Internships are a fundamental first step in your career, especially in the music industry. Many companies will hire their interns in the future, making the connections you form during your internship extremely valuable. But how do you go about getting one? Some positions are not widely advertised, or not advertised at all, and it can feel impossible to get a position in such a competitive industry. Although it can be difficult, it is definitely not impossible! With hard work and the right strategy, you will be able to land an internship in the music industry!
Make a List of Companies/Studios You Are Interested in Working For
The music industry is massive, so there are countless places you could potentially do your internship at. This many options can be overwhelming though, so to give yourself a place to start, make a list of the companies or studios that you would be interested in working for. Think about things like the size of the company, where they are located (Can you commute there? Will you have to move?), what exactly they do, and what types of music they produce. You want to make sure the company and the position are something you are truly interested in or you will not have a positive internship experience. If you are not passionate about the company and what they do, you will not enjoy your internship!
Start Reaching Out
While some companies will advertise internship positions widely, there may be some that are harder to find or not advertised at all. In order to find those ones or to get a position at your dream company, you may have to take your chances and simply reach out to the company asking if they have any positions available. Before you do this, however, make sure you do your research! Look into the company’s history, clientele, projects, and more. Make sure you understand exactly what they do and how you will fit into that!
When reaching out, make sure your email is addressed specifically to the person you are emailing, it is polite and professional, and you outline exactly what you can offer them as an intern. Tell them what you studied in college or university, what sort of qualifications you have, any previous experience, and any applicable transferable skills. Although an internship is a learning experience, you have to have something to bring to the table to start off! Be confident about what you are capable of, without being cocky.
Make Yourself Stand Out
The music industry is competitive, meaning there will be other people applying for the same positions that you are. In order to be the one to land the job, you are going to have to stand out. In order to prepare for your internship hunt, do things that will beef up your resume. These can include relevant volunteer opportunities, joining clubs through your school, or independent projects. Show the companies you are applying to that you are truly passionate about the industry and you are actively involved in it.
Come With a Reference
The music industry is all about connections and reputations! Just like when you are applying for a full-time position, your best bet for getting an interview, or potentially the position, is to know someone who works at the company, knows the person doing the hiring, or knows someone at the company. If you are just starting out as an intern, chances are you do not have very many connections in the industry yet, but just start thinking about who could possibly give you a recommendation. For example, maybe one of your professors or instructors knows someone in the industry and would be able to connect you!
Internships or entry-level positions tend to be lower stakes, so don’t worry if you don’t know anyone who could give you a reference or recommendation. As you begin volunteering, interning, and working in the industry, you will meet plenty of people to add to your professional network, and this will help you with future opportunities!
With these tips in hand, you’ll be sure to land the internship of your dreams! Just remember that even if you feel like you are starting from scratch, with the right amount of hard work, you will be able to get a great position at a great company.