Spotlight: Nalini Jones

Meet Nalini Jones, our new Charitable Partnerships Coordinator! Nalini just recently joined our organization as a full-time staff member, but has been a part of our organization since January where she began her career with Music Forward as an intern. Nalini looks forward to getting to know our donors and volunteers and to continue to provide them with great ways to support our mission.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your journey leading to your role at Music Forward.

As a little girl, I aspired to be in control of my destiny and work in a career field that provided me with the opportunity to be creative and happy! It has always been important to me to have a career that cultivates diversity, impacts the lives of others, and supports global entertainment.  

In 2015 I packed my bags and moved across the country to attend Arizona State University. Through my school’s resources, I was connected to the Evolve Entertainment Fund. Evolve is a workforce development program that aims to build career pathways into entertainment careers for low-income and underrepresented students ages 18-24. Through Evolve, I was connected to Music Forward and my journey began as an intern, leading to being a part-time Education Project Coordinator, then landing my current role as the full-time Charitable Partnerships Coordinator.   

What did you enjoy most about your internship with Music Forward?

I enjoyed Music Forward creating a space for me to create projects, lead groups, and engage with industry professionals. Furthermore working directly with youth.   

What attracted you the most to this new role with Music Forward?

The opportunity to work in a power house organization advocating for youth from underrepresented communities.  

How do you feel being a young professional will help you to support other young people via your role and Music Forward’s mission?

I am them, and they are me. With that being said, I know what resources I need to succeed, I know what struggles I am facing and I know how hard it is to transition into the workforce. I know how hard it is to be a Black woman trying to navigate the music industry with all of those obstacles that exist. I know my voice and experience brings value in helping to further enhance a system to help support our mission here at Music Forward.

Growing up, who or what were some of your inspirations?

My mom has always been my inspiration! She is a woman who does everything with style and grace, and I am beyond thankful I have always had a front-row seat.

What do you think are the secrets behind getting to where you want to be?

The secret ingredient is passion. Passion is the driving force in succeeding, it is the foundation of becoming the person whom you dreamt of becoming. My passion is the strongest skill I can offer an entertainment company.

I can sit here and type up a list of skills that millions of other candidates have, but I can say the strongest skill I have is my passion. I know what it feels like to sit at a desk every day performing a job to just earn a check. I no longer want to work in an environment that doesn’t align with my passion. I know for a fact my passion is the driving force in keeping me motivated each day, it keeps me grounded, ambitious, and having the willingness to keep going even when one door closes.

Another skill that I will be bringing to the table is my attitude. I have learned that a positive attitude is essential. With that being said I know that my attitude and a large dose of passion are my strongest attributes I can offer a company.

What piece of advice would you give to young people looking for their first role?

Throughout my journey, I have endured countless noes while also facing rejection. It can become a routine. Therefore, one who has true passion behind their craft will be the one experiencing the fulfillment of landing that dream role! Anyone who has a dream knows that their dream doesn’t come to reality overnight. It takes hard work, dedication, and perseverance.   

Continue to invest in yourself, show up and understand God’s timing is perfect. Put in the hard work and the rest will follow.  NEVER GIVE UP AND ALWAYS BET ON YOURSELF!

How does music move you?

My love for music runs deep; I love how music moves my soul, how it creates shared experiences among humanity, and influences emotions!  

My love for music was discovered through dancing, I started dancing at the age of three. Music and dance have always provided me with an outlet to express myself when I did not have the words to articulate my emotions. Music taught me that it’s okay to dream, cry, or express whatever emotions come over me when the tune touches my soul. Music and dance makes me feel free!

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