“Helping people to find their dream job” – Ray Pope

Ray Pope joined Universal Music as a Talent Acquisition Senior Manager in September 2015 after studying popular and world music at Leeds University.

As a musician and a musical graduate she always saw herself in a creative role in the industry. After working in front line label talent acquisition she realised she had found her ideal role – helping people to find their dream job in an industry that means so much to so many.

Hello Ray, thank you for coming to Abbey Road Institute today. At first can you tell me a bit more about what does your job involve? Do you enjoy what you do?

I oversee talent acquisition in the HR team at Universal Music UK. That primarily means finding exceptional talent to work in our business.
Providing opportunities for candidates from a broad range of diverse backgrounds and giving them a platform to succeed is a great privilege and something at which Universal Music excels.

How did you originally get into the Music Industry? Was this a career you wanted to do from a young age?

I started off as a temporary at another label and was determined to make myself invaluable so they would want to keep me on. I made tea, I ran errands, I worked every hour I could to ensure I was retained and developed.

Ending up in a creative role within the industry was what I had always imagined I would, especially as a musician and a musical graduate. But after many years working within talent acquisition I realised I’d found my ideal role. Helping people find their dream job is a lovely reason to get up in the morning! And I still get to do music in my spare time. That really helps enhance my understanding of the world I’m recruiting into.

What’s your opinion on the music industry at the moment? Do you think it’s becoming easier to work in, or more challenging?

After nearly 10 years working in the industry I have witnessed first-hand the huge changes. A once closed industry is now more accessible and inclusive than ever. Universal Music is a trail blazer in that respect. From its internship program and work experience opportunities to its work supporting talented individuals from the wider community, it’s a beacon to those who wish to join the industry and be nurtured and developed along the way.

In an era with lots of technology, and fast paced responses, do you feel the music industry is growing or becoming more niche?

Its burgeoning! At a time where everything is of the moment it’s our job to ensure that we are setting the standard, leading where others follow and ensuring innovation and creative thinking are at the forefront of everything we do. Having a finger on the digital pulse of what’s going on is a key skill we look for

What advice would you give to anyone who is thinking about studying for a career in the music industry?

Learn everything you can and not just on the theoretical side. Get out there and do as much you can to learn the practical skills needed to work within the industry. That said, if the educational route isn’t for you don’t worry! Get practical skills, work experience, internships, temp roles etc. Ensure you get as much exposure as possible so when you are on the front foot in terms of experience when applying for roles in the industry.

Studying at Abbey Road Institute is a chance for you learn from the last word in terms of recording and technology – being able to tap into 85 years of recording history and techniques. The unprecedented access that trainees gain whilst studying at the Abbey Road Institute makes for a truly unique experience. Plus it looks fabulous on the CV!

What advice would you give to our student graduates , now that they are about to take the next step in their career?

The sky’s the limit but your work hasn’t finished now you have graduated. Be decisive about what you want your next step to be. Get organised, ensure your CV is on point and shows you in the best possible light. Network, engage with recruiters who can help you start your career on the right footing. Don’t take any job because you think it could potentially lead to something else that you’re more interested in. Make sure all the decisions you make are well informed. Seek advice whenever you can so you feel you can be able to make the best career choices. Be prepared to work hard and the rewards will follow.


Apply now for our Advanced Diploma in Music Production and Sound Engineering. Applications are now open for March 2018.