Jeremy Cohen - Business & Entrepreneurship Alumnus - Sports Management
Jeremy graduated from the Business & Entrepreneurship department of Columbia College in 2009, with a focus in Sports Management. Jeremy, a lifelong Chicagoan, is currently running the operations at the Los Angeles branch of On The Grind Management, a Chicago-based music management firm. Jeremy is the CEO & Manager of OTG, a company he created after his time at Columbia. Jeremy brings a balanced background in producing, performing, marketing, and management to the company.
Tell us about yourself.
I started in the music industry by operating recording studios even before attending Columbia. After my first semester at Columbia, I had the opportunity to tour the country with All Shall Perish, a heavy metal band from Oakland, California. On tour, I handled the responsibilities of playing bass guitar, tracking band merchandise, confirming bookings, reporting record sales to Nuclear Blast Records and Nielsen SoundScan, and securing booking and guarantee money. I loved the experience, but realized I prefer being on the business side of operations rather than on the road in a smelly van! Between 2006 and 2007, I worked in the marketing department of the law firm DLA Piper, while obtaining my degree. This experience led me to begin the company in early 2011 and things have been rapidly progressing ever since.
How did Columbia and Business & Entrepreneurship prepared you for your career path?
The Columbia College curriculum and experience are an integral part of my day-to-day activities at On The Grind Management. On a daily basis, I am directly utilizing the knowledge obtained from my accounting, sports sponsorship, and talent management courses, amongst others. In fact, I feel the start of my vision for the company came about when sitting in my talent management class and realizing that I could actually do this. Not an in-classroom worksheet, but turn it into a career.
Have you crossed paths with any other Columbia alumni?
The continuation of my connection to Columbia comes in networking and booking artists at venues all over Chicago. In this process, I have come across countless Columbia students and alumni, which is always great to see. Shout out to Glass Castles and Lili K, who just had big shows at the Hard Rock Cafe Chicago for OTG.
What’s next for OTG?
We currently have a full roster of artists, monthly bookings at the Hard Rock Cafe Chicago, Reggies Rock Club, placements in 90210, booking bands at South by Southwest, tours, and so much more! We are working on expanding to new markets--we just brought in a manager/booking agent from Ireland to assist with the UK market. The branch in Los Angeles is also recent, as of the end of 2012.
Any advice for current students?
I would say work crazy hard when getting going. And when you're getting a little tired, work a bit more. Also, NEVER burn a bridge in this industry because it's smaller than you'd imagine. And finally, network like there is no tomorrow.