December 31, 2010

Top 10 Posts of 2010

For New Year's Eve we're revisiting the most popular posts of the past year. Or really few months because we haven't been around for a full year yet. So thank you so much for reading, it means a lot and we're so glad to be able to help and provide you with some insights and opportunities. It has been an amazing several months and we're looking forward to continuing to grow with you, adding more advice, hearing about your experiences, and posting more. Have a wonderful 2011 and always feel free to get in touch with us if there's something you need.


Intern Opening: Communications/Marketing
NARM, in Marlton NJ is looking for an intern. They still are, so check it out and apply.

How GRAMMY U Can Help You Start a Music Career
GRAMMY U is a great organization that provides opportunities and education for college students who want careers in music. Find out all about it here.

Music Industry 101 Quiz
The first of our recent weekly quiz series. Test out your knowledge of the music industry and see how it compares to the average score. Hopefully learn something along the way.

What to Wear for an Interview (Part 1)
I think the title is self explanatory, part 1 of a two part series on what to wear at an interview

The Elusive Major Label Job
Tips and advise on how to get a job at a major label.

8 Music Tech Careers
Career descriptions and opportunities for those interested in working with tech, sound, recording, etc.

Post-Interview Etiquette
What you should do after your interview and what to do during the interview to set yourself up well

So You’re Thinking About Law School
Everything you need to know if you're thinking about becoming a lawyer

What To Put on A Business Card
Business cards are extremely useful, but what do you do when you're an intern, student, or recent grad?

What Is Entertainment Law Anyway?
What exactly to entertainment lawyers do and is it for you?

December 28, 2010

What Not To Do: Don't Muddle Through Without Asking Questions

"That was a stupid question!" Yup. You may have heard that one before. But as cliche as it may sound, there are no stupid questions. Really. However, there are some questions that will make you look unprepared.

Some things you can do to avoid this are:
  • Do as much research/prep work humanly possible. As I've already touched on, admin basics are a must. Additionally, do research on the company you are working for before you start, and continue to follow their news and their present role in the industry. Research on the area of the industry you are interning in is also valuable (ie. label operations vs. concert promotion operations, etc.)
  • Do a quick Google search, if possible. You have the internet at your disposal. Lots of questions can be answered with a little bit of quick research. This obviously can't apply to all things, but if it is possible, take that route before asking super basic questions.
That being said, you ARE there partially to learn something, so don't be afraid of asking questions. It's much better to ask a question and feel a little silly, but then do the process correctly, instead of accidentally hanging up on people when you're trying to transfer them. And don't wait too long to ask questions when you have them. Asking them right away makes you look proactive. Asking them after you've messed up something simple 20 times does not help your cause. Here's a great scenario that someone I know had with an intern: you manage to put ALL of the CD inserts in sideways because you didn't understand why you couldn't get them in and refused to ask. How one does that, I do not know. But it happened. Don't do that. If the first one doesn't look right, just ask. Really. They're going to forget you asked sooner than if you put all of the CDs together incorrectly without asking and don't seem to notice there's a problem. Definitely not impressive.

There are also such a things as GREAT questions. If you do your research on the company and the area of the industry you're interning in, you will then be able to ask informed questions that will actually illustrate that you know a thing or two, instead of making you look silly, and allow you to gain the sort of insight from professionals that you hope to obtain through your internship. This will impress your employer, and you will learn more than if you wasted time asking where you should make a copy of a document since they only seem to have a photo copier.

--Anna

Legal Interning Tip #3

Legal interning is generally not very different from any other kind of interning. Here's the third of many tips I will be posting that are especially helpful when you are working in a legal office (read the others here and here):

Avoid saying no.

Depending on what your interning situation is, you may find yourself helping out more than one attorney in more than one department. If someone in the tax law department asks you to research something, accept the assignment enthusiastically. The point of your internship is to learn as much as possible, and who knows, maybe you'll find that you enjoy the topic just as much as any music-related topic. You want as many people on your side as possible when it comes to future recommendations and landing a job. Having a reputation as a hard worker goes a long way.

That said, DON'T say yes if getting all of your work done on time is a physical impossibility. There is no need for you to be pulling all-nighters in order to accept everything that comes your way. Be realistic and tell the attorney that you have a lot of work that is due soon, but if she doesn't need it right away, you think that you could get to it next week. You haven't said no, and this effectively puts the ball back in the attorney's court to either say that it's not that important or to find someone else to do it. The point is that you didn't waste her time by saying that you can complete something in time when you can't, you didn't have to pull all-nighters at the office to get everything done on time, and you have come off as professional and responsible to the attorney.

December 27, 2010

What to Wear on the Job

Most of you, that are college students, are probably ending your winter break and are about to head back to school. Hopefully this also means starting an internship. We've talked about what to wear at the interview, but in some ways it can be even more stressful to figure out what to wear on the first day: you want to both fit it, be yourself, and make a good impression. That's a lot for one outfit to accomplish, so what exactly should you wear for the first day at a new internship or job?

Think About the Interview
You likely interacted with at least a few people during your interview and hopefully had a chance to walk through the office and observe the work environment. You should start by thinking about what you saw people wearing around the office. This includes thinking about the style, level of formality, trendiness, colors, etc. Did you a lot of clothes that look like they've come off the runway? Did you see jeans sneakers and laid back t-shirts? Did you see business casual? Or maybe a combination, such as suit paired with a t-shirt and sneakers? Understanding what employees wear will help you figure out what is expected.

