By VASUMATHI VENKAT ‘22
Music. Leadership. Writing. At first, these three words seem unrelated—that is, until you meet Morgan Moxie ’16. A proud EHS alum, she graduated from Monmouth University last May with a major in Music Industry and a minor in Creative Writing. Now, Moxie might seem like the typical artsy girl, but don’t be fooled; she took her leadership experiences from ATAC (Assertive Teens Against Cancer), track, and girls’ soccer at Edison High and incorporated them into her career as an artist manager, giving her aspirations more meaning and personality. At college, she continues to let her leadership and involvement shine through Black Student Union, National Council of Negro Women, Student Activities Board, and Residence Hall Association.
The Eagle’s Eye contacted Moxie for a chat about her experiences looking for work in the music industry in the COVID-19 pandemic.
EE: Why did you originally pursue this major, and what impact have the arts had on your life?
MM: I originally chose my major of music industry because I’ve always had a love for music but never considered myself a performer. Despite that I still knew I wanted a career within the music industry and Monmouth was one of the few universities on the East coast that offered a major that met my specific interest.
EE: Why did/do you feel connected to the arts, and which area in particular? To what extent has it influenced your decisions?
MM: I feel connected to the arts, specifically music because I have been surrounded by it my whole life. A lot of my family is musically inclined and my fondest memories growing up are centered around music in one way or another.
EE: What were your hobbies? What clubs and sports did you participate in? What impact did they have on your interests and you as a person?
MM: While at EHS I was mainly involved in sports. I played basketball my freshman year and soccer my sophomore year. I ran varsity track freshman and sophomore year. Then, my junior year after an injury I decided to stop sports and became the manager for the varsity girls soccer team. For clubs, I was part of ATAC, and became president my senior year. Being a part of these teams and clubs taught me great leadership and communication skills which helped me in my positions that I held at college.
EE: Did you pursue music as a hobby or class at high school? How did that interest grow to become your major?
MM: I took a music production class at Edison High my sophomore year, I believe the first year it was being offered. On one of the first days of class the teacher gave us a list of all the different types of jobs you can have in the music industry that didn’t involve performing. Before then I honestly had no idea that there were so many options for me in the industry that I could be successful in. After that it kind of solidified my choice in wanting to pursue a career in music because I knew I didn’t want to be a performer, but I did want to be in the music industry.
EE: How would you describe your transition from high school to college?
MM: My transition from high school school to college was a process, like it is for most. To start, I was very shy and cautious to branch out my first semester. But once I was able to get through my first semester, I felt myself grow more and more comfortable, and grow into my own. Through getting involved with organizations that I was passionate about and and branching out to new people on campus, I quickly found myself in love with my new college life
EE: Where do you see your major taking you in the future? What career do you see yourself within the next 10 years? 25 years?
MM: With my degree in music with a concentration in music industry, I intend to pursue a career in A&R and to become an artist manager. In the next ten years I hope to have worked at a few labels/entertainment companies in A&R departments, learning the ropes on how to manage artists and establish myself in the music industry. I intend to one day own my own entertainment company that will both help build artists careers within the music industry and plan events.
EE: How has the experience of senior year in college and searching for jobs been different due to COVID-19?
MM: Finishing out my senior year was something entirely unexpected that I really wasn’t prepared for. It still saddens me that I never got to cherish my last day in class or get a chance to say goodbye to the people who I grew to be so close to during the past four years. It was jarring having my whole college experience come to halt the way it did and even now it’s kind of hard to find closure from it. But regardless of all that I missed out on in my final semester, I will always cherish the three in a half years full of memories that I created at Monmouth. If I could go back to my freshman year at Monmouth I would make sure to join the organizations that I became most involved with earlier than I had. I believe I would’ve assimilated into college life faster if I had found my people sooner than I did.
EE: What types of experiences and opportunities, such as internships, have been most beneficial to you during your college career?
MM: I thankfully had a lot of great experiences during my time at monmouth. I was a resident assistant for three years, interned at the Asbury Park rock venue The Stone Pony, participated as an artist manager and head of A&R for Monmouth’s student-run record label Blue Hawk Records, and I was also the president of the Black Student Union my senior year, along with holding other positions in prior years. All of these experiences taught me great leadership skills that I will carry on into my professional career. Especially my time at the Stone Pony and Blue Hawk Records, as they gave me a glimpse into different aspects of the music industry and helped me focus my career goals after graduation.
EE: What major would you have pursued if not this one, and why?
MM: If I did not pursue my major in music industry I think I would’ve become an english major with a concentration in creative writing. I minored in creative writing at Monmouth, as it’s always been a fond hobby of mine. I really enjoyed the classes I took in my minor, and would’ve loved to develop my writing further by pursuing it as a major.
EE: What would be your main piece of advice to current high schoolers, in general and specifically for those pursuing careers in music?
MM: My advice to high schoolers would be to be open minded in terms of organizations, opportunities, and even your major, especially during your first year of college. You want to experience as much as you can and try new things during your first year. It will help a lot during your later years of college as you’ll have a better idea of your interests and what you’d really want in your career.
Photo Credit: Morgan Moxie ’16