Berklee Blogs introduces Gabrielle Thornley, a Professional Music major and spring intern, as she begins her internship with The Echo Nest, a music intelligence company that provides the largest repository of music data in the world for app developers. In today’s blog, Gabrielle tells us about the positive vibe she found at her internship while exploring her career options.
I know what people think when I tell them that I am currently a junior at Berklee. The typical responses range from, “So…what do you wanna do?” or “What’s your back up plan?” Music has always been my passion and I recently decided that music will be my back up plan as well. I can envision myself being on that big stage, just me and my guitar, with the audience singing along to my music. But then I thought, “What if that doesn’t happen?” And for that reason, I decided to build my resume and start interning. I was ecstatic when I landed my internship at the Echo Nest, a music data company based out of Somerville. I had no experience doing QA or marketing but was kind of excited to finally explore another aspect of the music industry, besides performing.
When I arrived for my first day, I walked in, with my high heels, to an office full of jeans and t-shirts. An inflatable palm tree stood in one corner, a disco ball hung from another corner, and the girl with green hair lounging closest to me glanced over and said hello. She offered me tea while I waited for Michelle, who was going to be my internship advisor. Michelle gave me the office tour and introduced me to the company’s co- founder, who complimented my YouTube cover video that he stumbled upon while researching the new Spring interns.
As I scoped the area around me, I loved the open office layout, no cubicles to be stuck behind. Finally, we arrived to “Intern Island” as they call it, where I met some fellow Berklee students and alumni, as well as a few Northeastern and Boston College interns. A wide variety of music played over the office speakers, ranging from rap to jazz. After setting up my official Echo Nest email account, my first email was from Michelle explaining how every intern gets free lunch on their first day, followed by a list of about fifteen restaurants to choose from. I could already tell that the Echo Nest seemed like a good fit for me. Everyone made me feel very welcome and the office atmosphere fit the relaxed style of my personality. Over burgers, Michelle explained that I would be training for five days and that my first task would be to pick three genres, sort through the top 250 artists of every genre, and correct mistakes such as spelling, duplicate artist names, etc. While it wasn’t most interesting task, I discovered about 300 new artists that day, and added about 100 new songs to my Spotify playlist.
The next day, Michelle and I opened up with a meeting to go over my task for the day and chat about any thoughts I had about yesterday’s task. She explained that Friday’s are more relaxed in the office, which I definitely noticed right away. Every Friday, the Echo Nest provides lunch which is usually something delicious from a nearby restaurant. At about 4:30, Michelle, myself, and four other interns walked to the liquor store and picked up about 15 6-packs of beer, for the weekly after-work Friday celebration. When the clock hit 5, the office lined up in front of the fridge to grab a beer and relax after a long week of work. I can’t wait to see what I will be working on after training and I consider myself very lucky to be working with such an awesome group of people so far.
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