Step It Up

Now that you've figured out what is likely expected, you should step it up a notch for your first day in order to make a good impression. Basically, whatever you determine is the trend for clothing at that company, you should start by wearing something slightly more formal and slightly more conservative. If you see sneakers try a formal flat or simple heels. If you see t-shirts try a nice dress shirt or blouse. If everyone is wearing suits then you should wear a conservative suit and tie or dress suit for women. If everyone is dressed like they belong in a fashion magazine then you should wear a professional version of the recent trends. For instance, for women it's easy to wear a ruffled blouse (since that is a big trend right now) and cute knee length pencil skirt, with trendy shoes and accessories while keeping it both professional and trendy.

General Guidelines
In general there are a few overarching rules you should follow when planning your outfit for the first day:
  • Keep it slightly more formal and conservative than what you expect to wear normally
  • Don't wear sandals or flip flops your first day, even though they may be allowed later
  • This also applies to jeans
  • Avoid showing cleavage, too much legs, too much arms, or really too much skin in general.
  • At most companies it is ok to have trendy items and more creative, expressive clothes and casual clothes
  • Don't wear anything obscene or offensive, this applies generally speaking, not just your first day
  • Generally, don't wear anything too sloppy or look like you just rolled out of bed. You still need to look put together and nice
  • Generally, don't wear anything ripped stained or anything else that doesn't look nice
  • Don't wear anything you would wear to a club. Unless maybe you can tone it down by pairing it with a jacket, leggings, flats, nice pants, etc.

Holidays in the Music Industry

It's been a little lax regarding updates recently on here and especially on our Twitter so I wanted to take a moment to explain both that and something about one of the benefits of working in the music industry.

For the most part this time of year, the music business shuts down. Artists stop touring, records are rarely released, radio is playing year end countdowns and Christmas music, and most offices close. In general, this doesn't just mean for Christmas and New Year's either, it actually means for a few weeks. (Again, this is a generality and doesn't apply to all offices or positions, some offices remain open and some offices only require certain people to come in- so don't get your hopes up just yet). Still, generally speaking, if you work in music, you are probably on vacation right now until the New Year.

Sadly, this also means there is very little going on and very little news and stories to share with you all on Twitter. So, I hope you're not feeling forgotten, it's just that there really isn't much to post because everyone is probably on a tropical island somewhere (I wish I were, it's too cold!) or just relaxing at home.

We will of course keep blogs coming fairly regularly and will resume our normal schedule (such as quizzes on Monday, news on Wednesday, etc) here in the new year and we have some good stories and ideas lined up for you. I imagine some of you will be starting new internships then too so in the mean time follow our new year's countdown for tips of what not to do on the job to be sure you impress (rather than annoy) your new boss. Also, feel free to get in touch if you need specific advice, all of our emails are on the about page.

Happy Holidays everyone and, as always, thanks for reading!

-Katie R

Interview Checklist

All set for your big interview coming up? Here's a quick checklist of things you'll want to make sure you have/do to help the interview go smoothly.



  • RESEARCH THE COMPANY
    At the very least, visit the company's website. Make sure you know what the company does and the type of client they cater to.

  • INTERVIEW ATTIRE
    Make sure your interview attire is clean, ironed, and ready to wear. For more on what to wear, view my other posts -- Part 1 & Part 2.

  • RESUME PRINTOUTS
    Sometimes interviewers print out copies in advance, but just in case, bring 3-5 printed copies of the latest version of your resume.

December 24, 2010

What Not To Do: Don't Be So Inconsistent That The Only Reliable Thing About You Is Your Unreliability

Life happens and throws some great curve balls sometimes. You will undoubtedly have moments where you get sick on the day of your big presentation, your car won't start, your train is delayed an hour when you timed it precisely to get to an important meeting, your dog pees in your favorite shoes, and you will be running on 4 hours of sleep because your artist kept you waiting up for them the night before you have an early morning appointment ... again. Or maybe that's just me.

Regardless of the details, reality is that life isn't perfect. There might be times where you can't control being 10 minutes late, or you were so overwhelmed that you aren't going to meet a deadline. The trick is that those situations need to be the exception, not the rule - especially when you're making important first impressions and are trying to prove yourself as an intern.

Since you're young and new, people will discount your capabilities, even though you could be the future Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg or Kevin Liles, who became the President of Def Jam after starting as an intern only 9 years prior. Greatness is within your reach. But it's up to you to prove the naysayers wrong. And even if your boss doesn't think that way and you don't have to work against the youth stigma, don't do things that make you look like a big flake. When a great opportunity comes up that they could connect you to, don't create the situation where they give it to someone else because they think you'll blow it.

Remember: being reliable builds trust; being unreliable destroys it.

Though there could be a book on this topic (I'm sure there actually are many), to illustrate, here are some of the unreliable things you should avoid doing:

December 23, 2010

What Not To Do: Don’t Show Up For Your First Day Without Basic Skills

So you landed your first internship. First, let me say congratulations! Now, let’s talk about basic preparation. While you will be doing quite a bit of learning on the job (we hope), if you don’t have the basic skills down, you’re going to waste time during your internship when you could be learning more interesting things (and not make a good impression on your employer). Most companies take interns because they are over-busy and need help, so if they have to take the time to do your work over or show you how to dial a phone, they aren’t going to be thrilled.

