Southwestern Sun Talks About my Career

This is an article about me written by Gina Hernandez of the Southwestern Sun, Southwestern College newspaper. NOTE: Throughout the article I spotted several mistakes & fixed them. To read the original article directly from the Southwestern Sun website, click here .

Multi-talented student mentors young musicians

Pauline France could not decide between a career in music or public relations. So she decided to do both.

A talented guitarist and writer, France has made great strides on the path to her dream career as a public relations executive in the music industry. She gives Southwestern College and her professors much of the credit for her achievements.

France recently returned from the National Association of Music Merchants in Anaheim. There she rubbed shoulders with music industry giants like Carlos Santana, Taylor Swift, and Maná.

“It was such a great experience and I was glad to attend,” she said.

France lived her first eight years in Chula Vista, but her family moved to Tijuana where she completed third grade through high school. After high school she came back to Chula Vista and attended SWC in 2003.

“Southwestern College has done a lot for me, the teachers helped prepare me,” she said.

France attended SWC for six years. The first four years for France were mainly to just further her career, develop her musical talent and to narrow down what she wanted to major in. She said that she was not sure what she wanted to do. With guidance and motivation from her professors she was able to mix her passion and education, and head toward what is now her dream career.

France graduated from SWC last spring and she said she enjoyed every minute here. Her last two years were well spent, she said, and she kept busy by joining campus clubs and the college newspaper. An ardent environmentalist, France was active in the Earth Science Club and attended the ASO Leadership Retreat.

“The retreat helped me tremendously and gave me a huge boost in my self-esteem,” she said.

Her new confidence helped her to perform with her guitar before thousands of people.

Now an SDSU Public Relations major who plans to graduate in 2011, France is paying for college by teaching guitar to children and teenagers. She also has an internship with the National Guitar Workshop.

France began playing the guitar when she was 15 and living in Tijuana. A friend suggested they start a band and young Pauline was tabbed to play guitar although she did not know how. The band never came to fruition, but France has never put down the guitar. Her mother enrolled her in a music Conservatory, Centro Hispanoamericano De Guitarra.

“It was sort of a spontaneous thing,” she said. “I never imagined that it would take me where I am now.”

When France began she wanted to play rock, but the conservatory focused on classical music. She was told to buy a classical guitar. She has been an instructor for seven years and teaches all styles except blues and jazz. Classical and pop are what she enjoys teaching the most, she said.

In July 2009 France attended a week-long program in New York at The National Guitar Workshop, a prestigious music academy. She went into the guitar teacher certification program and is now authorized to teach at credentialed music schools.

“I’ve always had a love for teaching, so I thought it would be good idea mixing both my passions of teaching and music, and it worked out beautifully for me,” she said.

France said that she enjoys making people happy and the most rewarding thing about her job is when her students learn. She also plans to continue working in the music industry.

“Eventually I want to represent bands or musicians and be their publicist,” said France.

“My advice for students who have any desire to succeed is to keep in mind that they have to crawl before they walk, and it’s a process in which you have to be very persistent,” she said.

Dr. Cynthia McGregor, music theory professor at SWC, was France’s teacher and has kept in touch with France and guided her through some career paths.

“Pauline is a beautiful person and I am very proud of her,” said McGregor.

McGregor said everything France has accomplished is fantastic and she deserves it all.

Michele Haggar of San Mateo College in San Mateo, is a long time friend.

“She really knows how to brighten up a room and I am not surprised how successful she is.”