Managing Success: A Talk with Jake Udell

Managing Success: A Talk with Jake Udell


If you’ve ever seen Krewella in concert, you can thank Jake Udell for helping put it together. 

Udell, an IU alum, spoke to students throughout campus on Apr. 7 about entrepreneurship, the music business and life lessons learned during his 20s. His stops included a Music Industry I class, a study hall panel at the IMU Solarium and the judging for RECESS Pitch, a collegiate competition for student-run startup companies.  

Udell graduated from the Kelley School of Business in 2011 with a degree in entrepreneurship and was a member of Zeta Beta Tau.  After graduation, he worked as the chief marketing officer for the national chain of Campus Candy. Now, he manages artists - including Krewella - through his own company, TH3RD BRAIN. 

Udell began his career as an entrepreneur at age 13, when he would chase athletes outside hotels for autographs and sell the signed memorabilia on eBay. He continued that into his teen years. 

Once in college, he decided to have a career with a voice rather than stick with sports. He entered the music industry as a recording artist while at IU. Although he was not successful with recording, Udell said his experiences helped get him to where he is today. 

“Through the process of learning about marketing myself and failing, I became pretty good about doing it for others,” he said. 
During that time, members of the then-unknown Krewella wrote and produced for Udell.

He said seeing the group succeed, after having a negative amount of money in their bank account a few years earlier, was rewarding. 

“They just kept getting better and better and better,” Udell said. “It’s been a thrill to have watched it from the very beginning.”
In fall 2013, Krewella’s “Get Wet” live tour sold out 55 shows across the country. Their first album of the same name debuted at number eight on the Billboard 200 chart in September. 

Udell recently started reaching out to other artists. His clients now include electronic dance music artists Pegboard Nerds and ZHU. 

“It’s exciting because we think we’re onto something as far as the way we think,” he said. “As we got to work with more creative individuals, we realize the sky is the limit. We spent so long building Krewella’s story, now we get to build our own.” 

Udell's presentations for the students were in a question-and-answer style. 

“I want to know what questions they have about being a 20-something,” he said. “The normal corporate ladder isn’t for everyone. It wasn’t for me. There are other options.” 

Udell said students can be successful entrepreneurs if they follow their passions and provide value to others. 

“Work hard, create a vision and remember that execution is everything,” he said. “Ideas are a dime a dozen.”

Photo courtesy of Facebook/Jake Udell.

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.

Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

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The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

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The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.

Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Poetry On The Odyssey: Chasing Daffodils

My Vision Is Clear


In the day we chase daffodils

cradling their petals oh so delicately

as they fan their beauty in the sunlight

we hold white knuckled hands

ambling through the meadow

care free

but as the sky grows dark

and our vision blurs

that hand grows claws

painful to the touch, we release each other

and take off,

running so swiftly from the bears and the wolves and the vultures

that we forget to open our eyes

and find strength in each other

To combat these demons

with the force of a thousand warriors,

instead of silhouettes dancing in the night

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