Whenever I’ve had a new intern, I’ve tried to be very understanding, as I’ve been in their shoes before. However, there are some things that I’ve seen that don’t inspire a whole lot of confidence that I can trust the person with anything more complicated than handing me the mail. Here are a few things that will concern me, and most employers (these are based on real experiences and have not been exaggerated):
  • You can’t figure out how to use the photo copier – when there are even instructions above the machine. It should be self explanatory, but if you have a feeling you may have a problem with this, please visit FedEx/Kinko’s prior to your first day and practice. Yes, I’m serious.

What to Wear for an Interview (Part 2)

In What to Wear for an Interview (Part 1), I strongly suggested sticking to a classic, professional look for the interview even if the employees typically wear jeans and a t-shirt. But, ok, what if you want to show a bit more personality with your attire and wear something to stand out from the other employee potentials? I'd advise you to let your personality shine through the interview itself instead of through your clothes, however, here are some tips for things to watch out for lest you become like Belly-Shirt Girl, the young woman who has gone down in office infamy for her slightly exposed midriff.

December 22, 2010

What Not To Do

Today was planned to be the first day of my "what not to do" New Year's countdown. Unfortunately, what ended up happening is one of the things you will learn quickly in the music business - the hours will be longer than you anticipate, and you will have to figure out how to deal with issues you never dreamed you would ever need to try to solve. And like a lot of people in this business, I have more than one job: my full time day job, and management in my "spare time" (read: all the time). But, alas, it IS worth it and I really wouldn't have it any other way. And, I will, of course, make it up to all of you tomorrow. I need an intern.

Understanding Radio Formats: CHR

The relevance of radio these days is probably a topic worth debating. I imagine some of you never listen to the radio at all while some of you still find most of your new music on it. Radio may be waning but regardless, you need to learn the old industry model before you can fully understand new ones. So today's post, with more to come on each format, is part of helping you do that.

Whether you want to be an artist, a manager, a label executive, a marketing consultant, a radio promoter, a DJ, or perhaps even a producer, it is important that you understand that genre constraints of major radio stations. This will help you understand why certain stations play the music they do and how to position an artist if you are looking to get airplay.

December 21, 2010

New Year's Countdown and New Blogger

You may have noticed so far that the blog has mostly focused on the positive sides of being an intern or new hire in the music world, as in what you should be doing. The trouble is, though, that even the best interns and young professionals can seriously screw up an otherwise great experience by making a few key mistakes. Sadly, the "best" of these mistakes tend to live on in offices for years, while the person involved goes down in infamy. Usually, these poor people become "the girl who..." or "... guy." Actually, I think that was already mentioned once in Katie H's post about interview attire, where she talked about how to avoid becoming "belly shirt girl." Moral of the story: if you want a successful career in the music industry you should also be paying attention to what you shouldn't be doing. We expect more of our readers and don't want you ending up branded as the intern or employee no one actually wants to work with, so we're introducing a new column focused on what to avoid in the workplace. It will be launched on Wednesday by our new blogger, Anna. A new year brings new opportunity to be your best self and make the impression that could set your career on the path to greatness. Be sure to check in through the next few weeks for the New Year's count down so that, in the new year you are the person to hire.


Anna holds a degree in Music Industry and has worked in the music business for several years with a specialty in Marketing. Her experiences as an intern included acting as the direct intern to the CEO of the distribution arm of major label. She has served on panels at music conferences and been interviewed for various music industry news pieces, including one in CMJ. She spent several years as a Product Manager at a nationally distributed indie label, and then was promoted to Label Manager. Currently, Anna works for a national music industry trade organization in the Marketing and Communications Department. You can contact her at Anna@internlikearockstar.com

December 20, 2010

Changing the World

An awesome and insightful friend (and actually future new blogger, but more on that later) said this to me today and I think it's begging to be shared because it's so true. So, don't listen to the naysayers and don't be afraid to change the world.


"Mark Zuckerberg is only 7 months older than me and he was in college when he created the insanity that is Facebook. People need to realize that just because you're a kid in a dorm room that nobody knows doesn't mean you don't have it in you to change the world." - Anna Drozdowski

Monday Quiz: Music Publishing

This week's quiz is about music publishing, test your knowledge and hopefully learn a little something



Free game suggested from Quizz.biz

December 17, 2010

Recommended Reading: Hypebot

If you follow us on Twitter you've probably heard of Hypebot, because a lot of the news articles we tweet come from there.  You also may have heard of it through here recently because I had a guest post on Hypebot the other day. But, I'd recommend reading the blog on a regular basis. Hypebot is a music industry blog focused on new technology, the cultural changes created by it, new business models, innovation, and independent artists and labels.

The site always has the latest news updates on the music industry in general as well as longer essays and think pieces about the state of the industry in general. It's one of my favorite resources for keeping up with industry news as well as trends and innovative, new ideas.

Hypebot

How GRAMMY U Can Help You Start a Music Career

Every February celebrities line the red carpet and music lovers gather around their televisions to enjoy the performances and see who will win the night's big awards. You probably figured out that I'm talking about the GRAMMY Awards, but did you know that the same organization responsible for those illustrious statuettes can also help your career?

The GRAMMYs are held by The Recording Academy, a trade organization of the music industry. GRAMMY U is the college branch of the academy and allows college students to enjoy the benefits of a regular academy membership with additional benefits from GRAMMY U itself. I interviewed Caitlin Vivian, the GRAMMY U Rep in Philadelphia, to get some more info on the program, its benefits, and how you can join. She described GRAMMY U as "a network of college students pursuing careers in the music industry" and explained that it provides "events and tools geared towards networking and providing information about what students can do to jumpstart their careers."

