Alumni Spotlight: Claudia Oddo

MUSIC/TELEVISION – This spotlight series features T. Howard Foundation (THF) alumni working Music or Television.

Claudia Oddo (THF ‘12) (THF ‘13)

Please describe your role.

In my role on the Audience Marketing team at Pandora, I identify and craft thought-leadership pieces for the marketing/advertising industry, specifically for Latinx, Black, Asian-American, LGBTQ+ audiences. We work closely with our research team to deep dive and help gather insights around these audiences’ music consumption, cultural connections, and advertising preferences. We then share these findings with our Pandora teams, and advertising industry/clients in narrative presentations, webinars, events, panels, industry articles, and more!

What do you enjoy most about your company?

I love how Pandora/SXM provides an array of ERG and PERG to join (employee resource groups). I sit on the New York Mixtape steer-co committee, Pandora’s Employee Resource Group (ERG), for employees of color. Our Mixtape mission includes advocating for diversity recruitment and inclusion in the workplace while producing career and personal development opportunities through workshops, professional development training, and networking and cultural events.

I really enjoy meeting with my mixtape team and crafting new ideas or fun events for the office to help spread and celebrate our cultures.

In what way did this type of work interest you, and how did you get started?

I’ve always been passionate about marketing and began my journey with my first T.Howard marketing internship at HBO. In my next marketing role, I found myself gravitating to the music industry at Music Choice. There I worked on their consumer marketing team and then partner marketing team, where I worked with our Cable affiliates and the Latin music industry. The music, the artists, and what Latin music does for culture — and how it helps spread culture– all inspired me to dive further into this industry. I’ve been thrilled to work on key projects at Pandora related to this genre and marketing to the Latinx audience. My next career goal is to go even further into the Latin music marketing industry and fully tap into my passion for this genre and audience.

How has your affiliation with the T. Howard Foundation influenced your career?

The T. Howard Foundation has completely changed my life forever. I am the first generation in my family to go to college and come into this industry, and the T. Howard family played one of the most significant roles in my success. From helping me secure my first internships in the entertainment industry to professional workshops–they helped support me as I grew into my career. I am forever thankful and blessed to have joined such an incredible organization and network.

What personal attributes have been essential to your career success?

My culture and family have genuinely been essential to my career success. The ability to understand the Latinx culture and speak the Spanish language has helped me in multicultural marketing, and having that first-generation drive from my immigrant parents to thrive in whatever I place my mind to, has helped me immensely in my career.

If you were entering this career today, how would you prepare to facilitate entry?

Through their incredible intern program or professional development program, I would work with T. Howard. I would continue to network and conduct informational interviews that would help prepare me for my early career decisions and learning. I also think this can call still happen virtually! Many folks are open to virtual coffees and meetings and are happy to connect, network, and want to help others as they begin their careers. I’ve loved virtually connecting with some great people who’ve reached out my way on LinkedIn during these times.

In one sentence, please describe what work/life balance means to you.

Work/life balance, to me, means being fully present at work when you are there, and then being fully present and invested in your personal life and time. It’s important to know when to switch that your work/phone email off.

Are you extroverted or introverted? How does this show up in your professional life?

I am an extrovert, and with this role, I get to do a lot of public speaking, presenting, and panels — and I’ve been loving it! It’s been an exciting and great way to tap into my extroverted energy when I get to be in front of a room (or webinar) of people.

How do you re-charge at work?

I created my own PERG (employee resource group) for Latin Dance for the New York Office, which allows me to connect with other colleagues with the same passion for Latin Dance. Once a quarter, we set up a fun dance class, and we are trying to continue this with virtual dance sessions now that we are working from home.