Small Business Q&A: Madison Parsons

Name: Madison Parsons

Personal Insta: maddie_parsons

Business Insta: @foursevernnine

What were your initial career plans for life after University?

When I first started university, I had absolutely no idea! It was not really until the end of my second year of doing a Music Business degree that I realised I most enjoyed the marketing aspect of the industry. I had done a few placements and initially thought I wanted to go straight into work at a music marketing agency, or the marketing department of a record label. This was likely to have still been the case if it was not for the impact of COVID 19. 

How did you find the experience of graduating? 

Tough! Very, very tough! I like to think I am not the only one in this boat to say it is quite the shock to the system. After going to University straight after A-Levels, I had a constant structure for 17 years, and that disappearing overnight was difficult. I do not think that anyone likes to talk about this publicly, which makes it even worse, seeing the endless Instagram posts celebrating grades and final submissions – obviously so lovely to see everyone doing so well! – but it makes you feel like you are the only one not loving the fact ‘student life’ is over.

What aspects of your University experience have helped you reach the point you are at today?

Two main aspects. The first was undertaking several work placements to explore different aspects of the music marketing industry to find what sector I most enjoyed. Secondly, being at a music-based university meant that I was always around musicians, artists, and producers. This meant it was much easier to build a portfolio of clients before leaving university, as well as gaining even more experience while still studying. 

How have you channelled your experiences and emotions into building Four Severn Nine?

I have always wanted to work for myself; my parents run their own business, so I have always been brought up around that and knowing it is possible to do so. Lockdown was the perfect time to start this, and there were no excuses not to! With already having built a portfolio of artists who I had worked with at university meant that I could get straight into creating a website and visual content to launch on socials. Since launching in June, I have loved every second, and it has definitely kept me busy during lockdown! I am incredibly excited to see where it takes me and what I can achieve through it. 

If you could go back and tell yourself one thing at the start of University, knowing what you know now, what would you say? 

Do not worry! Easier said than done, but life has a funny way of working itself out if you let it, and if you are willing to try new things. It is okay to not know what you want to do for the rest of your life when you first go to university. At 18, when you first go to university, it is unlikely that what you think you will end up doing is what you actually end up doing. University goes so fast, especially your final year, so cherish and enjoy every moment while you can – you never know a global pandemic might come along and cut it short!

Do you have any advice to graduates who would want to go down a similar pathway?

Get as much experience as you can in different sectors of the industry. I had three long-term placements while in my second and third year of University – all being completely different. However, each three allowed me to explore different elements of marketing and helped highlight what aspect of the industry I did not want to work in, which in the long run helped narrow down my options and choices. With this in mind, do not be apprehensive about applying for internships or work experience. Even if a company is not advertising, there is no harm in finding an email address or connecting with someone who works there on LinkedIn to see if they are willing to have an intern for a few weeks.

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