December 16, 2010

Finding a Real Job

If you're a graduating senior then graduation is approaching rather quickly Unfortunately for you, the industry is still not in great shape and the job market and economy as a whole are still going through some tough times as well. So, this pretty much gives you two options: let the odds get you down and give up now, or get proactive.

Honestly, in the music industry, unlike your friends in engineering or accounting, you really shouldn't expect to find a job this far in advance. So, you shouldn't exactly start a job search just yet. But, I also know most of you are on winter break now and are probably spending that time catching up with old friends or sitting on your couch watching tv and movies or playing video games (I was guilty too). There's nothing wrong with taking this time to relax, but try take just a few hours out in the name of productivity to get things on track for when it comes time to apply for jobs (I'll post some more on that later).

Here's some steps you can take now to put yourself in a good position later:

Guidelines for Submitting Demos

This is in a sense part of our series on becoming a music producer, but it actually applies to several career options including bands, songwriters, producers, and anyone else who needs a demo to advance their career. I've reviewed more awful and ill-prepared demos than I could count and there are certain key mistakes that will probably get yours thrown in the trash pile really quickly regardless of talent.

So, here's what you should keep in mind when preparing to send a demo

Do NOT send it unsolicited
When you send an unsolicited demo you are not just trying to be persistent and determined, you are wasting your time and your money. It's a legal thing and no matter how cool your name sounds or how lucky you think you are, it won't be listened to at all. There are a few exceptions to this, but there really aren't enough to make it worth it. It isn't a personal thing, it's a legal thing and it's not going to change any time soon. Fortunately, in most cases, getting the ok to send a demo can be as easy as calling and having a nice and respectful conversation with the person you talk to. Don't be too pushy, don't start singing to them (I've had this happen and I promise you will come across as crazy, not talented or persistent) or trying to play them music (speakers on phones aren't suited for that), and don't act like you're the next big thing. Just tell them about your music and ask if it'd be ok if you send a demo. If they no, that's where you can be persistent and determined, by calling back every few months or so to check back. You can also use your network to try to find a contact at the places you are sending demos and get in that way.

Put Your Contact Info on EVERYTHING


December 15, 2010

Perseverance

The music industry is a tough place to break into and, often times, a tough place to work. I imagine if you're reading this you've probably had at least one person tell you that you're crazy for thinking you'll "make it," I certainly have.

I hope you're too stubborn to listen to them and far too busy plotting your move to New York, London, or Nashville to care.

In this industry, you will probably get fired or laid off fairly often, you will have days on top of the world followed by days where nothing goes right, you will hate your job one minute and love it the next, and you will spend far too many hours each week in your office or studio while your friends are at home relaxing.

Wednesday News Item: Potential Sale of EMI

If you've followed the the news on the music industry recently you've probably heard that EMI may be history in the near future. This would obviously be an interesting and important development, but how exactly did we get here and what will it mean?

The Past
Terra Firma, a private equity firm owned by Guy Hands made a deal with EMI in 2007. The firm invested in EMI and Citigroup issued a loan to cover the rest of the deal. After a few rounds of layoffs and successful quarters with improved profits and sales figures, it sadly still seemed the deal was not the best move for Terra Firma. In 2009, a case was launched by Terra Firma alleging that Citi has misrepresented the value of EMI at the time of the deal. In the mean time, EMI has required several additional investments from the firm to avoid defaulting on the initial loan.

The Present

December 14, 2010

What Is Entertainment Law Anyway?

Whenever I tell someone outside of the music or law world that I'm going into music law, they always smile and say, "That's great!" And then they ask what it means. So here's a quick primer on what music lawyers actually do.

There are two basic areas that entertainment lawyers practice in: litigation and transactional law. A lawyer will generally specialize in one or the other.

Litigation
A litigation lawyer is a trial lawyer. These are your Atticus Finches and your Cousin Vinnys. He drafts complaints, engages in discovery (which is basically evidence collection), conducts depositions, makes motions, and argues in front of a judge and/or jury. When you watch courtroom dramas this all looks very glamorous. In reality, it's often not. The discovery process can take years, and there's always the chance of the parties settling before you even make it to court. Getting to argue in front of the United States Supreme Court is like winning the lottery. But you will eventually have your day in court, and you will get to write a lot of threatening letters in the meantime.

Katie's Post on Hypebot

If you haven't seen it yet then please be sure to check out my guest post on Hypebot today.
Why Are Some Records Outperforming Singles

Huge thanks to Kyle Bylin for posting it!

December 13, 2010

December 12, 2010

Recommended Reading:Guide to Music Publishing

New Songwriter's Guide to Music Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Make the Best Publishing Deals for Your Songs

With fast paced changes of technology these days, nearly any book dealing with publishing could be out of date the minute it itself is published. So, while this book is a bit out of date, it isn't actually a big weakness. Instead, it makes it the perfect place to start when it comes to understanding the publishing industry, whether you're a songwriter or not. 

Author Randy Poe does a great job of explaining complex legal terms and ideas in simple, easy to

December 09, 2010

Becoming a Music Producer Part 2

Last week we discussed here what a producer does and that one of the best ways to get your music out there if you want to produce for a big artist or a major label is to get a producer manager. But, how exactly do you go about doing that?

This week is about what you can do to start building a reputation to impress a manager.

Find Your Sound
You need to figure out who you are as a producer. Obviously, you will grow and evolve over time but the producers bring a certain vision and sound to a recording just as band's have their own sound. Howard Benson, Mutt Lange, and Timbaland all bring a different style to their recordings and artists and labels seek out their work for that signature sound. So, to have an appeal as a producer you need to find your vision and your approach. The best way to do that is probably through experimentations and listening to a lot of different music and producers.

