A lot of people want to be involved in the music business, and not necessarily as a musician. So many people want that, however, that it is incredibly hard to get into it. Your first hurdle will happen long before you even get started: while studying towards a music business degree. As part of your degree program, you will likely have to complete an internship. Getting an internship in such a cut throat world, where it is often about who you know rather than what you know, can be incredibly difficult. However, there are a few things that you can do to get the internship, even if you don’t have any musical contacts.
Long before you start looking for internships, around the time when you decide to enroll in college, in fact, you need to understand that when you do your internship, you are unlikely to get paid. If you’re not happy to accept this, then don’t bother getting into the music industry at all. That being said, how do you get that internship? Follow these steps to have a shot.
Steps to an Internship
- Find out what you are interested in. Music is huge and includes things like A&R, concerts, online marketing, publicity, radio, marketing, and so on. If you specific what you are interested in on your internship application, you will stand out as someone who knows what they’re doing. Tip: read up on the different elements of the music industry by accessing lots of online information.
- Make a list of the companies of the companies you would like to work for if you could work for any of them. This can be based on your favorite band or artist, or your favorite record label, for instance.
- Get a resume together that rocks. It should be on a single page but have lots of detail nevertheless. It should also be really interesting!
- Get lots of recommendations. Try people that have a link to the music industry, such as bands or record labels, or ask your college professors.
- Start your applications, which is the really hard part. You can generally send your information directly to the companies through post, but also through their website. Your college career office may also have information.
- Remember the golden rules.
The Golden Rules
- Always have a cover letter with your resume.
- Customize the cover letter for each company, by including your and their details. Make sure, if possible, that it is addressed to a specific person.
- Don’t write what everybody else writes (“I love music”). Instead, be specific of you are a fan of, since when, and why.
- Highlight the number of social media connections you have if you are hoping to get into marketing.
- Describe your relevant experience.
With a little bit of luck, this will get you noticed. Follow up, as well. The music business is busy and unless you phone and email to ask whether they have seen your letter, it may just end up lost in a pile.