Courageous Pursuit of Passion: Pandora’s Montse Carty ‘04
Montse Carty ’04 works as Pandora’s artist programs manager, a position she considers her dream job. In conjunction with Pandora founder Tim Westergren’s recent talk at Berklee’s 22nd annual James G. Zafris Jr. Distinguished Lecture for Berklee’s Music Business/Management Department, Carty shared her story with Berklee and offered advice to current students.
What does your work at Pandora entail?
“I work closely with artists and artist reps, focusing primarily on in-office performances and artist visits to Pandora's headquarters. I hold meetings with them where I share their Pandora data: analytics that show them which songs spin the most, where their fans are, and more. It's so rewarding for me when I see this data helping artists—for example, when an artist later tells me they added a song to their setlist because they discovered it was popular after I shared the data. I also work on content capture with artists and other programs like artist audio messages, a pilot program we just launched that allows artists to send personalized messages to their fans on Pandora.”
How did you get your foot in the door?
“It was a product that I loved and I had a hunch the company’s principles matched my own, but I didn’t know a single person at the company (not even a friend of a friend of a friend!), so I started to look through LinkedIn profiles to see if I could find someone to talk to me. I emailed someone in artist and label relations and around that time, I saw my dream job posted on the Pandora website, so I applied for it right away and got called in for an interview. It turned out the person I had emailed was the hiring manager for the job.”
Have your studies at Berklee been helpful to your career?
“Several classes touch aspects of my work now. Jeff Dorenfeld was great. His class gave me an intro to the fundamentals of the music business and it woke something up in me that told me it was an area I wanted to explore. Catherine Russell was not only a favorite voice teacher, but she became a mentor and friend. I remember her staying late—well past class time—to work with me on Joni Mitchell songs for my proficiency. She’ll always remain one of my greatest sources of inspiration and she’s still a dear friend. I’m so thankful for the role she has had in my life.”
What advice would you offer to Berklee students looking to launch their careers?
“Stay open, and tune in to what excites you both in the classroom and on the job. You never know how the next experience is going to shape your life. Ask questions, get a mentor, and never stop learning. When it’s your turn, be kind and give back to others however you can. Once you know what you want, don’t ever settle. Have the courage to follow your passion by listening to that inner voice. You’ll find that when you do that, amazing things come your way!”