Build A Portfolio

Wednesday News Update: Spotify

There's a been a lot of talk this week about Spotify and it's impending release in the United States. So, what the heck is Spotify and why should you care?

Spotify is a music streaming service available in Europe that lets users stream ad-supported music for free up to twenty hours a week. Unlike Pandora, it is not like a radio station. It actually lets you listen to anything you want- an entire catalogue, an album, a playlist you've created, etc.  It has been available in most of Europe for quite a while. So far the company has been having some trouble with its attempts to launch in the US because of a lack of cooperation from some of the major labels.

December 08, 2010

8 Music Tech Careers

So you’ve decided you want to pursue a career in the tech side of the music industry, but you’re not sure precisely what you want to do. Music today permeates all forms of media, and in many different ways. As such, there is a growing amount of career paths that you can choose from. Here are 8 music tech jobs (in no particular order) that you should look into.
By Jason Meredith (Flickr: Enrolling Stones in the Studio) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
1) Recording Engineer – The figurehead of the tech side of the industry
Artists write songs, artists perform songs. That’s all well and good, but when it comes time to put the song on a CD, or get an mp3, artists generally aren’t the people for the job. This is where the recording engineer comes in. These are the guys and gals who hold the know-how in terms of getting the songs on a tangible medium. “Set up and run the session smoothly, and get recognized for doing so” are words to live by for any recording engineer. The less technical stuff the artist has to worry about, the better. A good engineer will know which mic to put where, and which compressor and EQ to use. A great engineer will have his signal chain down to a science.

2) Mixing Engineer – The magic make-it-sound-better guy
Often, the recording and mixing engineers are one and the same. However, sometimes a fresh set of ears is needed to do the record justice. The mixing engineer’s job is to make everything sound as clean as possible. Leveling and EQing are of the utmost importance to the mixing engineer, but that doesn’t mean his job comes completely without artistry. You can work your creative magic during mixing by adding little tweaks here and there, using reverb to get a sweet and full sound, or adding a whole list of effects to get the feel you are looking for. Play around with the record a bit. Run a drum track through a guitar amp just to see what happens, double the vocal track at -12dB and reverse it just for funsies, do whatever it takes to make your client say “whoa”.

3) Mastering Engineer – The finishing touch

December 06, 2010

Media Quiz Monday

Something a little different for you on this Monday. Instead of the usual music quiz, today's quiz is brought to you by Katie H about basic HTML. If you're interested in learning more about HTML, www.w3schools.com has some great free tutorials and quizzes!


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December 05, 2010

Becoming a Music Producer Part 1

If you're interested in pursuing a career as a producer you're sadly in for one of the toughest careers in music. But if you know where to start it can be a little bit easier.

Obviously, the first step is being sure you understand what a producer does and that you actually wish to be one. Production isn't about just getting the music recorded and sounding good, that's more along the lines of what an engineer does. Production is kind of like what a director of a movie does. A producer's job is to set a vision, a sound, and a goal for the record and a good producer tends to have his or her own distinct sound and style.

Beyond that, there are a few steps you can take to get going in the right direction and we'll be covering them over a series of posts (I'll be tackling the business side and Alden will cover the tech side). Today we'll be talking about one of the best ways to get your music heard: a producer manager.

December 03, 2010

Post-Interview Etiquette

You wrote a great cover letter and put together an impressive resume. You've figured out what you're going to wear, thought of some questions to ask your interviewer, and tried to get some sleep the night before. Still, there's a few things to keep in mind as you head into that interview that will make your life a little bit easier after the fact.

When should you expect to hear?
Try to ask this at the end of the interview and use it as an opportunity to express your interest again. For instance, you could say something like "I'm really excited about this opportunity and would love to work with you, when should I expect to hear something?" This demonstrates your interest again, which is good, but it will also help calm your nerves. There's nothing like waiting around hoping for a call after that interview to find out if you got the job. The trouble is some companies may call you in a few days and some may take a few weeks. Finding out what to expect can help you to stop worrying about it later and give you a better idea of when you should follow up again.

A little more personal

Recommended Reading Friday

I'm not sure how it got to be Friday so quickly, but I'm definitely not arguing.


Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing out of Sync?


Meatball Sundae: Is Your Marketing out of Sync?


The recommendation today has an odd title but the material is extremely intelligent and insightful. Then again, I wouldn't expect anything less from Seth Godin. The book basically talks about how marketing has changed and the trends in technology and culture that have created these changes. I would especially recommend it if you are interested in working with indie music but it really contains great information for anyone interested in marketing, promotion, or business. If you don't know who Seth Godin is then that's another reason you should pick up this book, or any of his other books for that matter, they're all very smart and innovative. Seth himself is essentially a business genius who writes about marketing, leadership and general business. If you've ever heard the term "permission marketing" that is thanks to him- he coined it. All of his books are fairly short but full of thought provoking material and written in a captivating, easy to understand conversational style.

