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Ciara Graves ’16

Class of 2016
“As a WFS lifer, one of the most important lessons I learned was to be patient and listen. After graduating college in the height of the pandemic, the future felt unstable and unknown—especially when it came to following my dream of working in the music industry. While I don’t regularly have Meeting for Worship anymore, the practice of reflecting, taking time to sit with my thoughts, and remaining patient, is something that has served me during these last couple of years. Being able to ‘just listen’ to others, or even your own thoughts instead of immediately reacting to any work/life situation, is one of the most powerful tools.”
Ciara Graves ’16 graduated from Elon University in 2020 with her B.S. in Music Production and Recording Arts. During her time at Elon, Ciara was a member of the student-run record label called Limelight Records, performed in Elon’s electronic music ensemble called Techtronica, and studied abroad in Germany, Austria, and Hungary for Elon’s “Lives of the Great Composer’s program. Upon her graduation from Elon, Ciara continued her music education and studied Online Music Production at Icon Collective College of Music where she graduated in 2021 and was nominated for 2020 Student of the Year. 

In July 2021, she began her career at Thrive Music as a Marketing Manager, focusing on social media and audience development strategy. Ciara made an immediate impact as she led the marketing campaigns for the single, “Do it To It (ACRAZE mix)” by ACRAZE. The song, which amassed over 12.2 billion global streams since its release in 2021, has 3.4 million videos created on TikTok using the song and received an award from iHeartRadio for “Best Dance Song of the Year” for 2021. For her outstanding work, Ciara received a gold record in 2022. 

Ciara was recently promoted and currently serves as the Marketing Director/Social Media & Audience Development Strategy at Thrive Music. When asked to reflect on what she loves most about her work, Ciara states, “What I love the most about my job at Thrive Music is it allows me to work closely with the artists we sign to the label. Being able to play a role in fulfilling an artist’s creative vision is an absolute dream. Each day is not like the last, and I am lucky to spend my days developing creative marketing campaigns and working with some of the artists who I looked up to as a kid.”

Her advice to the Class of 2023? “The future can be intimidating and unknown, but it’s okay to not have it all figured out. Be patient in this process and enjoy the present because there’s always something new to learn.”
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