Name: Emily White
Graduation Year: 2005
Degree received: Bachelor of Science in Music Industry
Hometown: Brooklyn, New York City, New York
Emily White is the co-founder of Whitesmith Entertainment, a highly respected management and consulting firm based in New York and Los Angeles, as well as the tech startup Dreamfuel, a crowdfunding platform for athletes and teams. White has worked with a wide variety of well-known artists, including Fox Stevenson, the Zac Brown Band, and Imogen Heap.
Why did you choose Northeastern?
Northeastern was my dream school. It was (at the time) one of the only schools with a top Music Industry program along with a Division I swim team. Additionally, I loved the idea of going to school in Boston. Truth be told, I knew I’d end up in New York but wasn’t quite ready for that as a 17 year old senior in high school. Boston is such an incredibly supportive place to be educated as there are students everywhere, and it was the perfect stepping stone city for me to eventually end up, fully prepared for New York.
Is there a specific experience or individual that empowered you during your time at Northeastern?
Co-op’ing with The Dresden Dolls certainly comes to mind. The band and I grew up together, professionally speaking. When we met, they were a local band on the rise and I was just beginning my career. By the time I graduated I was managing their multi-continent tour with Nine Inch Nails. I had days at the beginning of that tour where I felt completely overwhelmed, but I had great mentors to call on. Northeastern’s swim coach Roy Coates, as well as Jim Anderson, David Herlihy and other professors in the music department, were incredibly influential; and I absolutely will never forget my first class at NU with Leon Janikian. By the end of the tour I was a professional, and within a few years I retired from tour managing because the work was no longer a challenge.
“Sometimes when I look back on my music career, it wasn’t getting to the top that was the best part. It was everything I experienced along the way.”
What advice do you have for students?
Figure out what YOU want to do, and think about if it helps others. I often feel that I come from one of the first generations of women who were told “Do what you love!” For me, at age 14, that was music, which will always be a passion.
As far as the music or entertainment industries go, it’s all about reliability. Do the things that you say you’re going to do. Say yes to everything you are invited to in your 20’s. Respond to every email and message you get. Make yourself indispensable at your internships, co-ops, and jobs. Be kind, be genuine, don’t backstab or screw people over. If you do all of the above, I can almost guarantee a solid slice of success within music, entertainment, or just about any space. Sometimes when I look back on my music career, it wasn’t getting to the top that was the best part. It was everything I experienced along the way.