December 02, 2010

Intern Opening: Communications/Marketing Department Intern at NARM

NARM  is looking for interns for the upcoming term. NARM is an industry trade organization, located in New Jersey, best known for its annual industry convention. They hold a lot of other great educational and networking events and act as advocates for the industry. Its member base includes everyone from ISPs to major labels. NARM is looking for an intern for their Communications and Marketing Department for January-May, preferably full time. Click to read more and view the full job description and if you have any questions you can either email Anna (her info is included after the jump at the bottom) or ask me (Katie@internlikearockstar.com)

-Katie

What to Wear for an Interview (Part 1)

Quick interjection first from Katie (other Katie, now there are two of us) to introduce our new blogger. She doesn't exactly work in the music industry, but a closely related media field. She has a degree in Digital Media which includes everything from graphic design to digital animation and she currently works at a company that designs mobile friendly websites. She's here to contribute some general career advice for the creative industries and can give some great insights on design, new media, social networks, etc. So enjoy the first post from out new blogger, Katie H. ! - Katie R.

So you've dazzled them with your resume, blown them away with your exceptional oration skills (if you've had a phone interview), ensured that nothing shady cropped up in a Google search of your name, and in so doing have scored an in-person interview for a prospective job. Congratulations! But oh, dear! Whatever will you wear?

For an interview, you really can't go wrong with the classic button-up shirt, black blazer, and dress pants. I know, I know.. there are some companies where the standard attire may be jeans and a t-shirt and you may be afraid of giving them the impression that you're a business snob. The truth is that the real message you would send is that you're a professional and you take this company and its position seriously. I donned the more conservative look in my interviews for my college internship as well as for my first full-time position and both companies were business casual.


To help you select your perfect interview attire, I have compiled the following list of things you should keep in mind:

December 01, 2010

Wednesday News Item

This is another new initiative on my part, to try to share with you one interesting news item each Wednesday and talk about its influence on the industry. Today's is about net neutrality.

You've probably heard this term mentioned at least a few times before. But what is it? Net neutrality is essentially the way the Internet has always operated (in America at least) and it means that service providers, such as Comcast and Verizon, and the government can't control how user's communicate, what they have access to, what equipment they use, etc. It means that you are free to use the Internet as you wish without having sites, content, or anything else blocked or prohibited and that companies can't pay money to make their site load faster or be favored in any other way. The FCC met today and established a day, the 21st, to vote on various issues surrounding net neutrality and most Internet companies are not happy with their most recent proposal.

So, why is this important to the music world?

November 30, 2010

Legal Interning Tip #2

Legal interning is generally not very different from any other kind of interning. Here's the second of many tips I will be posting that are especially helpful when you are working in a legal office (read the first here):

Don't be afraid to ask questions or find your own answers.

Whenever you are given an assignment, ask any questions that come to mind right away to make sure you know exactly what you are being asked to do. As I am working, I like to write down any questions that pop up on my legal pad. Often, as you continue to research, you will find yourself answering your own questions. Although doing a little extra research in order to answer your own questions may cause you to take longer to complete the assignment, I find it is often worth it in the long run. Answering your own questions means that you are not constantly bothering your attorney for easily found information, and you are more likely to remember the answers later when you figure them out for yourself.

Once you have narrowed down your questions to essentials that you cannot answer yourself (either at all or within a reasonable amount of time), quickly stop by your attorney's office, - don't forget your legal pad! - ask if he has a minute, and clear up any confusion or doubts that you may be having. You can now complete the assignment with confidence, and your attorney will be impressed when you hand him exactly what was asked for.

November 29, 2010

November 26, 2010

Recommended Reading

I'd like to start a new weekly post of sharing some sort of recommended reading item with you every Friday. As you probably know the music industry is constantly evolving and is fairly complex without all these new changes. One of the best ways to stay informed and educated is to read a lot: blogs, news articles, books, etc. So, to help you out I'll share one recommendation each week along with a link to each item.

If you were old enough in the late 90s to pay attention to the radio then you probably remember the song "Closing Time" by Semisonic. The drummer of the band wrote a book detailing the struggles and adventures of the band during their career and it is by far one of the best books I've ever read on the music industry.  It is non-fiction but written as a narrative and can help you learn about the different aspects of the music industry, like radio promotion and the A&R process, through an entertaining first hand account. Also, it is one of few books that tells you what the industry is like from the artist's perspective. It is interesting, entertaining, informative, and a great read! You can check it out at the link below.

So You Wanna Be a Rock & Roll Star: How I Machine-Gunned a Roomful Of Record Executives and Other True Tales from a Drummer's Life

November 24, 2010

Thank You!

Sorry to say there's no music industry updates for today. Instead, for Thanksgiving, I wanted to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for supporting this blog. I'm so glad to have a chance to try to help you make your dreams come true by providing you with the information you need to do it, that was my dream. I'm here to help so please reach out and let me know any questions you have or any advice or info you need or if I can help you look for a job, anything really, that's what this is all about! Enjoy the holiday and have a wonderful thanksgiving and thank you, again, for all of your love and support!

Katie
katie@internlikearockstar.com

November 23, 2010

What to Put on Business Cards, Part 2

If you've been to a networking event then you know how useful business cards can be. Offering your card to a new contact is usually the best way to get their card in return. Yet as a student, recent grad, or intern it can be pretty overwhelming and frustrating to figure out what to put on one for yourself. Check out Part 1 for some more insights.

What You Need To Know

  • You can be a little more creative with your card if you intend to work in a creative field, still be sure to keep the design clean, simple, and professional
  • If you don't actually have a real job in the career you want yet, you shouldn't just put what you want to do as if it were your title. Just include your name, email, phone number, the degree you are pursuing if you are a student and perhaps future graduation date, and any other contact info you wish to include. 
  • If you think this simple information is not enough you can use the back as a sort of mini-resume by including a few points or phrases summarizing your knowledge and experience. Again, keep it simple. 
  • You can also include a picture to help jog their memory and brand yourself. However, be sure it is a professional looking image and not your Facebook profile picture. If you do decide to include a picture of yourself, then it is a good idea to continue this branding effort by using it on professional social networking sites as well. 

