Berklee Blogs introduces Valerie Teicher, a Music Business major and spring intern, as she begins her internship at BMG Chrysalis, a rights management company representing publishing and recording rights, as well as at The Windish Agency, an independent NYC booking agency serving musicians, bands and DJs. In today’s blog, Valerie tells us about a welcome opportunity to get to know her coworkers better and insights into her future career…
This past week was particularly interesting at BMG Chrysalis in terms of office dynamics. Since moving into a new office at the beginning of the year, it seems that the employees have taken it upon themselves to plan out a variety of activities and office-wide events to bring everyone together and build a fun sense of community at work.
We had the first ever office-wide open mic, at which various coworkers performed and showed off their many musical talents. It was great seeing how so many of the people I am surrounded by on a daily basis are all musicians as well, and getting a chance to watch them in their element outside of the work context was really interesting. It was especially exciting because I was able to perform a couple of songs, teaming up with a coworker who has become a good friend. We played a cover and an original song of mine, and it was great having a chance to share that part of myself with those at work, and getting positive and supportive feedback from them. Overall, this activity really allowed me to get closer with my coworkers—I was able to develop a musical relationship with my coworker who learned my original song and accompanied me on guitar, as well as getting to know those who performed better through their own creative expression. I can see on a deeper level how activities like this in the workplace really help to boost morale and strengthen relationships within the work dynamic, while maintaining a fun and energetic atmosphere.
The type of work I have been doing at both BMG and The Windish Agency has so far remained quite consistent throughout the past weeks. A mix of administrative and somewhat repetitive tasks, with some more hands-on, creative input has described my experiences in these places. I am grateful that even the smaller, less meaningful tasks I am assigned at work are still things that contribute to the flow of the office in a meaningful way—coffee runs and such are barely a part of my day-to-day.
That said, I can’t say that most of these tasks have directly transferred into a career trajectory that I see for myself down the road. The times where I felt the most motivated and in my element have been those where I was seeking new music and artists to recommend to my bosses. The A&R side to the business, where I have been able to pitch my own opinion and musical taste to those at work who actually have influence on which bands/artists get attention, has been the most rewarding, and I would say this is more on the side of what I would like to do career-wise.
I still feel that some of the more concrete elements of my work have been well influenced by my education at Berklee, but I have also realized how much of my personal interests, drive, and personality have come into play. I truly think that an internship is what you make of it, and if you put your own personal twist into everything you do—whether it is your relationships at work, how you interact with people, the way you present your work—you will get much more out of it. I think in the long run, this has a greater weight on your overall experience than specific parts of your education, and I think this rings true within the music industry at large.
I am still trying to have realistic expectations in terms of both internships. From the start, I have not expected to come out of this with a job offer, but I have realized that doing both of these internships has broadened my network so much, and I will walk away with plenty of opportunity at the end of it, whether it is a structured job or not.
Read Valerie’s Other Posts:
Valerie Teicher is a singer-songwriter and music business student from Vancouver, Canada. Originally from Bogota Colombia and having lived in several places throughout her life, she has a diverse background with a wide range of influences and interests. Having switched paths from studying psychology at McGill University in Montreal, Valerie attended the summer program at Berklee and was granted a scholarship for full-time study. Since then, she has immersed herself in the business major and has continued to build on her songwriting and performance skills. She is currently finishing her last semester, completing two internships in New York City at The Windish Agency and BMG Chrysalis, while working on her first EP as a solo artist.