Posts Tagged ‘Internships’

I had a week that was so full of the most jolting ups and downs, I had to resist the urge to look for Ashton Kutcher (Punk’d anyone?).

In order:

1. Started managing The Oats (awesome)
2. Confronted my venue internship supervisor (not awesome)
3. Got my purse from the MTA lost and found!! (awesome)
4. Was mugged by a ballsy 16-year-old in Brooklyn (not awesome…don’t worry, I’m fine)
5. Now work 4 days at Ariel and have a 3 day weekend (awesome)
6. Can only sleep on the weekends (not awesome)

I think my body decided to shut itself down yesterday due to some kind of PTSD. I slept 10 hours, then took a 3 hour nap

Because I now have no phone, there is a lack of pictures to document the past week…Also, I’ve been living off of bagels and peanut butter and jelly because he got my debit card. Welcome to Brooklyn.

To fill in for the lack of pictures, I was going to post a visual representation of why Pinterest is pushing women’s rights back few generations, but I decided I needed something soothing in my life instead.

Therefore, I bring you puppies:

 

 

Source: google.ca via Marla on Pinterest

Source: petapixel.com via Sara on Pinterest

Source: via Ashton on Pinterest

 
 

Source: lnkgt.com via Smile on Pinterest

You’re welcome.

Say you’re in school and you only have two, maybe three, more years until you’re pushed into the real world – a place where a degree will not guarantee you a job. You’re best course of action is to find an internship, which can be competitive and difficult to find. So what do you do?

In a word: research. I’ve gathered information from my own personal research, my experiences securing two internships in New York, as well as my peers’ experiences finding their internships, and compiled the most useful and universal guidelines for locking in the perfect company for you.

Plan Ahead

Companies are looking for interns that already have some kind of experience in their field. This may seem unfair to those who don’t have work experience, but there are ways to gain experience that don’t require an internship or hired position. The best way to get experience is through your school and community – Clubs, class projects, endeavors with classmates and friends, etc.

As soon as you know what your goals are, start gaining skills and experience that will help you in your search for internships and employment.

Start Early

Plan to start applying to internships four months before your scheduled start date. That means you should be researching* companies five to sixth months ahead. Many companies begin the intern hiring process early and fill up fast, so the sooner you’re in contact with them, the better.

Remember that it’s better to contact a company before they are hiring than after.

Be Persistent

Persistent, but not annoying. The initial email should include the cover letter in the body (unless otherwise specified) and your resume attached. Be formal, and focus on what skills you can bring to the table.

After the initial email, the accepted wait time for a follow-up is generally a week and a half to two weeks. Often the person in charge of hiring interns is flooded with emails daily, which means they sometimes fall through the cracks. If they don’t respond, don’t assume they aren’t interested; send them a quick reminder (with the original email), and more than likely they’ll get back to you.

Be Interview Ready

I spent HOURS researching how to interview properly. Anything on paper, I’m fairly confident with, but my social skills have taken a long time to develop and are a constant struggle. My best advice is to prepare as much as possible beforehand, and to know the basics, such as:

• Dress appropriately – Overdressing is better than underdressing, but in the music industry, you don’t necessarily have to wear a suit (in fact, it might be better to go slightly less formal, depending on the company)
• KNOW THE COMPANY – I can’t stress this enough…learn everything you can about it; what they do, who they’re associated with, even find out who’s going to interview you and research them personally.
• Memorize your answers – Stumbling over your words is not a great way to make a first impression. Think of a few stories that showcase your abilities and loosely memorize answers to common interview questions.
• Relax! – As difficult as this seems, it can make a huge difference in how you come across to the interviewer. A good tip is to remember that the interviewer is an employee doing their job, and, at one point, they were on the other side of the interview process.

Follow-up

After the interview, be sure to send an email thanking the interviewer for their time. It shows that you are respectful and that you care about the company.

Don’t forget to include an “I look forward to hearing from you,” which can help keep the conversation going.

*Research

Throughout this entire process, you should be looking for companies that are a good fit for YOU. Many times, potential interns focus on what they can bring to the company and filling in their resume, but just as important is the benefits you will receive from the company. If you can, find former interns or talk to employees who work with interns to get a better idea what the day to day will be like. The more information you have, the better match you can make; the better the match, the better the experience.

Some Other Good Advice:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/michaelmatthews/2011/03/31/7-tips-for-internship-preparation/

http://newmusicstrategies.com/2009/05/27/applying-for-your-first-job-in-the-music-industry-7-tips/

http://jobsearch.about.com/od/coverlettertips/tp/coverlettertips.htm

If you have any questions or are in need of advice, please feel free to leave a comment below or email me at musikleigh@gmail.com!

