From France, With Love: Amber Anderson

Born in Manhattan Beach, but raised in France, Music Production major Amber Anderson has come a long way to pursue her passion of music. She’s been living in France since she was four with her mom and came back to California last March. Before she came to Cal Lutheran, she was working at the retail store H&M. She’s learned a lot through the past years and while she’s older than most of the undergraduate students, she has a lot to share.

                                                                         Amber and her best friend in Ireland

Her Campus at Cal Lutheran:  Why did you choose to major in music production?

Amber Anderson: Music has always been my passion and I was working for a long time in a field that isn’t related to music at all. I decided to pursue my passion and come back to school and music production was really appealing because I want to work in the music business, but I wanted to know my way around a studio first. It’s a skill that I want to learn.

HCCLU: Where were you working before you decided to come back to school?

AA: I was in retail for years. I was a retail manager actually. As a sales associate, I was working for three years and a year and a half as a department manager. After school I wanted to work because I wanted to live in the city and I just fell in love with the company I was working with, H&M. I just stayed there because I really loved my job and then it went pretty fast from there. I went full time and then started managing my department. But then I decided to rethink my life choices and pursue something I’m really passionate about.

                                                                         Amber and her best friends of 12 years

HCCLU: What was it like working retail full time?

AA: It was a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun. I’ve made some of my best friends there and I learned a lot of life skills. I also learned a lot of work skills that are useful for any type of work. I know how to work with a team, I know how to work with upper management, and I learned how to work with the financial side of business. But it was really fun because we also got to collaborate with designers, H&M works with designers to make designer clothes accessible for everyone. I got to do the fashion show last year in Los Angeles and it was an amazing experience.

                                                                 Amber and her H&M team for the HMxBALMAIN collection launching

HCCLU: Where were you working for H&M?

AA: I started in France, two different cities in France and when I moved to L.A. I came back to H&M at the Beverly Center.

HCCLU: What was it like to grow up in France?

AA: It was amazing, I’m really grateful because there’s a lot of art and history, I can’t describe it. It’s very different from here, which gave me another background and more knowledge with traveling, a more open mind to different cultures as well. The cultures within our society are different than the ones here in America.

                                                                   Amber's mom, one of her other best friends, in France 

HCCLU: What’s your favorite thing about France?

AA: The culture in general. I love art, I love history, and we have a very deep history so it’s very interesting. Visiting France is interesting because you can go to so many places and learn so much. There are different cultures in different parts of France and you can learn about each one.

HCCLU: Why did you decide to move back here?

AA: Since I was a kid, we always came back to visit during the summers. When I finally got a job, I was able to come here every year. I always loved it here while I was on vacation and I wanted to come back and live here since I was 10, just because it was the magical land for me. It’s very different and people still dream about America. I also have my family here; I have a very large family in the U.S. and I always missed them when I was in France It’s different to have a lot of people around for the holidays, like Christmas. I was very excited to be able to live close to them. When I finally decided to learn about the music business, it didn’t make sense to do that in France because the entertainment industry is in L.A.

HCCLU: How did you hear about Cal Lutheran?

AA: I was looking for a music production degree, there’s not a lot of those as majors. Cal Lutheran is one of the few universities that offer a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Music Production in California. I looked at college in New York and California, for music production in California I had two choices. I visited Cal Lutheran with my grandma and I fell in love with the campus because it was beautiful and it wasn’t too big, it’s very green and I love that. Everyone I met while visiting the campus was so nice and it was the one for me.

HCCLU: Do you find that to be true now that you’re here on the campus?

AA: Yeah, I still love it. Everyone’s so nice and the campus is so beautiful, we also have a lot of resources on campus as well. The residence halls are pretty cool too, especially Trinity.

HCCLU: What is it like being older than most of the undergraduate students here?

AA: I really enjoyed the campus experience I didn’t get to have. High school and college in France are not like they are here at all, so I really enjoy what the campus is like. My age isn’t really a big deal because I’m still learning a lot because of the major I’m in. Sometimes it’s hard to have that age difference because sometimes you don’t make friends as easily and most of my friends end up being seniors. I end up making friends every year.

HCCLU: What’s the one thing that you’ve learned from all of your experiences?

AA: The main life experience that I’ve had is that the working world is totally different than what you expect. When you get out of school, you think it’ll be fine. But it’s tough and you have to know what you’re getting into. But if you don’t actually love your job, then don’t be in it. It’s really important to love what you do.