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Jimmy Iovine Gives Words of Encouragement to the Academy and USC Students

“Roll with the punches.” That was some of the advice Jimmy Iovine shared on Tuesday as he hopped on a Zoom call attended by nearly 200 Academy students, faculty, and staff.

The Academy co-founder spent over an hour giving words of encouragement during a period of uncertainty as USC and much of the nation continue to enforce social distancing policies and remote learning in the wake of COVID-19.

“You all are in a very unusual time in your lives right now,” he said. “But you’re going to learn so much from this. You’ll bring in the roaring 2020s!” Iovine acknowledged that current students are facing something that was unimaginable just a few months ago, but remained resolute in his belief that this generation will adapt and thrive in the world’s rapidly changing environment. He also urged students to listen and follow their instincts while keeping their ears open to new ideas. “Everyone will always tell you your idea won’t work, but what does an entrepreneur do with that moment? Do they run into a wall? No. They feel their way through it.”

As Professor Matthew Manos moderated and relayed questions from Academy students, the Zoom chat was flooded with heartfelt messages of thanks and questions for the co-founder of Beats Electronics and Interscope Records. At a time when many student internships and post-graduation plans are in limbo, Iovine’s words of encouragement and his sense of fearless optimism left many feeling affirmed.

“Be of service … be honest with yourself, and if you think you’ve got magic in a bottle, pursue it,” Iovine said. One student even made artwork incorporating some of Iovine’s remarks as inspiration and motivation for the weeks ahead.




Graphics created by graduate student Vance Gerard.