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ACM Business Alumnus (2012) Dave Humphrey is a great example of how to embrace the work opportunities that come your way. Prior to his time at ACM, eventual Business Degree Alumnus (2012) Dave Humphrey’s toured the UK extensively as a drummer for several bands and working in radio.

Whilst studying at ACM Dave continued to develop his music industry experience interning at Mama Group, helping with the Great Escape festival, as well as becoming a venue rep at the festival itself. He followed this up by managing several ACM bands and popular southern ska-punk band Kids Cant Fly and promoted shows in Guildford selling out The Boileroom with headliners Deaf Havana.

ACM caught up with Dave to find out more about his journey into the music industry.

Tell us about what you’ve been involved with since leaving ACM?
It was during my studies at ACM that I secured an internship at Big Life Management (La Roux/Klaxons/Richard Ashcroft) spending a year and a half on a part time basis. Although I wasn’t able to secure a full time position with Big Life Management after graduating, I decided to look for other opportunities, managed to gain an internship as agent assistant at Industry Music (club nights booker for most of the X-factor artists) and then an internship with Decca Records in their PR department.

After a stint with Global Radio I was offered a position at Universal Music in their merchandise company Bravado. I am currently the Approvals and Licensing Assistant, which involves me contacting and seeking approval from managers/licensing agencies on concept ideas for merchandise and samples of merchandise.

What are your aspirations for the future?
I want to experience more of the industry through different roles, however I am still enthused with management and would love to become a manager at a renowned artist management agency.

How did your (ACM) course prepare you for life in the music business world?
The knowledge it provided was brilliant, not just in music but also in business. It also provided us with current trends and teaching us to think outside the box and look for future trends in the industry. It’s a skill that enables you to get further.

Do you have any advice for those looking to get into industry?
Don’t give up – if you persevere it will pay off. Just don’t get distracted by the fact that the first job you land won’t be your dream one. Involve yourself and search for internships to give you experience, knowledge and a better CV.

  • 1. Network – With this in mind, don’t be nervous about talking to people, if you know what you want to chat to them about then they will talk to you. People also love to talk about themselves so ask questions and take an interest, they will be more receptive of you if you show them that you are interested.
  • 2. Be involved – You’ll learn more this way. That doesn’t only apply to lectures, go out to gigs/shows and meet people.
  • 3. Actively seek internships/work experience
    Experience is necessary in this industry, don’t sit around twiddling thumbs, go out and get some experience in areas of the industry you are interested in. Employers like people that show dedication. If you network these will come easier.
  • 4. Do your research

What motivated you to come and study at ACM?
As a drummer and coming from a group of musical friends I naturally felt that I wanted to work in music. I saw bands on stage and thought that I wanted to be not the one on stage but the guy that got them there.. I self-managed my own bands and this is basically how I got a taste of the industry. I have always been quite business savvy and thought that the correct move was to go to ACM and build my knowledge of the music industry.

What was the best part about studying at ACM?
The people. Tutors and students alike.

ACM would like to thank Dave Humphrey for taking time out from his busy schedule to update us on his progress and wish him the very best of luck for his forthcoming projects.