Eric Wallace - Business & Entrepreneurship Alumnus – Music Business
Eric Wallace is a May 2009 graduate of the Business & Entrepreneurship department with a concentration in Music Business. Wallace now spends his days in New York City as a talent agent at Universal Attractions – an urban music talent agency whose roster includes stars such as Brian McKnight, GZA, Talib Kweli, and many more. Aside from his day job, Wallace has also started two companies since his graduation: talent management firm Anger Management Entertainment, LLC as well as industry news aggregator Entertainment Linx (www.entertainmentlinx.com).
Eric recently spoke with us about the time he spent at Columbia and how it prepared him for his career.
How did your experience in Columbia’s Business & Entrepreneurship department prepare you for your career?
Being at Columbia helped me get some of my first show deals done with some the talent that I worked with at the time. I booked comedians to host Big Mouth (Columbia’s open mic night) for many months and I booked a singer/songwriter [whom I represented] at Manifest. I [also] met my Anger Management, LLC partners at Columbia. [The program] gave me some knowledge on important issues such as music publishing, touring, standard legal terms, as well as some help with forward thinking. The Writing for Managers class was good and I would’ve loved the publishing course more if it hadn’t been so early in the morning (laughs). The MIDEM class was also great; I was able to travel to Cannes, France and meet people from all over the world who were involved in the music industry.
Any advice for current students?
Network as much as possible! Get out and meet as many people as possible and intern at as many companies as you can. [B]eing an alumni helped me make the connections I needed to get the job at Universal Attractions.
What are some of Columbia’s strengths?
Columbia’s main strength is that they have a lot of different majors that students will need for the artists you work with. Relationships are extremely important in the industry. Fashion [majors] for your wardrobe, film [majors] for your music videos, make-up artists, aspiring publicists, booking agents, etc. It’s also a big plus to be in the middle of downtown Chicago. You can go anywhere from that location.