Q & A:
- What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
I’d have to say that all of my marketing classes were my favorite classes. It’s challenging to call out just one; as it is to choose a favorite professor. I have countless fond memories of my time at Hofstra. One that comes to mind was when I received the phone call that I was accepted to be a resident assistant. Living on campus was a fantastic opportunity and greatly enhanced my overall Hofstra experience.
- What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing you learned there?
MTV was my first job after graduating. The most valuable thing I learned there was that internships really do pay off! I was offered the job at MTV because I had an internship there while I was a student at Hofstra.
- What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
My field of specialty is music and entertainment marketing. I had several internships during my time at Hofstra, including MTV, Virgin Records, VH1, and Nickelodeon. They all helped lead to a career in this industry.
- What advice would you give current Hofstra students?
Find the time to intern while you are a student. It gives you incredible experience and knowledge to help you figure out a career path you upon graduating.
- In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
- How has your degree helped you?
My marketing degree has helped me down a career path within strong marketing departments for major corporations.
- What is your favorite part of your job?
The learning. With every project I learn something new, or a better, more efficient way to do something.
- What is the single most rewarding/exciting experience in your career thus far?
Having arrived at a point in my career to be recognized as Hofstra’s Alumnus of the Month is a highlight for sure.
Aaron Simon (B.B.A. ’97) started a new division of ‘Artist Relations’ for Harman, a multi-billion-dollar audio/consumer electronics company in January 2011. Harman is the official sound company for the Grammys, the MTV Video Music Awards, Coachella Festival, American Idol, and many other television shows. Since his new role began, Aaron has brought in and worked very closely with artists such as Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney, Jennifer Lopez, Kayne West, Maroon 5, Tim McGraw, Tiesto (#1 DJ), and Linkin Park.
For quite some time, it has been one of Aaron’s ‘bucket list’ dreams to be included in Hofstra’s Alumni of the Month feature. “After reading the amazing alumni selections time after time, it has motivated me to the potential of perhaps one day being considered myself,” Aaron said.
During his freshman year at Hofstra, having no clue what he wanted his profession to be, one of his marketing professors told the class about an internship at Virgin Records. Aaron was the only one who approached the professor at the end of class. Ultimately, he was accepted for this internship, and he credits this professor for starting his long and successful path in the music industry.
Since then, Aaron has been responsible for marketing, strategic partnerships and promotions for legendary music artists, including Britney Spears, Kid Rock, Backstreet Boys, Katy Perry, *NSYNC, R. Kelly, Janet Jackson, Rolling Stones, Justin Timberlake, Queen, Lenny Kravitz, Matchbox 20, and U2. He has held executive roles at some of the great music industry corporations, including MTV, Atlantic Records, Disney Music Group, Sony/BMG, and Virgin Records (having it all start there as an intern from Hofstra in 1994!). During his time as vice president at Disney, he handled artists such as Jonas Brothers, Miley Cyrus, Selena Gomez, and the cast of High School Musical. He has managed the No. 1 selling Latin teen group, RBD (as well as working as the executive producer of their 2007 U.S. tour).
Aaron participates in several music industry charitable organizations to help give back to the community, including the TJ Martell Foundation, Lifebeat, and others. He has received several awards and acknowledgments for his accomplishments, and often speaks on industry-leading panels as an expert.
He thanks Hofstra for discovering an internship that created and started his path, and for countless other positive factors Hofstra has given to him. He is proud to be a Hofstra alumnus and to be considered a top music industry executive, working and traveling around the work with some of the all-time top talent (and it all started in Hempstead!).