 

Stay tuned tomorrow for a MAGICAL BONUS POST about my recent status as a manager. It’s gonna be awesome.

As someone who really prefers to take on my own projects and would rather work in isolation than with a group of like-minded people, being an intern is a bit of a struggle. There isn’t much choice in the tasks you’re assigned (unless you’re lucky) and a lot of the time there are tasks and projects that have to be split with the other interns. If you work well in this environment, you’ll have no problems. For those of you who prefer a different work situation, I’ve come up with some tips to make the (likely unpaid) internship work for you.

1. Learn From The Little Things

Expect to have a lot of tasks that are time consuming but fairly mindless (more lovingly known as “bitch work”). Taking down messages, updating inventories and databases, running out to get various items, etc. The good thing about these tasks? You can learn a LOT about what really goes into a business. It’s not all about ideas and the “big picture.” All of the tasks that are a little less exciting are essential to making the business run, and even make the company come across as more professional.

2. Don’t Wait Around: Be Proactive

Besides the daily tasks, there are likely projects that you’ll be assigned. Sometimes they are repetitive clerical type projects, but often you’ll get a more creative assignment. There’s actually a lot of opportunity at this point to learn and to prove yourself. If you can come up with an idea for a project that could help the company, you’re a step ahead of the majority of interns. It will also guarantee two things: 1. You’ll get to work on a project that actually interests you and 2. your supervisor will see that you can think for yourself, instead of waiting around for a set of instructions, which goes a long way when looking for a job.

3. USE Their Connections

In all likelihood, the company you work for has a ton of connections in the industry, or they wouldn’t be where they are today. Take advantage of this as much as possible. Any parties, shows, or networking events they host or attend, be in a position to be invited and meet some people! You’d be surprised how many people are as eager to meet (and guide) interns as interns are to meet them. Have a card, and have a smile. It’s hard to go wrong with that.

*The one thing with this is to not push too hard. If it seems like a “staff only” or upper management thing, don’t ask if you can go directly. Also, don’t promote yourself too hard when networking, it should feel like a normal conversation, not a sales pitch

4. Make Friends With Other Interns

They may not have business experience right now, but they are the future of the industry, and it’s always good to have friends who know and trust you. Internships can be competitive, and it can create an atmosphere that fosters animosity, but you can help prevent or reverse that by reaching out and showing that you aren’t a threat. Everyone in this industry has to work together, not tear each other down, if we want to build it up to the giant it used to be.

5. Ask ALL The Questions

Seriously. Your employer and the rest of the workers at the company have so much knowledge. Even if it’s something you’re not directly interested in, learning the ins and outs of the company is essential to succeeding. It shows that you go above and beyond, and (between you and me) can help shine a light on systems in the company that might not be working…which you can then help to fix. End result? They’ll either hire you or find you someplace that will.

I kept it to 5 of the basics, but here are a few articles with a lot more advice:

Internship Success

Advice For Interns

First week down! Fuck, I love this city. Every day has been better than the last and I barely have time to think. So here are some things I did this week:

Snakes on a sidewalk. Because New York, that’s why.

Found a sweet panini place, Funini

Walked for two hours Friday night, passed by NYU

Partied at Cafe Wha?

listened to their pretty damn good house band until 2am, met the guitarist for K’naan (kinda blew my mind)

Saw the sunrise due to inability to sleep at all in this city. I’m not complaining:

On top of exploring New York and being sexually harassed more times in one week than I have in my entire life, I started my internships! I work 5 days a week, two days one place, three at the other, and I seriously love it. The venue I work for has a few interns and we get a lot of bitch work…I kind of prepared myself for it though and it’s good to know all the little things that have to be done just to keep a venue going. I really want to prove myself though and get some responsibilities so that’s not ALL I do this summer. I might go mad if I have to redo chalkboard menus every week (I mean really, I have horrible handwriting, they don’t want that anyway). The other place I’m interning does social media marketing and it’s a phenomenal place to work. There are more interns than there are employees, but we all get so many responsibilities and they really cater to what we are interested in. I’m more excited to go back there than is cool to admit.

On top of getting experience working for those companies, I also get some pretty badass perks: free shows, lots of networking events, free food (sometimes), and making some solid friends in the industry.

I don’t want to sugarcoat anything that happens during my internships this summer, but there are some things I will omit and have to be tactful about. Anything that I feel is important will be on here though. I made this blog for the purpose of sharing my experience and advice and I’m going to stick to that.

Got some suggestions for things to do in New York? I’m such a newbie, I’ve mostly just been walking around finding random places to check out.