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Student Life Networks: Student Organization Helps Build Professional Networks

University Residences dinner on February 24, 2019

Senior Katherine M. Petts wants to work in the music industry after she graduates, so as marketing co-chair of Purdue Student Concert Committee (SCC) she energetically networks with the performers she meets.  

A marketing major from Los Angeles County, California, Petts runs promotional campaigns for the concerts that SCC brings to campus. She also leads a marketing street team that helps with pamphlets and social media promotions. Through SCC, Petts personally meets a variety of performers and others in the music industry.  

“One of the things we do is drive artists around,” Petts said. “I picked up MadeInTYO from the airport, and it was really interesting to talk to his tour manager.” 

MadeInTYO (pronounced Made in Tokyo) is a rapper who performed with the Big Gigantic duo for Homecoming 2019. Petts talked to his support manager, obtained his contact information then kept in touch. 

“Every chance I get, every person who works in the industry that I meet, I always make sure that I take the initiative to get their contact info, start a conversation with them, get to know them and then continue to maintain that relationship,” Petts said. “It’s great to have those people in my network to reach out to and ask advice.” 

Petts is also a production intern with Purdue Convocations working backstage assisting artists with their needs, seizing opportunities to network with the performer’s crew and managers. “I do my best to make conversation and learn from them,” she said. 

Last September, Petts attended The Hubb, a two-day music industry conference held in Nashville, Tennessee, to help college students break into the industry. She applied and was accepted to the conference where she met many people who work at well-established music companies. She met other students from across the country who are equally passionate about working in the industry. 

Also last September, Petts was hired to work at the Pygmalion music festival in Champaign, Illinois, after she networked with the festival founder when he spoke at Purdue the year prior. 

“I went up and talked to him after, and then I reached out to him later and asked if there were any music marketing opportunities that he knew about,” Petts said. “Then he asked me if I wanted to be a campus ambassador to promote the Pygmalion music festival at Purdue, and work the festival as a paid gig. It was really cool to see how everything came together, and how it was organized.” 

Petts is bold and consistent when it comes to networking. 

“My advice for students is to not only be proactive about networking with people and getting their contact info, but also maintain the relationship, keep in touch with them. Don’t let it fade away. I think that has really helped me.” 


For more student stories, visit our Student Spotlight page on the Steps to Leaps website