In today’s post, Berklee Blogs follows up with Kayleigh Mill, a Music Business major and participant in Berklee’s Summer Internship Program in New York City. Kayleigh tells us what her day-to-day tasks look like at both her internships and what they have taught her so far.
Three weeks in and I’m pretty confident about what to expect from the day to day at my internships. Time for a sneak peek into the lowest level in the music industry:
The best part about this industry? Waking up early is avoided at all costs. My internship for The Living Room doesn’t start until 2, so I can either catch up on the sleep I didn’t get over the weekend or wake up and get some writing done before the chaos of the world takes up all my time.
Because it’s a venue, there’s a lot of manual work that has to be done. Here’s my morning checklist:
- Check messages
- Rotate posters (get rid of old ones, put up new ones, etc)
- Write the lineup for the night on the chalkboards (I have horrible handwriting so this rarely goes well)
- Water and hang the plants
- Pretty basic stuff that would be a bit of a hassle for the higher ups. After the checklist is finished, I go to my supervisor for tasks. A lot of the time it’s administrative work, like updating the website, writing tweets, or making new sheets for the sound guys.
The best times are when they ask me to look for musicians that could possibly play a show. That involves looking at a list of blogs that feature local or small bands and listening to the top 10 musicians on each blog. Great for discovery, and I’m ALWAYS excited to listen to some music.
I’d like to think my handwriting has improved from doing the listings, but sadly that’s not true…I have been learning a lot about what works for bands and what doesn’t though.
- Bright, professional posters are a must. Make sure to have the date ON the poster. Also it’s better if you don’t send the posters folded, who wants to read a wrinkled poster?
- For the love of God, PLEASE have more than a MySpace. Put down the whip, that horse is dead. Perfect combination? Website, Facebook, Twitter. And of course you can throw in a sprinkling of other websites if it tickles your fancy.
- The name of your band can make you impossible to find, or it can make you stick out. Choose wisely.
- Venues want you to bring a certain amount of people, but most bands don’t live up to their promises. You can use that knowledge to get yourself some more gigs, or pleasantly surprise the venue management.
Ariel Publicity is a digital PR company that works with artists to increase their online presence and guide them in the world of social media. We work exclusively online, so I spend a lot of time on my laptop. There is a lot less every day work to do, so I spend my time on various ongoing projects like:
- Pitching bands to various websites
- Researching ways to increase the reach of Facebook pages (since they decided to make it extremely difficult recently)
- Database cleaning (tedious, but seriously necessary)
- Planning the 2012 Digital Press Conference
If you couldn’t tell, there’s a lot more responsibility working for Ariel. I really feel like I’m personally helping each band I work with (we get to choose) and I’m getting invaluable experience that I can apply to any future endeavor. This is the kind of internship that can lead to a job; not only does it look good on a resume, but it helps add skills and experience that students otherwise don’t get.
Too many to list, but here are the main ones:
- Professional writing skills. I’ve always thought of myself as a decent writer, but the level of thought required to write a compelling pitch has made me up my game like nothing else.
- New marketing techniques and ways to transfer those skills from one platform to another. The internet is always changing, which means a site that’s popular today could change or disappear at any time. Learning the basics and how to adapt to these changes quickly is what keeps Ariel from becoming obsolete.
- Website design and HTML. I’ve learned basic HTML before, but having to create and edit pages of the Ariel Publicity website has cemented what I learned and forced me to teach myself skills I didn’t have before.
- Networking. A lot of social media involves being able to communicate clearly and connect with people online and in person (yes, we do still meet in person on occasion). Personally, this is a difficult area for me, so it’s great to be pushed and surrounded by people who are literally social for a living.
By far the best part of being an intern is the fact that I am constantly surrounded by music. I’ve found some of the best music in the past few weeks and the best part is that I can actually have a significant impact on their success.”
Be sure to follow Kayleigh via Twitter @musikleighalive
Kayleigh Mill is in New York for the summer with two internships in the music industry. She’s been at Berklee for two years with one to go until she graduates with a Music Business degree, and has embraced the opportunities the college has to offer. While at school, she runs the Berklee Songwriters Club as well as the Ski/Snowboard Club, is on the board of the Berklee Fitness Club, and writes for The Groove.
After graduation, Kayleigh plans to move to New York to pursue her entrepreneurial ambitions, as well as experience as much of the music industry as possible. You can read her full blog at musikleighalive.wordpress.com or email her at email@example.com.