Gyrl Wonder Leadership Academy
Written by: Pana • August 1, 2018
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 The lovely ladies of Gyrl Wonder kicked off their inaugural Leadership Academy summer program this year with a trip to Atlantic Records to get a taste of the music industry from behind the scenes.

Founded by Tola L, Gyrl Wonder’s mission is to provide and cultivate resources while teaching young women between ages 16-21 how to leverage those tools to facilitate their personal and professional thinking. Their five pillars are self-care, self-image, empowerment, development, and service.

The young women who participated in the Leadership Academy ranged from high school to college students, all excited about the entertainment industry and eager to learn from professionals, specifically women, in various departments at Atlantic Records.

The first topic of discussion was the music cycle itself from the A&R perspective. General manager/Senior VP of Urban A&R Lanre Gaba, and Gyrl Wonder advisory board member, gave the girls an insight into the process of A&R and how she got started in the industry. She explained to the girls that A&R is the beginning process and the foundation of the music itself.

Monica Carreras, associate director of human resources, talked to the girls about the importance of resumes, internships, interview tips, and expectations in the workplace. Raheela Majid, senior director of finance, made sure the girls truly understood the importance of finance and budgeting not only for an artist or professionally, but personally as well. Zeena Koda, senior director of digital marketing, explained to the girls what goes into marketing a new project or artist digitally. Briana Harrison, director of marketing, even broke down just what goes into creating a project from start to finish.

The girls were especially eager to learn about the various departments within the music industry. Having an opportunity to hear from the finance department, the marketing department, and even brand partnerships from the Executive VP Camille Hackney, gave these young women a taste of the various opportunities within the music industry.

As interesting as the music industry is, an important topic of discussion was the importance of networking, how to network, resume building, and obtaining internships in their fields. Each speaker was transparent with the girls and open to answering any questions they had about the industry or advice on how to get started.

The girls were also fortunate to hear from the COO of Atlantic Records Julie Greenwald. She was able to spend time with the girls and stress the importance of women being present and represented in the music industry, especially women of color.

It’s important for these young girls to see women that look like them following their dreams and paving the way for the next generation. Similar to Labella Morenita, Gyrl Wonder aims to uplift young women and encourage conversations on subjects we tend to be silent about.

Following their trip to Atlantic Records, Gyrl Wonder Leadership Academy participated in various mentoring sessions with executive women of color at Teen Vogue, TRL, ABC studios, and Viacom.


To learn more about Gyrl Wonder and how you can get involved, visit & follow @gyrlwonder on IG for updates!

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