I can still hear the voices of my professors in my head, “Everything is going to be different in the real world…It’s all about your connections and who you know…You have to be proactive and create opportunities for yourself…” While all those concepts made complete sense while I was still in school, they really started to make sense when the rubber hit the road as I started my internship this summer at Igloo Music.
Igloo Music is a high-end music and post-production studio best known for their work on the multi-Oscar-winning film La La Land, in addition to other films such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Beauty and the Beast. It was founded by Berklee alumnus, Gustavo Borner, who has hired a full staff of engineers who all turned out to be Berklee alumni.
The clients that come through Igloo are extremely diverse, which makes each day different and exciting. In just one day, we could be tracking voice-over for the next big video game title, while another room is tracking the original voice actress of Minnie Mouse for a live show at Disneyland, while another room is mixing a record for an Argentinian artist. My favorite thing about interning at Igloo is that we can actually sit in on sessions, which makes for excellent learning experiences! I’ve been able to sit in on all the types of sessions I described, in addition to many others such as a movie shoot and mixing for a big band record to name a few.
As an intern, my main responsibilities are maintaining studio operations and servicing clients. I arrive at the studio at 8am and typically leave around 10pm or 11pm everyday. As interns, we open and close the studio, take care of all food and drink-related requests, set up for sessions, and assist the engineers with tasks such as mounting drives, editing/prepping sessions, and printing mixes. What I’ve learned the most is actually surprisingly unrelated to the hard skills that Berklee taught me, but related to life skills. This internship has sharpened me exponentially in my ability to multitask, be responsive, and take initiative.
Similar to Berklee, you get out of the internship as much as you put into it. If you never take the initiative to get into a room and watch a session, you’ll always be sitting in the office. And when you get into a room, you learn to navigate finding the right opportunity to introduce yourself, start a conversation, and even ask for other potential opportunities. Since being at Igloo, I’ve connected with Disney’s music director, the music director/producer of La La Land, a sound editor from Warner Bros., voice directors of big video game titles, and many more. Although a lot of the day-to-day work can seem unglamorous, being able to make coffee while taking a phone call while setting the table and finishing an edit before lunch really teaches you how to work efficiently, effectively, and creatively. I’m surprised at how much I’ve already grown professionally and how many connections I’ve made in the short few weeks I’ve been here at Igloo.
So everything my professors told me was right—things really are different here in the real world. It’s tough, it’s fast, and it’s sometimes unforgiving, but it’s also extremely rewarding, exhilarating, and a whole lot of fun.