UVU alumna Faith Tusieseina left the world of red carpets, paparazzi, iconic concerts and award shows for a short trip home on Sept. 13 to speak to students interested in the music industry and shared her experience working at Universal Music Group. She comes with more than two years of experience and energy that helped her move up to a manager position in that short time.
As Tusieseina shared stories of attending two Grammy Awards and sitting next to her idol Berry Gordy (creator of Motown records), she said the most important thing that kept her going when the work got hard during her time in L.A. was what she called her “pursuit of happiness moment.”
She played a clip from the movie The Pursuit of Happiness. It is a story where the main character gets the brokerage job he had been trying to get after being homeless for a time.
“One day, this will be you,” Tusieseina said. “People are going to yell at you, and you will want to quit. Focus on what you love and why you are there. Write down what that moment will be for you, and let nothing stop you from getting there, like I did.”
The entertainment industry is a fiercely competitive field and it’s not for the faint-hearted. Not only can the competition be daunting, but it is also hard to build a name in the business.
“I worked 50 hours a week unpaid in L.A. It was so bad I could have sued the company by how I was mistreated,” Tusieseina said about her first years working in L.A as an intern.
Even though the work was hard and she constantly received harsh emails from her boss, Tusieseina focused her speech on her internship experience and the benefits it would give her for her future career.
“I didn’t have the experience of internships like most people do when they graduate from college, so I focused on [the] experience I was gaining,” Tusieseina said.
She encouraged students at the event to focus on the experience and skills they will gain during an internship, even when it might feel like the work isn’t worth it.
“I’ve never talked to someone like her,” public relations junior Tyler Christensen said. “I’ve never been able to talk to someone who is a part of the biggest label. I mean, I have her contact info. That is a big deal.”
Even though the entertainment world can attract harsh people, that didn’t change how Tusieseina treated people. She said treating others kindly helped her get to places that were near impossible to be. “That got me to where I am now,” Tusieseina said. “You can still be aggressive, but you can be kind to others.”