Would you like to get involved in the music business? Then you are not alone! Did you know that music businesses who search for interns regularly get around 250 applications for each position? What this means is that gaining an education is absolutely vital if you want to have a chance to get your foot in the door. A music business degree education will also give you a wealth of transferable skills that you can use in a variety of other industries, should you not be able to get in. So what if you don’t have any contacts in the industry, and you want to be considered for an internship, what should you do?
1. Say the Right Words
There are two key words that you can say to put yourself ahead of the competition: “no pay”. Ideally, you will get paid for working, but there are hundreds of applicants who will value the chance of completing an internship above receiving a salary. In fact, around 99.9% of internships in the industry are unpaid, even though research has shown paid interns work harder and deliver greater value. If you’re not ready to work for nothing, however, you’re also not ready for this industry.
2. Know What You Are Interested in
The music business is huge and you have to make sure that you study towards the area you have a real interest in, and that the internship fits with that. If you have taken various elective classes in radio broadcasting, there is no point then applying for an internship in a recording studio. You’re not completing an internship to diversify your skills, you’re doing it to hone in on your skills. Some of the key categories you could consider include:
- Large record labels (do specify a department like promotions, licensing, or marketing).
- Radio stations (again, specify a department like promotions, sales, production, or on air).
- Marketing firms (and again, think of things like online, street, tour, or specialty marketing).
- Small record labels.
- Management companies.
- Publicity firms.
- Music venues.
- Booking agencies.
- Publishing companies.
- Music magazines.
- Music websites.
- Film and television licensing.
- Production studios.
3. Have a List of Artists and Companies that You Admire
By knowing not just about artists, but also all the different companies that promote them (their promotion agencies, their favorite live venues, their talent scout, their record label, their recording studio, and so on), you show that you have a true interest in the industry as a whole. Too many people come in and say that they want to work with Justin Bieber. It is far more impressive if you can say that you want to support Justin Bieber in the way School Boy Records did.
4. Get a Resume that Rocks Together
Your resume is your selling point. A few key things to remember:
- Be to the point.
- Be detailed in terms of describing what you have done so far.
- Be interesting.
5. Get Some Excellent Recommendations
Make sure you are in good academic standing, so that you can use faculty and mentors as references. Your chosen school is your first contact in the music industry, and you have to use that.
One of the key things you will find in the music industry is that you have to be able to deal with rejections. Apply to as many opportunities as you can find, and know that you will probably be rejected to all of them. Don’t let that dishearten you. Do, however, follow up!