Every time a person makes a transition into a new environment there is nervousness. I remember how anxious I was when I was going to middle school for the first time. I was leaving a small elementary school and moving into a school that had several times the number of students. Plus, I knew that I was going to be on my own much more here. I wouldn't be able to make as many mistakes or slough off on my homework assignments and projects. I found that out quickly enough when I went from classroom to classroom -- another big difference between schools, which took time management skills -- and each teacher had a different set of coursework schedules. Many of them said, "If you are a day late with homework, then you are docked." Not as lenient as elementary school!
High school was another major transition. Teachers' expectations were now, in many cases, the same as they were in college. As a musician, I was less structured than many other kids I knew. I think there is really something different in the minds of musicians and other artists than someone who is going into a more traditional or conventional career such as business or health. Somehow my studies were often placed in second place after my music. That could have gotten me in trouble if I didn't watch for it. When I was sitting in math class and trying to focus on the board and what the teacher was saying, there was often a strong beat of music in my brain that kept me concentrating. Regardless, I made it through high school, with some decent grades, and was moving on to college. Admittedly, this was the biggest step I had taken. I had done some part-time work over the years and been involved with a lot of music ventures with my friends, but now I was truly going off on my own and was in charge of whether I made it not.
That was until I accepted this internship at a music consulting firm. This was going to be an experience different from anything I had before. A true learning experience, I was sure!
When I found out that I was going to work for a music consulting company, I was ecstatic. This is exactly where I hoped to work after I graduated, and now I had the chance to see what it was all about, whether or not I liked the work (what wasn't there to like, I thought), and what contacts I could make during this internship to double my benefits from the time spent. It took me some getting used to setting that alarm and knowing that there was no fudge time like at school. When your employer told you to be in at a certain time, that was it -- earlier, perhaps, but not later. That also meant being careful not staying up too late at night or having too good of a time the night before! I'd be sorry the next day. Even though this was the music business that wasn't as traditional, I knew it was a working environment and didn't like slackers.
Actually, that was one of things I quickly learned. This place was not like sitting around with my buddies and talking about music or just playing around. As soon as I arrived and met some of the people I'd be working with and signed some paperwork, it was down to business. There was a lot going on, and I was going to jump right in and be a part of it. My company was involved in a lot of different things, and I looked forward to learning all about them. It is very different from college, with everyone much more focused, and usually every conversation is about work. My superiors at the different positions are nice, but they are demanding and like the way I work. Our company's mission is to assist independent musicians of all types in order to help further their careers in the music industry: that was pretty serious stuff. Musicians need help setting goals, developing a plan and then setting out to achieve it. We help musicians better understand and relate to this crazy-fast industry, and also help them make connections. What I hoped to learn more about was the marketing end: creating a buzz for the musicians through marketing and promotional efforts.
The music industry is really fast-paced. It's not like working at an accounting company at a desk all day. I quickly learned that this was not going to be any 9-to5 job, where I would come in and just sit down at my desk and make calls all day. Things are always moving even when I get here early in the morning, since the music business never sleeps. I soon realized that I would be working some evenings and weekends, and I'd be doing something different every day. My internship is set up so I'm spending time in different roles, since the company wants to show me how all the departments work. I will be working in positions such as: archive organizer, assistant to CEO, marketing division, mail room, and customer assistance.
I also found that many of the skills that I have already been working on -- like time management, multitasking and communication are really important here. I needed to firm these up, since we help musicians with these same skills. A consultant is like a coach, mentor and, pastor, friend, business associate and human resources person all rolled into one. If I wasn't good at a skill, how could I help someone else? Many times time management and musicians is an oxymoron. Musicians thus come to a consultant who can help them in these areas by providing organization to their business and being able to better schedule their time so that they have the best opportunity for networking, prospecting customers and being hired for musical jobs. In order to have a successful business in the field of music, productivity is essential. Networking at business and social events is the most productive way to get the word out about a music service and to start building a worthwhile contact and referral base. But, this takes organizational skills to get the most work done in the least amount of time.
Through this internship, I hope to learn how marketing is applied in the working field, explore appropriate working relationships, learn how to work in a team to more quickly achieve goals and improve and become faster and more productive in my work. I am finding out that goals that are set are not always automatically learned. For example, I may want to learn more about marketing in an internship, but that may not be one of the work assignments. If that is the case, it is necessary for the intern to either request more information in this area of interest or to actually scout it down. It is not possible to leave everything up to the employer, since the music company may have different priorities and goals than the intern. After all, the company has to reach its own goals, which may or may not be the same as the intern's.
Thus far, I have been fortunate in getting work in the business to correspond to my working goals. Teamwork is always going on at the music business, since that is the only way to get as much work done in a short period of time. People have to work together toward similar end objectives. Such efforts also help me become faster and more productive in my efforts. Yet, this is something that I will continually have to do in all my future work. Marketing is essential to all aspects of the music business. However, since this is the field I hope to ultimately pursue, I am working as hard as possible to be involved with the company's marketing efforts while I'm here. We continually tell our clients that they need to think about networking. No one ever knows who: Even if someone is not involved with the music industry, that person may know someone else who does. An intern needs to do the same. While in the internship, it is important to meet as many people as possible. This does not mean to abandon any work that has to be done for the company in order to meet someone in the music business -- the company's needs have to come first. It just means thinking about networking 24/7.
Mail Room to CEO
While I'm in this internship, I am working in a variety of areas, including the mailroom. That doesn't sound too exciting, and some people may be upset when they heard that part of their internship time was going to be spent doing a manual task such as this. However, there are a number of reasons why this can be beneficial. First,…