Although Angelica Garcia grew up in New Jersey watching soccer with her dad, she never had any designs on landing a job in the world of sports.
“I just came across it,” she said. “I had worked for Sirius XM for five years and was also an adjunct professor at William Paterson University for a radio and production class. However, I still felt like something was missing, so I began looking for a new opportunity somewhere else.”
That somewhere else was ESPN, where she has been a Music Coordinator since April 2016. Six months after she arrived in Bristol, Connecticut, Garcia started the online program for a Master of Music in Music Business and Entertainment Industries degree at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.
“I want to become more knowledgeable and well-versed in the music industry,” Garcia said. “I have a lot of broadcasting knowledge, in terms of radio, because I was an associate producer for a morning show at Sirius XM.
“I’m doing more licensing and copyright now, and it has been a great experience learning more about that. When I started working at ESPN, I realized just how much more there was to learn of the music business side, so I started looking into courses. I always wanted to get my master’s — I was just never sure in what.”
Garcia said one of her bosses, Kevin Wilson, is a Frost alum who suggested she look into the online program. She also had another pretty nice incentive to go back to school.
“One way or the other, I would have done it,” she said. “It helped that Disney [ESPN’s parent company] offers its employees an education reimbursement program.”
Music to Her Ears
Garcia earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a concentration in radio and TV broadcasting from William Paterson University in 2008. After she completed an internship at Sirius XM in 2007, Garcia joined the company full-time as a music programming coordinator and associate producer in 2011.
“I worked at the radio station at WPU,” she said. “I was more attracted to the radio side because it was more music-based, but I eventually want to be a music supervisor, which is why I wanted to get into TV. I want to choose music for TV and film.
“I’m a huge music fan. I listen to music every day for work and for pleasure. When I was younger, I played the clarinet and the piano. Not so much now, though I am trying to get back into it. I also love movies.”
In late 2012, Garcia’s former radio manager at her alma mater, Rob Quicke, called her to ask if she’d like to teach a course.
“I was like, ‘Yeah, sure,'” she said. “The course involved teaching students how to produce a talk show, how to produce promos, how to voice things, editing, etc., which is what my job was at the time. Initially it was terrifying; I had never imagined becoming a college professor, especially at the age of 26. Yet in spite of my fear, I am so happy I accepted the opportunity because I fell in love with it.”
Garcia said wherever her career takes her, she’d like to teach again in some capacity.
“For most universities, you need a master’s to teach,” she said. “Once I earn my degree, I would love to find another teaching opportunity.”
So Far, So Good
Garcia is still in the beginning stages of earning a master’s degree in Music Business and Entertainment Industries through Frost’s online program, but she has already benefited from her first two courses.
“My first course, Entrepreneurship for Musicians [MMI630], was an elective, so it was a lot easier than the course I'm taking now, Music Copyright Law [MMI774],” Garcia said. “This one is quite challenging but incredibly interesting because it relates directly to my current job."
“My next class I’ve signed up for is International Music Publishing [MMI673], which is also related to what I do. I am fortunate to have had the same professor [Rey Sanchez] for both. He’s just great about posting videos and articles. It fits well. It’s a lot to learn.”
Garcia said making time for her schoolwork isn’t difficult because she has such a consistent work schedule.
“I am able to focus on my schoolwork, for a couple of hours each night, once my work day ends. It’s a lot of information to learn on my own, but I'm thankful that my professor makes himself available for weekly calls with everyone, which really helps in understanding the class material.”
Eyes on the Prize
Garcia said she has already received plenty of support from her friends and family, including two older sisters.
“They’re all supportive and happy about it,” she said. “Other people in my family have earned advanced degrees, so it isn't really an option. You kind of have to go to grad school.”
For now, Garcia said she spends the majority of time working, studying, cooking and, of course, watching soccer.
“Growing up, it was always on,” she said. “I’m a soccer fan. That part of working at ESPN has been fun.”
Garcia said she is excited about all of the remaining courses and the knowledge they will provide. She is on track to finish the program in March 2018. And she’s especially looking forward to graduation day.
“One-thousand percent, yes,” she said. “It’s a good excuse to go to Miami.”
Learn more about the Frost Miami MBEI online program.
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