Explore Issue 01 of LOOP Magazine

Featuring Sam Tompkins and Victor Ray as our cover stars, as well as internal spreads from Girli, Jords, Mysie, Finn Askew, Kara Marni and Master Peace

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Music Industry Internships: How to get one & how to make the most of it once you’ve got your foot in the door.

Getting your foot in the door for that all-important industry experience is possibly one of the most daunting challenges you face when embarking on a career in music. That’s where internships come in. Whether you’re working alongside a record label, a publicist, or a promotions company, internships offer an insight into the workings of the music industry and can help you to build out your CV with hands-on experience.

How to find internship vacancies and know which opportunities are right for you:

Okay, so your dream role in music isn’t most likely to be posted on Indeed – although stranger things have happened! So, where can you look for music industry internship opportunities?

– Linkedin is a fantastic resource for niche industry roles so take some time to ensure that your profile is looking good and regularly check in on their job listings.

– If you know the kind of company that you’d like to intern with then you can also go directly to their site to look for opportunities. Even send a polite email to show your interest and find out if this is something that they offer.

Things to consider when choosing an internship to apply for:

When you are searching and comparing music industry internships there are 3 top things to consider to ensure that you apply for a role that aligns with you.

  1. Is it paid? The creative industries are notorious for unpaid internships. If you find a role that pays, awesome. If it’s unpaid, then it’s important to check in and see if unpaid work is something that you can afford and how valuable the experience is. Also, consider what they are asking of you. 4 days a week, in a full time role, with major responsibilities deserves payment.
  2. What have former interns gone on to do? Dig a little deeper on the company website or via Linkedin to see what former interns of the company have gone on to do. This can give you an idea of what opportunities the internship can open up for you and how it can help you to progress your career in music.
  3. What are you going to learn from this experience? Is this internship actively helping you to gain new skills and move in the direction that you want your career to go? Really delve into how this internship will benefit you.

How to successfully pitch yourself to music brands:

This is your chance to sell yourself! To convince the company of why you are the right person for the role. Here are a few tips for nailing that first impression with a music company.

  1. A killer CV. Take the time to really consider the information that you include in your CV. 2 pages is the ideal max and remember that these companies get a lot of applicants so you want to make it quick and easy to read. If you have time, you can even get creative on how you format your CV to make it visually appealing. Be sure to include relevant experience and explain why this makes you a good candidate. And if you don’t have relevant experience? Find the connection. You’ve worked in hospitality and you’re applying to an artist management company? Play on how good your customer service skills are.
  2. Include samples of your work. If you have previous samples of work whether that’s some writing examples or a portfolio from college, that’s a great way to showcase your experience. And if you don’t have that? Create your own brief and show them what you would do if you were in that role.
  3. Mention the company and why you believe you’re a good fit. Show the managers that you are a genuine supporter of their brand by perhaps mentioning their previous work and why you liked it. Or, tell them why you align with their company ethos and mission. Perhaps they have an emphasis on eco-friendly distribution and this is something that you’re extremely passionate about.

Well done! You’ve secured your internship. Now, how do you ensure that you get the most out of your experience?

Treat it as it were your full-time job

It seems obvious but treat the role as if it were your full-time job. Show up on time, give it your all and be respectful to your work colleagues.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions

No question is a silly question. Don’t be afraid to put your hand up when you are unsure or want a little clarity on something. Or maybe you just have a great idea. Asking questions shows that you are listening and that you have a genuine interest in the discussion at hand,

Network, Network, Network

Networking is one of the most valuable skills you can apply when working in the music industry. Use your internship to establish relationships with those who you hope to work with in the future or who are in roles that you hope to be in. Don’t go asking for a job as soon as you meet someone. Get to know them and build a genuine connection, then you can ask for advice and possibly even support them in return.

Ask for feedback

It’s always a good idea to ask colleagues and higher management for some feedback on your work. Not only does it show that you take the role seriously and care about your development, but also it’s a great opportunity to pick up on areas of improvement in your skillset or work ethic.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

You’re an intern. You’re here to learn and the process of learning naturally involves making mistakes. So try not to be too hard on yourself if you make the odd mistake. Everyone has to start somewhere and you’re not expected to know everything from day one.

Keep in touch with your colleagues and company

Once your internship is over, try to keep in touch with your colleagues and friends, even the company as a whole. If this is somewhere that you could see yourself working full time then express your interest and they may keep you in mind for future vacancies.

Words by Jo Dargie

Posted On 4 October, 2022