November 22, 2010

Music Quiz - Thanksgiving Edition

In honor of Thanksgiving, this music industry quiz is dedicated thank yous in album liner notes and at award shows. So test your knowledge.





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November 19, 2010

Music Experience Outside NY,LA, and Nashville

It's pretty likely that you know that some of the best places to be if you want to work in the music industry are New York, Nashville, and Los Angeles. So does this mean you're doomed to failure if you live somewhere else? Well, it's all about what you make of your situation and here's some tips to help you make the most of it and find great experience (almost) anywhere.

Two Things (Almost) Every Area Has
No matter where you live it is fairly likely that somewhere near you there is a venue and a radio station. So, if all else fails these are great places to look for internships and other opportunities. There may not be much of a music business near you but even the smallest radio stations and venues can help you gain an understanding of the industry. Working at a venue can give you exposure to new music and artists and an understanding of careers in concert promotion. Experience at a radio station can help you understand what goes into running one, how music is selected, and can teach you about radio promotion. Even if these aren't thing you want to pursue as a career it is a great way to get an initial understanding and experience to put on your resume.


The Power of Google

Learning from Rent

I just returned from seeing a local production of Rent, a show I'm sure most of you are at least somewhat familiar with. You are also probably familiar with one of the central themes of the show: learning to focus on the present and live each day as if it were your last. However, you may not know that the show was written by Jonathan Larson, who never even lived to see the show performed. At least, his dream lives on and has clearly become a cultural phenomenon. After all, who hasn't at least heard the song "Seasons of Love?"How does this relate to you and your career, though?

In some way, we can all learn to apply Rent's "No Day But Today" to our lives.  Learn to focus on the present and give your all to make the most of each opportunity you have. Don't let mistakes you have made in the past drag you down by focusing on your failures. Instead, learn from them and turn them into success. Pursue your passion, not just what you think will earn you the highest income, because when you love your job it will rarely feel like work. Try to find a way to take at least one step towards your goals each day. Don't just "network," build real relationships. Avoid getting caught up in the stress and serious nature of work life, in most instances, you're not trying to cure cancer and most mistakes you make can be fixed with work and time. Take chances, fight for what you believe in, and try something that terrifies you every once in a while, if it doesn't turn out as well as you'd hoped, at least you will learn something. Don't compromise yourself, your voice, or your morals in favor of fortune, people can see through the inauthentic anyway. And, of course, remember to have fun.

November 17, 2010

How to Get a Major Label Job: College Reps

We've already discussed that one of the best ways to do this is to get your foot in the door through some other job or connection and that one of the best times to do this is while you are in college. There is, however, another advantage to working towards a major label job while you are in college that we haven't mentioned yet: college rep programs

I, Nananère [GFDL], CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons
What It Is 
A college rep is a college student who works for a major label and promotes upcoming record releases, shows, and artists on and around a college campus. It is a great way to make connections and learn about the music industry, plus these jobs usually pay. Have you ever seen posters for Kelly Clarkson or Lady Gaga around your campus? That was most likely the work of a college rep.

What You'll Need
If you want be a college rep you'll need

November 16, 2010

When To Do An Internship?

So you know you want a career in music and you keep hearing how important internships are, but you're still not exactly sure what you should do with that information?

ASAP
The real answer to the question of when you should do an internship is as soon as possible. Preferably, you should start getting some music industry experience as soon as you realize you want to work in the music industry. Practically speaking though, this is not always possible. This brings us to the second point.

College

Legal Interning Tip #1

Legal interning is generally not very different from any other kind of interning. Here's the first of many tips I will be posting that are especially helpful when you are working in a legal office:

Always have your legal pad.

When you first arrive at your desk, you should have some basic office supplies waiting for you (unless your new boss failed to alert the right people that you were coming!). These will likely include pens, post-its, and a legal pad. This legal pad is your new best friend. Whenever you walk into an attorney's office, you should ALWAYS have your legal pad and a pen. Assignments are often very detailed, and you may get more than one at a time. Taking good notes from the start ensures that you won't forget important details or be back later asking about something you were just told. If you miss a crucial detail or forget one of several assignments that you were given at once, you will have just wasted both your and your attorney's time. Attorneys don't like to have their time wasted, and the next time she needs someone for an assignment (or maybe even a full-time position), she will ask someone else.

- Lauren

Twitter: @musicn3rd

November 15, 2010

Music Industry 101 Quiz

Take this simple quiz to test your music industry knowledge, and hopefully learn a little too.

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Fear

There are plenty of reasons to avoid working in the music industry. I imagine, though, that if you're here reading this, you're just crazy enough to accept the challenge of overcoming them, because you know that for every reason someone could give you to stop trying, you have plenty of good reasons to keep fighting.

Perhaps you are too determined to let anyone stand in your way, or maybe you just can't see yourself doing anything else. Still, there may be something else keeping you from reaching your full potential, and that may be you and your own fear.

Fear is a powerful, often subconscious, emotion that may not always be logical. What's stopping you from finally taking that risk? Of applying to your dream internship? Of talking to that person at the networking event? Of moving to the city you've always wanted to work in? Of giving everything you do your full effort?

