lunch, ten Soundcloud employees, including Samantha, began doing mock job interviews with the EBS-Brooklyn cohort.
While the employees looked over resumes, they asked questions pertaining to previous employment history, (several members of the EBS-Brooklyn group are currently working in separate jobs), professional skills, common interests, and future employment goals.
“We haven’t done any workshops like this here,” Samantha said. “SoundCloud is a company that has a lot of people that want to give back and connect with the community. AHRC started as a grassroots movement and SoundCloud started like that, too. It’s great to find some common ground and bring in people who love music.”
Valuable Career Advice
After the interviews were completed, each of the SoundCloud workers detailed their own professional journeys up to this point and provided general career advice. Among the bits of wisdom they dispensed were:
- Always think ahead.
- Find a job that makes you want to work hard and do well.
- Remember the importance of networking.
- Employment is rarely a straight path to the dream job you seek
- Don’t be intimidated when looking for or interviewing for a new position.
Karen said that the event was such a success that SoundCloud intends to have the group back early next year. “I think that this event was very successful because it gave our people an opportunity to hear from employees in the music industry, about the types of jobs that are available, the type of education needed, and interests that they need to have. For many positions, you just need to work hard and offer to help with projects that others are working on.“