David Abdo ’95 Shares His Career Story and Advice at PolyConnect

On March 9, David Abdo ’95 came to campus for a PolyConnect lunch to speak to 25 Upper School students about his career at Disney Music Group. David’s love for music appeared at a very young age. During his high school years at Poly, he engaged in many extracurricular activities including playing multiple sports, programming computers, and performing in bands. At 16, he was certain he wanted to work in the music industry.

After Poly, David attended USC and initially enrolled in the college of engineering, where he studied electrical engineering for a year before realizing he had no real passion for the subject. He then enrolled in the business school and began studying entrepreneurship to get a broad and diversified knowledge of building a business. While there, he developed a business plan for an ad-supported, free to the consumer, digital music downloading service in the late 90’s (before Napster). He used this business plan as a “resume” to get interviews with Warner Bros., Dreamworks, and Disney. His pitch for an online music-downloading program, although ahead of its time, caught the attention of Disney executives. Disney hired him six months later in a new department dedicated to digital marketing and online experimentation.

His role grew over the years with the development of Disney Music Group and Hollywood Records. Today, David is the Senior Vice President of Global Business Operations and Distributions. The past 17 years at Disney have been a whirlwind for David, working on musical projects most recently with Frozen, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Demi Lovato. He says, “I need new challenges, and I have been fortunate to work at a company where I’ve been able to find new exciting things to get involved in.” He holds many fond memories of Poly, and still keeps in close contact with many of his classmates. When asked what impacted him most in his youth, he explained that he was “trained well to talk to adults and superiors, and that training helped back then, and still helps today.”

Polytechnic School, 1030 E. California Blvd., Pasadena, (626) 396-6300 or visit www.polytechnic.org.




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