Patrick Hagenaar graduated from London Met's business school in 2004 with a 2.1 degree in Business Studies. He is currently a music production business owner.
Can you describe, in brief, your journey to becoming an internationally known music producer?
During university I did work experience at Sony Music in the marketing department and continued to work in the music industry at Ministry of Sound after graduating. It has taken me years to develop my productions skills to be able to release music on labels like EMI, Spinnin' and also being asked to remix artists like Rudimental, Kylie Minogue, Route 94 etc and getting supported by the Tiesto's and David Guettas of this world.
What is a day in your life like?
Manic. I am self-managed, so besides dj-ing and producing, I look after all other aspects of my career as well: career management, bookings, PR, marketing etc. In addition, I also run my own label and brand: Colour Code and do some marketing consultancy and guest lecturing, so no day looks the same for me.
What does your brand represent and how does it fit amongst other music brands?
'Patrick Hagenaar' is a DJ/producer that hails from Holland, but developed his career in London. This is represented in both the musical and visual branding. Musically it represents big room Dutch house sounds, but all with a very personal, UK-flavoured twist. Visually it’s represented through my bright fashion sense and pop art inspired artwork.
How do you think your course helped prepare you for the great career you have today?
It has taught me all the fundamental business and marketing skills that I need to run my business – from putting a business plan together for my label to developing my career to marketing my brand. Understanding business is just as important as having creative talent in my industry.
Did you do any work experience while studying for your degree?
Yeah, in my third year I did a full-time placement at Sony Music and in my final year a part-time placement at Ministry of Sound. To me this was super-important for several reasons:
- Putting the theory you learn into practice, which really helped to get 'it'.
- Companies want people with industry experience rather than only a degree.
- Work experience often leads to a full-time job. So even if you have to do work experience for free – look at the bigger picture in the sense that you're investing in your own career, rather than 'I'm not making money right now'
What’s been your best experience at London Met?
For me it was the social element of University – I lived in halls, I was involved in radio, dj-ing, sports etc and made friends for life. In my opinion – the more you put into it, the more you get out of it.
What tips and advice would you give current students on finding jobs when they graduate?
- Get relevant work experience before you graduate. Don't wait till after graduating. There is a lot of competition out there, so you have to stand out? Ask yourself – why should a company pick you?
- Start networking! Whether online or face-to-face. I can safely say that all my professional opportunities have come through networking and meeting people in person. I always feel that I can present myself the best in person.
- Get your foot in the door, however possible! Even if the first job you take is not 100% what you want to do – you have to work towards it to earn it! You'll be at the bottom of the pecking order when you get your first job. As long as you're clear where you would like to get to, you have something to work towards!
- Be pro-active! You are the one that has to make it happen, so be pro-active in searching online, in contacting HR departments at companies you want to work at, same for recruitments agencies. Go in and meet these people personally and try to build a relationship with them and stay in regular contact, so they remember you!