Written by Malu Kingsland.

Michael Pratt is a senior transfer student at Haas. Passionate about the intersection of music, technology, and business, he deferred for a semester to work full-time for Apple. While he returned this Fall to continue pursuing his degree, he remains a Growth Product Manager at Apple Music. In his free time, he writes and produces. 

1. How did you get into product management at Apple? 

Coming into Haas, I knew the only two places I wanted to work were either Spotify or Apple Music. I decided that I would start reaching out to Haas Alumni through LinkedIn. Initially, I sent cold DMs after buying LinkedIn Gold, but I was ghosted by nearly everyone. Nevertheless, I ended up connecting with a good three to four people, one of them being the perfect mentor. He actually ended up being my boss!

This connection, a Haas alumni, told me there was a spot on his team and asked me to send my resume over. I came in for an interview, and the rest is history. The main takeaway, I learned, is to be proactive about the job search and go after something you care about. This makes the process much easier!

I’m now in the artist services division of Apple Music, leading a marketing tools team. Essentially, we try to build different tools, which will help artists market their art to the world. I am forever indebted to my boss, and I’m always trying to learn as much as I can from him.

2. What’s it like to recruit non-traditionally at Haas? Are there any resources you wish you would’ve had? 

For myself, I had to do a lot of personal learning, as there aren’t many Haas resources for my field. It’s something I really want to help change! In terms of what I want, I think having a product management mock interview would be great from the Career Center. However, I think the most important thing is tapping into the alumni network. It is so much more powerful than any resume or cover letter you could write.

3. How do you find being a transfer student at Haas? 

Being a transfer at Haas is incredible. The community here is unlike any other. I have met some of my best friends through the transfer program, and I consider myself extremely lucky to be a part of it.

Transferring can be such a tough process, but Haas has done an incredible job in fostering a supportive and welcoming environment. Also, the transfer community is strong. The Haas administration team deserves all its props, as everyone works so hard to make this community happen! 

4. What advice would you give to other aspiring music industry students? 

For anyone interested in music and the music industry, I would say: do your homework! The most important thing is involving yourself. This industry is about working from the ground up. Before working at Apple, I worked with artists, helping them develop their visions. I believe that any experience is better than no experience. Just go out there and test the waters!

I also would recommend reading All You Need to Know About the Music Industry. The author, Donald Passman, breaks down all the complex business ideas into consumable pieces. It’s an essential read, and I would also recommend taking notes!

Most importantly, get out there and network. It’s much harder now due to COVID-19, but almost everyone I have spoken with is willing to give a few minutes of advice, including myself! 

5. Lastly, tell us an interesting fact about yourself! 

I used to be a producer! I still love producing whenever I get the chance. I’m always down to collaborate! My Instagram is @michaelpratt23

By Malu Kingsland

Previous Fresh Eyes Next Humans of Haas: Michelle Podlipsky