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Executive Director, Membership and International

Karen Buse

How did you come to work at PRS?

I started as a temp on a six week or so contract post university. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do when I left university but I knew I wanted to work in the creative industries. I did modern languages for my degree and I also wanted to use those languages in my career as far as possible.

One of the first jobs I did when I joined was matching songs that had been played on radio to the correct writers and publishers – on a very old computer!

Since then I have done various jobs in the organisation ranging from managing distributions with very tight deadlines, to IT project management to International relations. I have worked at PRS for 25 years and I now head up two business units - Membership and International – reporting into the Chief Executive Officer.

What do you most like about working at PRS?

I like the fact that it is commercial and busy, while at the same time a not for profit membership organisation. We are always looking to do the best for our members and it means a lot to me that we are helping the creators of such fantastic music.

I believe relationships are key in this job and I really enjoy developing relationships. I am lucky to be able to deal with a huge range of people in my role and I find it really stimulating.

What would be your advice to someone starting out in the music industry?

Be fully prepared to get stuck in and do anything. Really throw yourself into whatever you are asked to do! If you have a great attitude like that you will learn a great deal, and that’s where opportunities come from.

What is an average day like for you?There is no average day!

There is no average day!

I could be doing anything from speaking to one of my counterparts in a society in Europe - or in fact anywhere in the world - to brainstorming possible ways to protect our members’ income from abroad more effectively, to dealing with a specific complex royalty issue on behalf of a member.

Sometimes I even get to have my picture taken with our members, such as a recent one with Kim Wilde. The first record I bought with my own money was "Kids in America", so that was quite special.

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