Even while Entertainment Management alumni Christina Aubry was cutting and styling hair, music surrounded her, and as it started making up the fabric of her personal life, her passion for hairdressing dulled. What was a fresh slate at Collarts has now led to a right-hand position at the prestigious Michael Parisi Management, working alongside homegrown talent like Vera Blue, Polish Club, and more. But Christina says her destiny wouldn't have been possible without the building blocks she gained from her Collarts experience.
Why did you decide to study Entertainment Management?
I was a hairdresser before I studied Entertainment Management, putting on a few of my own band nights and managing bands independently. I decided that I no longer was as passionate about hairdressing as I had previously been, and took up studying management full time to up-skill. But generally, I've always been surrounded by musicians: my brother's a musician, I play in a band called BATZ and self-manage that, and my mum was a musician, so it's always been ingrained in me.
Why did you decide to come to Collarts?
It was a recommendation from a friend who was studying Entertainment Management. I'm a little bit older than the average student here, so I was a bit out of touch with the academic world. I didn't really know where to look, and my friend highly recommended Collarts. I didn't look anywhere else and headed straight to Collarts; it turned out to be great.
I love the support that you get, and the networks and connections that you build with students and staff. The teachers are really awesome too: they're supportive and encouraging and I love the activities and opportunities they offer students, like internships (I went to BIGSOUND one year), scholarships and more. It's a really positive environment.
What's your relationship like with Head of Entertainment Management Chrissie Vincent?
Great. I was lucky enough to be recommended for my current job at Michael Parisi Management by Chrissie. I sent her a plant to say thank you. She's a great woman, loves what she does and it shows with her students. I was going to apply for another job, but Chrissie suggested I focus on this one because she knew this role would fit me better; it's great she knew me well enough as a student to know that job would be right for me.
How do you feel Collarts has helped you get to where you are now?
I think the teachers are really knowledgeable, so they give you support even outside of classes which helped me a lot. As I said, I was an older student, and being a hairdresser, there was a lot of skills I didn't have. Even computer skills were unfamiliar to me. So the teachers would sit down with me and show me things that I didn't know as a not super tech-savvy person. Acquiring those extra skills helped a lot.
Did the course reflect what the industry is actually like?
Definitely. A lot of the scenarios that you do in the classes are really hands-on, so you can work with a real artist and apply those skills, which is something I've used in my job now everyday.
With the experience and knowledge that you've gained here, do you think it'll help you get closer to reaching that dream of one day setting up your own company?
When you're here, you actually learn about setting up a business, and if I ever felt stuck, I would be able to contact Chrissie or [Entertainment Management Coordinator] Jess Carroll and be like, "Hey, can you help me with this?". That's what makes us stand out from all the other colleges, that sense of belonging and people's willingness to help you. You can still reach out even once you've graduated. And that's one of the most important things I've gained from Collarts: a family.