Student profile
Olivia Zacharia

Olivia Zacharia

The networking aspect was incredible at Surrey – a lot of modules are shared between the three music courses, which allows for different connections to take place.   

Entry year
2016

What attracted you to Surrey, and what are your fondest memories?

I loved the campus and felt a real buzz from the current students. After looking around the Performing Arts Technology Centre (PATS) and seeing the facilities, I knew that Surrey was the place where I wanted to be.  I think my strongest memory of my time at Surrey would have to be all of the societies that I was lucky to be a part of – my fondest two being Musical Theatre Society and Big Band. Both societies allowed me to experience new things and I made a lot of connections with like-minded people. The socials were also extremely fun!

What were the best things about your course?

I’d say the best part of the course was the variety of modules that you’re able to take. Also, the networking aspect was incredible at Surrey – a lot of modules are shared between the three music courses (Music BMus (Hons), Creative Music Technology BMus (Hons) and Tonmeister BSc/BMus (Hons), which allows for different connections to take place.

What do you do now and what do you find most enjoyable about your work? 

I’m now a musical director within the world of musical theatre. I’ve worked closely with institutions such as the British Youth Music Theatre and the Urdang Academy, but I also play for many West End auditions, as an audition pianist. I’ve also recently started producing Musical Theatre covers on YouTube which are proving to be a huge success.

How did your time at Surrey help you choose what career to go into? 

Through being involved with the Musical Theatre Society at Surrey, I was able to expand my love for musical directing. The connections I made through this society also helped me find work and helped prepare me for future jobs. During my time at Surrey, I also made many connections through the other music courses, who I now work extremely closely with on my YouTube channel.

What is your advice for students aspiring to work in your profession?

My biggest advice would be to take any job possible if you can afford it – even if it’s underpaid/voluntary. Also, treat everybody with respect. You never know where or who your next job is going to come from and when you’re working in an industry that is predominantly based off of networking and reputation, this is incredibly important to remember.

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