Dominique Buddington is a junior at Dillard University in New Orleans studying Music with an emphasis in the Music Industry. She volunteered to help at All Access Fest in New Orleans, expecting to gain some insight into the music industry, and the advice and connections she received have actually put her on a path to exploring a real career in the industry. In between volunteer duties, she was also able to sit in on thought-provoking discussions that led her to approach panelist Bradford “Bentley” Roublow, Director of Entertainment and Talent at Bentley Barz Entertainment, after the Q&A session. Dominique said, “I went up to him after the networking panel and told him what my interests were. He works as an independent manager in the city and a local label/artist development company. We continued conversations, and now I have an internship at his company where I get to help local artists with branding, as well as being involved with events, music videos, and merch development.”
All Access Fest gave Dominique the opportunity to practice taking initiative and connecting with a professional in a networking space. Dominique has an appreciation for this opportunity, stating, “I’ve been looking for an internship for months on my own and I wasn’t finding anything until I went to All Access Fest in New Orleans and found my current internship all in a matter of three hours. I met so many people, networked with so many people in the city, and I was so glad I was able to come and experience this incredible opportunity.”
Dominique reflected on how significant programs like these are, specifically in the city she knows and calls home. “A program like this is definitely needed, especially in the New Orleans community. There is so much raw talent in this city – I really got to see that at this event. If we have opportunities to mold and shape young people, they won’t stop chasing their dreams.”
Dominique has big plans for her future after Dillard and is feeling more motivated than ever to achieve these goals. Her focus lately has been on one word: hope. She affirmed, “This program gave me hope. Hope that I could be successful in my own city. I thought for the longest time I would have to move to be able to find something related to my career. I know now that if I work my way up, I can eventually expand and create something new.”
Music Forward strives to create clear pathways to success for youth wanting to get involved in the music industry. With resources, outlets, and professional insight at our programs, youth are able to thrive with clear direction and inspiration. With these tools and opportunities -Dominique is on her way towards a thriving future in the music industry.