HAMPTON, Va. (October 8, 2018) –One hundred and fifty select Hampton University students interested in tech, music, and media industries, participated in Spotify’s The Opening Act Roadshow, Monday night, October 1, 2018. The Opening Act Roadshow is part of an HBCU Conference from Spotify, a global music streaming company, where students got the opportunity to network, participate in workshops, and hear from Spotifiers and industry thought leaders about how to help kick start their career journey.
“With Hampton University’s rich history, high academic standards and exceptional students, it was only natural that Spotify hold this conference at our fine university,” said Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey.
Panelists during the workshops spoke about various items, such as navigating the corporate ladder in a top company, being a minority in the tech world, discussing how technology plays a role in powering Spotify, and much more. The students walked away with inspiration, motivation, and Spotify contacts. The Spotify team acquired many resumes from Hampton students.
“It was great, the energy was awesome. We started off with a dance so everyone was psyched and ready to get going,” said Hannah Wolf, Talent Acquisition Partner for Campus Recruiting, Spotify. “Everybody was super engaged, there were lots of good questions, lots of good dialogue between the presenters and the students themselves, and so it couldn’t have gone better.”
Hampton University also hosted a luncheon the following day for the Spotify team and HU Deans and Administrators. The purpose of the luncheon was to open a dialogue about any struggles HU leaders may have in getting students into the tech industry and the lack of diverse students involved in Spotify’s programs.
“We do have a problem in the tech industry that black and brown students and young professionals are not represented well. I know the students who attended last night’s event probably couldn’t tell because there were a lot of cultural peers there, but when you go back to the offices, it doesn’t look as strong,” said Dr. Cherise Bernard, Talent Acquisition Partner Campus Recruiting and Lead for the Opening Act HBCU Conference, Spotify. “So what I do is present Spotify and the entire tech industry as something that’s attainable and something they should be able to strive for with their current education.”
“One of the areas, especially when it relates to most underrepresented population, is that we tend to be on the user side of technology but not understanding the connection associated with what it takes to get that product on the market, get it in the sale space, hire the right people to put the thing together,” said Dr. Ziette Hayes, Dean of the Hampton University School of Business. “I think we’re constantly making sure that we have exposed our students to the operational side of the tech industry because often times they hear tech and they think ‘oh that’s for the computer science majors’ and they shut down, but putting that operational piece is what you’re doing and is very meaningful and we haven’t had enough of, so thank you.”
The last piece of the conference was a table event in the Hampton University Student Center where Spotifiers were available to speak to students, take resumes, and sign them up to receive information about future Spotify events.