We are so proud to feature alumnus, Nick Nicita who graduated from CSUB in 2015 with a B.A. in Philosophy with an emphasis on pre-law. He is currently the owner of Wandering Bare Entertainment and provides recording contracts for independent artists.
How did your experiences at CSUB help you find your first position after graduation?
My first job after graduation was as a Behavioral Therapist for kids with Autism. The job did not require a degree, only a certain number of college units (I believe 90). Having a degree certainly gave me an advantage. Most of the applicants were still in school, so they have schedules that needed to worked around. Since I'd already finished school, I had a much more flexible schedule.
What career advice would you give our students?
Do what you love and don't be afraid to take risks. A lot of people put limits on themselves, because they're afraid to fail, but failure is a more integral part of the learning, than success because it gives you an opportunity to go back, take a 360 view, and analyze what went wrong. Also, I think the successes that spring forth from past failures are that much sweeter because of the hard work invested. Nothing comes easy.
How did you decide to pursue the career that you are working in today? Was there a pivotal moment?
I decided to become self-employed because I realized that working for myself is better, for me, than working for someone else. I think the pivotal moment came after graduation, when I was working as a Behavioral Therapist. I liked the job, but I wasn't passionate about it. That's when I decided to take a risk and try to start my own business in an area (music production, distribution) that I was really passionate about.
What do you attribute your success to?
A lot of my success has come from what I learned at CSUB. By that, I don't necessarily mean the specific content of the courses I took as a philosophy major (except for maybe Political Philosophy), but the more generalized skills that I developed such as critical thinking, improved writing ability, and problem solving
How do you foster creative and innovative thinking within your organization?
I try to give everyone a voice. There are no "bad" ideas when it comes to the creative side of organizing and planning. The first step in solving a problem, or moving the organization forward with creative fresh ideas, begins with brainstorming. We try to come up with as many solutions, if we're dealing with specific problem, or general ideas if we're looking to start a new project as possible. This may take a day, it make take a month depending on the circumstances and urgency. From there, we decide which ideas are the most viable, and then begin the planning process which, hopefully, solves our problem or brings our idea to fruition. Not all ideas or solutions first seen as "viable" make through the planning process. As you are moving along, other unforeseen problems may arise, and depending upon the gravity of the problem, and our resources to handle the issue, we may shelve the planning for another time.
What are the most important decisions that you face daily as a leader in your organization?
The most important decision is where to spend our resources. That doesn't just include money, but also man power and who we want to target as either potential client, or potential gateway to furthering the businesses goals.
What have you accomplished or overcame in the past that you thought was impossible at the time?
Like many young people, during my 20s and even into my early 30s I felt lost. So I turned to drugs and alcohol because it made me feel better. I spent the better half of my 20's battling substance abuse, but I'm proud to say that I came out on top and have kept those demons at bay for quite a while now.
Who is a person that you considered as a role model early in your life?
Definitely my father. He was always striving to better himself and worked very hard (along with my mother) to support our family. Without all my father's hard work I would not have had many of the opportunities I've had in life, including getting my degree at CSUB as well as The Los Angeles Recording School.
Which accomplishment are you most proud of?
I think I am proud of the fact that local Democrats in my area supported me in my bid to represent the 2nd supervisors district as a member of the Kern County Democratic Central Committee, and furthermore that I've been appointed chair of the Central Committee's Subcommittee on Immigration. I'm also proud to be a state delegate for the Democratic Party as well.
Where do you expect to be in five years both personally and professionally?
I have always had political aspirations. If all goes according to plan, I am hoping to mount a bid for a local office (most likely school board, or something similar) by 2020.