There’s this quote I read somewhere that said “Would you be where you are, if you didn’t have exactly what you’ve had?”
I love that. I don’t know who said it and I wish I did so I could give the credit but whatever, moving on.
In this blog where I plan to show gratitude to those who helped me achieve great things. I don’t want this post to come off as anything but appreciative and in no way is this meant to sound like some acceptance speech, but then again, a part of me doesn’t really care how my posts come off.
I would have achieved nothing I have achieved up to this point had it not been for my best friend Evandro. Other than my family, and actually, even more than a lot of them, he has had the most impact on all my achievements because of one moment.
When I was just staring out my first internship with Sony they had me cover a Childish Gambino concert. The most important part of covering a concert is writing a recap that you eventually send back to the label. One day, I went out with a bunch of people to the beach at night. We had a pretty good time until a cop came and told us it was too late and that we, and specifically me because he caught me peeing behind a building (I was 19, give me a break) and he told us to get out of there and said if he saw us again somebody was coming back to the station with him. Whelp, long story short more cops came and we all scattered out of there. While were heading back, I realize I left my backpack that had my Childish Gambino recap in it. I start flipping out because I now think I’m going to get fired from my first internship and there’s no way I can go back there when Evandro told me he’ll go back. He went back, risked getting in more trouble and got me my bag and I turned the recap in. I tell this story because, had he not gone back to get that bag, I would not have any of the internships I’ve had because, my internship with Sony was the main topic of discussion in all the other internship interviews. And if I had gotten fired it all would’ve pretty much been a wrap right there. That is why I give Evandro the most credit of anyone besides myself on why I am where I am.
After Sony, I got a co-op with Reebok at their World Headquarters. For the most part, I’m not a nervous person but during the whole Reebok process I was a mess. I really didn’t think I had a shot. At the time, I was talking to this girl Linda who actually helped me a lot during the entire process. When you’re going for something and it means so much to you, it’s tough to express that to a lot of people without seeming scared. Truth be told, I was scared that I wouldn’t get the position and that I would feel as if I failed. Throughout the entire process up until literally, the weekend before I accepted the position, I probably talked to Linda more than anybody else and she knew how much this thing meant to me and she helped out a lot with words of encouragement and she seemed so sure I would get it that eventually I believed it myself. Now, to be honest, it’s weird writing about this because we don’t speak and there’s this unspoken thing that once you no longer deal with somebody you’re supposed to no longer appreciate what they did for you, but in this case I don’t really care.
I wouldn’t even have known about the opportunity had it not been for my best friend and roommate at the time, Matt Hagerty. We both would end up getting the positions and without him I don’t know if Reebok would have been the same. Working with your best friend can be counterproductive but we pushed each other at Reebok and I think we both brought out the best in one another.
I would then go on to work at Jam’n 94.5 the next summer and right in the middle of my time at Jam’n; I got fired from my job at chili’s (long story). It sucked because I didn’t have the money saved up to be able to take the train to Jam’n every day and get to work. When I was trying to get another job, the hours I would be at Jam’n conflicted with the hours I would be able to be at the other job and this just made everything more complicated. Anyway, while I was paying-jobless, my best friend Vijay would let me pay for the train rides ahead of time on his credit card and let me use the tickets and let me pay him back a few weeks later when I got a new job. When he even offered that as an option I was shocked. He really helped me out right there and without him coming through for me I really had no idea how I would continue at Jam’n.
Immediately after Jam’n I found out about a rep position opening at Def Jam. Now, Def Jam is the company I have dreamed of working for ever since I was 10 and when I found out they were looking for college reps across the country, I had to jump at the opportunity. The only drawback was, Def Jam wanted the applicant to, instead of the old fashioned resume way of applying, post a 15 second video to Instagram on why you deserve such an opportunity. I had tons of reasons why I deserved the opportunity but no clue on how I would make this video. I reached out to Matt and Willy Mac since they are the two most creative dudes I know and pitched ideas to them on how I think I could make a video and if they could help. They both said yes and as we got to work on the video I began to realize that this became sort of a passion project for them. I couldn’t believe they really cared. While making the video they would say things like “Mannnn if you don’t get this I’ma be fucking heated” and they began to want this position for me almost as bad as I wanted it for myself. I also didn’t let them know that Def Jam wasn’t specially looking for a representative in the Boston market so me getting a position was sort of a long shot. At first, I thought I shouldn’t tell them so as to not let them down and feel like their talents are going to waste but after I realized this meant something to them too I had to let them know exactly what the scenario was. After I told them we all went even harder and made an amazing 15 second video to enter into the contest. I would eventually accept on of the representative positions and be that much closer to realize a childhood dream. If there’s one thing I try to be cognizant of, it’s other people’s time and how valuable it is. These guys took two nights away from whatever they wanted to do and helped me accomplish something great.
I’ve written all this to say thank you. The people left out on this mean just as much to me but in writing this I tried to be specific to those situations and time’s in my life and not write about who has helped me and how I’ve become this guy I am today. That blog post would just be too long and those people should know who they are and if not, I’d love to have those conversations. The idea for this post came to me this morning as I was walking through Central Park in the city I have grown to love and admire, New York City. I wrote this because a lot of people ask me how I’ve gotten such great positions at these great companies and I always respond with I don’t know. But honestly, I do know. It’s the people around me that help me do what I do. Without them I would not have this. Now, I won’t say I’ve just been going along for a ride because I work hard too, but it’s the knowledge that you have people that have your back that help you go harder than anyone else.
To anyone & everyone that has ever helped me, no matter in what way, I say thank you.