Alumni Review: Kayla Durish, Entertainment Business Management (2010)

Kayla Durish is a graduate of the Entertainment Business Management Program, where she won the Founders Award for making outstanding contributions to the quality of student life and for demonstrating balanced life values, all while maintaining high academic standards.

Immediately upon graduation, Kayla landed her dream job at the Propas Management Corporation (PMC). PMC has many years of experience in setting up distribution and licensing arrangements in the international marketplace on behalf of clients, ranging from major label artists and brands, labels representing all genres, videogame publishers and many others.

Promotions and Events Coordinator, Joel Martin, had a chance to catch up with Kayla recently to share her review of the program and  to ask her a few questions about her exciting job:

What is your title at PMC and what are your responsibilities?
I am Product Manager, Executive Assistant, and Promotional Coordinator at PMC. I oversee all of the international physical and digital releases for many record labels mainly situated in the United States. We deal with a lot of urban music acts, video game soundtracks, and many artists’ live DVDs. PMC acts as the middle man between the label and international distributors, and we handle the accounts on their behalf such as shipping material and supplying digital content, accounting and invoicing royalty statements and commissioning the proper parties; also arranging for the appropriate promotion in each territory including all over Europe and Australia. Steve’s tragic and unexpected death in August of this year was a very emotional time for PMC as well as the industry. He was very loved and will forever be remembered. In Steve’s memory, his Lawyer, assistant Kristen Campbell (also a graduate) and I have decided to keep the company going and maintain all of Steve’s relationships that he built throughout his successful music career.

What have been the highlights working at PMC so far?
The best experience I would have to say was working Steve Propas, a Canadian music industry legend. I came into work every day and had the extreme privilege seeing front and centre his work ethic, his people skills, and his endless knowledge which is priceless. He gave me an amazing opportunity coming right out of Metalworks and was willing to mentor me and teach me everything he knew. It was a continuous challenge, but one I enjoyed and can now apply every day. I now have an annual position at CMW’s International Marketplace working alongside Kathy Hahn, helping her arrange the business meetings with the international delegates at the weeklong event. I have met so many amazing people from all over the world because of this position.

How has your education from the Institute helped you?
How hasn’t it helped me!? The information the Entertainment Business Management Program supplies you with is extremely current and is the basis for all things business in this industry, such as lingo, contractual dealings, finances, history as well as the technical side. The task of organizing your schedule and workload alone throughout the year is a just another test of character and determination. Although Metalworks supplies you with the material, one of their goals overall is to open your mind to where and how you can make a difference in this industry.

Which course has turned out to be the most useful?
I have my favourite classes like Artist Management and Business Ethics, also all of the law classes are so extremely relevant and must be understood by anyone who wants to stand on their own two feet and not be taken advantage of in the real world. But, the most useful I believe is the final Dissertation, because it is the one class where you apply everything you have learned. It forces you to evaluate and imagine where the industry can go, as well as convey it in a professional manner in front of your former teachers.

Is there anything else you would like to add to your review?
Some days it may seem like it’s all about the tests and the assignments, which are very important to your success, but your attitude is the deciding factor on how successful you are in life. Instructor Jim Norris said in one of his lectures, “Wherever you are, be there” and it is so true. Carry yourself with infectious positivity in every situation and take the time to build the network and relationships that the school has to offer you. The volunteer opportunities should not be taken for granted as I have met some incredible people and learned so much working at numerous events. Enjoy your time and your hard work won’t go unrecognized.

We wish Kayla all the very best in making her mark on the entertainment industry!

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