Q&A with Giulia Spadaro, Accommodation Manager and Contract Reviewer at the Mad Cool Festival
Emilien Moyon, Giulia Spadaro M.A. ’17, and Roger Brown at the Berklee Valencia Commencement Ceremony 2017. Photo by Tato Baeza.
“Had it not been for Berklee, I wouldn't have gotten to where I am now so fast”
Giulia Spadaro M.A. ’17 has not stopped since graduating from Berklee’s campus in Valencia last year. She works at the Mad Cool Festival, one of the biggest and fastest growing music festivals in Europe, where she is learning how music events establish relationships with artists and crews. Spadaro is also a production manager for Gigntik Music, an international booking agency, in charge of producing tours and one-off shows. In addition, she is a guest relations assistant at the O2 Arena in London, one of the busiest venues on the continent. She also cofounded Night Owl Promotions, an events management company.
Why did you decide to pursue a master’s degree in Berklee’s Master of Art in Global Entertainment and Music Business (GEMB) program at the Valencia campus?
My dream had always been to attend Berklee, but the prices for the undergraduate programs were always too steep for me, so I gave that up. One day, while doing some research, I stumbled upon the master’s degree courses at Berklee Valencia, and I saw the GEMB one and decided that that was what I wanted to do. During my second and third year of my bachelor’s degree program, I was in Valencia (my home was Madrid) and thought, let’s try to get a campus tour. I managed to get a tour from a GEMB alumnus, and I was convinced. When the second early applications opened, I applied, and the rest is history. For me it was always a case of I either do this course or I get on with professional life. I don’t want to keep on studying, so I either get into Berklee and further my education or keep on building on the contacts that I’ve made while at university.
What opportunities did you have, being in Valencia, that you may not have had otherwise?
Mainly the connections: getting to talk to such incredible speakers that visited and making the most of it.
What’s the most important lesson that you learned at Berklee?
Berklee taught me how to fight for what I want and not let people's opinions affect me or bring me down. You will always find people who will try and bring you down and trip you on their quest to wherever they are going. However, I always find it important to help each other out and not burn bridges as you never know when you will end up encountering [the same people] in the future.
What advice would you give to students who come to Berklee’s Valencia campus for their master’s degree?
Make the most of all the speakers that come, and always try to get one-on-one meetings. Even if they’re not in the field you want to get into, you never know what might arise from those meetings. Also, don’t be too premature in creating your brand and deciding what you want to do after Berklee as that might change during the year.
How has your Berklee experience influenced you as a professional?
I met my current boss through one of those one-on-one meetings. Before the end of the school year, I was already working for two major festivals and now as a production manager, too. Had it not been for Berklee, the name, the education, and the connections, I wouldn't have gotten to where I am now so fast. You truly learn some very valuable lessons.
How did the International Career Center (ICC) help you develop your professional career?
They helped me a lot with improving my CV as I was never very clear on how to set it up.
You currently work at the Mad Cool Festival as both accommodation manager and contract reviewer. What are the aspects you enjoy the most about these jobs?
I enjoy working for one of the biggest and fastest growing music festivals in Europe, with a great lineup year after year. This is a festival that truly cares about making sure that the audience leave having had the best experience imaginable. Within my roles, I like the fact that I get to learn different aspects of music festivals and how they relate to the artists and crew.
You are also a production manager for Gigntik Music, an international booking agency. Can you describe your role?
I do the production for artists’ tours and one-off shows.
Are you still working in guest relations at the O2 Arena in London?
Yes, I am. Being a guest relations assistant at the O2 Arena means that you get to work at a lot of high-profile events, and our job is to make sure that the customers coming to the show have the best possible experience. The best part about this job is that you always have a different role, which gives variety to the tasks that you do. It is a great feeling to be able to work at one of the best music venues in Europe.
In 2015, you cofounded Night Owl Promotions. Are you still working there, and how is your job any different from the other roles you currently have?
We’re on hiatus due to all the other work that we’re doing. It does vary quite a lot from the other jobs that we do, and that’s because we own the company and therefore run everything. I book the venue and the bands, and create the visuals, while my partner and cofounder, Will Garnett, does all the social media and advertising for the show. Then we decide together what campaigns we want to do, if we poster or flyer the show, etc.
How do you manage to combine all these different roles?
Time management. I am still learning how to fit everything in, but right now work is the main priority in my life.
Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Pay attention to all classes, even the ones that don’t interest you much, and make the most out of every opportunity as you never know what can come out of it and what you will end up utilizing in the future.