Start spreading the news: commerce grad is in a New York state of mind

Peter B. Gustavson School of Business

- Moira Dann

Ross Rich, who graduates this November with a commerce degree from the Gustavson School of Business, has spun himself into his dream job already—as a Marketing Assistant with Columbia Records in New York City. Rich will also maintain the artist-management firm he started in 2013, which includes talented singer Jade Tjorhom (another UVic student) on its artist roster.

Rich’s road to music industry opportunity included creating a production/promotion firm, Victorious Events, with his brother, Ryan, and fellow commerce students Code Workun, and Tanner Manning. Rich says Gustavson really nurtured his entrepreneurial instincts.

He explains that the combination of teachers, students and the overall environment created at Gustavson was one of the biggest contributors to his undergraduate success: “It’s very nurturing,” he says. “It’s an environment you just prosper in if you’re doing something you enjoy.”

Rich’s desire to work in the music business stems from his own interest: He and his brother Ryan are rap performers. “It’s funny to think about,” he says, now that he’s surrounded by super high-calibre international recording artists, but it was his own performing and recording experience that equipped him for work in the entertainment industry.

He says living with his brother and another roommate, Devon Vivian (another BCom student) was a “defining part of my degree” because all three are “entrepreneurial spirits.” They lived it all the time: talking about their businesses, business ideas, and discussing inspirational business biographies they’d read (Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, for two). They kept one another inspired.

Rich says his learning outside the classroom was “110 per cent” where he learned the most, adding he wouldn’t have been able to take full advantage of volunteer and extra-curricular opportunities without “the foundation” of his classroom learning.  

Rich talks about all he learned from his peers and professors and recites a list of influential people: fellow student Gabriella Fochi, business professor Sudhir Nair, law professor Mark Bridge, co-op coordinator Alma Osorio, and instructor Jenn Gill, among others. “For me, it was all about the people I was surrounded with that helped give me the confidence and the experiences to do this.”

“I mean, here I am in New York…I can’t believe it.”    


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Keywords: grads, career

People: Ross Rich, Jade Tjorhom, Code Workun, Tanner Manning, Devon Vivian, Jeff Bezos, Gabriella Fochi, Sudhir Nair, Mark Bridge, Alma Osorio, Jenn Gill

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