November 12, 2010

The Elusive Major Label Job

If your dream job involves working with famous artists, record releases, award shows, and countless top 40 singles, you're probably meant to work at a major label.
I, Nananère [GFDL], CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons
With the continued consolidation of the major labels and near constant layoffs, getting one of these jobs can be particularly difficult. So here's a few pointers that may help you land that coveted major label position.

Get the Internship First
The best way to get a job at a major label is to get an internship at one, preferably the one you want to work at. You will meet people, get experience, and prove that you can do the job. It is also far easier to get your foot in the door as an intern than as an employee. More importantly, it makes the next two tips possible.

Find the Hidden Job Market

Writing a Cover Letter

It can be far too easy to look up some example cover letters online and follow them when it comes time to write a cover letter. Most of these letters follow a common format and essentially require you to fill in the blanks. Sure, it can be a good place to start if you're having a bit of writer's block and have no idea where to begin. However, you should never really rely on them as a blueprint for your own cover letter.

Why not? Well, imagine for a moment that you are an employee of a record label, or any other music business, and are in charge of hiring interns. This means in addition to your usual work you now need to take time to look through applications, read resumes, and set up and conduct interviews. Music related internships are extremely competitive and each opening is usually met with far more applications than necessary to fill the position. So, there are a lot of applications to go through with very little time to do it.

November 10, 2010

So You’re Thinking About Law School

Think you look pretty snazzy in a suit?

Enjoy arguing over semantics?

Thinking about entertainment law?

Hold on – not so fast.  There are a few things that you should know about law school and entertainment law before you crack open that LSAT prep book….

1.     Don’t do it for the money.  This is the first thing that everyone will tell you about law school in general.  If you are thinking about law school solely because you don’t want to live in a box for the rest of your life, you are doing it for the wrong reasons and will be miserable in and after law school.  Just because you have a law degree, you are not guaranteed to make six figures.  Most lawyers don’t.  Not only that, but there is currently a lot of controversy about the number of new law schools opening up that are churning out more lawyers than the market needs.  That combined with the recession makes the competition for top jobs fierce.  Unless you go to a top law school or graduate number one in your class, don’t expect to be rolling in dough any time soon.

Thanks and New Bloggers

I want to take a moment to thank you all for reading, following, interacting, and providing feedback. The goal of this blog is to provide information to help you all realize your goals of working in music and it is great to actually be able to do that. The blog has had more views this month so far than it did total for any month in the past, and that's really exciting! You will, however, be seeing some changes around here in the near future, some have already happened, and they're all good changes.
Here's an overview of what to look for now or expect in the future

  • Alden is our awesome new blogger writing about issues related to careers in tech, sound, recording, etc. All those things I don't understand quite so well. Check out his two blogs so far, look out for more, and feel free to reach out to him at Alden@internlikearockstar.com
  • Lauren is our other awesome new blogger. Her first post will be up momentarily. She's a law student studying to be an intellectual property lawyer and will be contributing blogs related to careers in the legal side of the music business. You can get in touch with her at Lauren@internlikearockstar.com 
  • I will soon be adding a page with bios and contact info for each of us for you to reference 
  • There may be some other bloggers joining in the near future, I'm working on that
As always, thanks for your support and be sure to get in touch or comment if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas! 

November 08, 2010

Pro Tips for the Budding Audio Engineer

Everybody who works in audio hears the following tips at least once in his or her life, so what you are about to read may very well be redundant to you. Having said that, every time I get this advice, I am reminded of how absolutely true and important it is. Some of these points are common sense, others perhaps are not, but simply remembering them is enough to trigger an “aha!” moment and put you on the right track. Without further ado, here are some tips for up and coming audio engineers.
By Jason Meredith (Flickr: Enrolling Stones in the Studio) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
1. Practice
Possibly the most rewarding thing you can do with your time is to practiceyour craft. If you are a composer, write something; an engineer? Edit and mix something. It’s incredibly important to make sure your skills are in tip-top shape, and the best way to do that is to practice every day. This might sound like a lot, but it’s easily manageable. For instance, you could try what I call the “Hour Scramble”. Try and block out an hour every day where you can sit down at your favorite DAW and work uninterrupted. Your goal for that hour is to come up with a short piece. It could be a 1-minute diddy, or even just a short 8-bar theme. Whatever the case may be, put your all into it. Consider the sonic space of the work, mix accordingly, and try to make it sound as good as possible. The point of the exercise isn’t to make the best music in the world, it’s to give you a chance to try new things in an environment tailored to your work process. This allows you to develop your skills at your own pace, and could even result in you finding a cool new trick to use when you’re working a job!

2. Network

What to Wear on the Job

Hate the idea of wearing a suit? The good news is you've picked the right career path then. Unless you're headed for a small handful of labels you likely will rarely touch one in the music industry. This good news can present a few problems though. For any other student it is pretty easy to know what to wear to an interview or on the job, usually a conservative suit. But what should you wear if your dream job is in music?

On most jobs, you will dress very casually. Most companies' dress codes have very few rules, and any that do exist are usually something along the lines of look put together and don't wear anything offensive or too showy. A typical work outfit will likely include sneakers, sandals or slightly dressier shoes paired with jeans and a reasonably nice shirt or band t-shirt. You should, of course, dress up a bit more on the first day to make a good impression. 

So what does this mean for the interview? Well, I'll save that for another post. 

-Katie 

November 06, 2010

The Future of Music

Someday, our generation will be running the musc business (that is our goal here, after all isn't it?). Right now, though, is the time to think about the legacy you wish to create and start building it. What do you intend to do when you finally get that dream job or the coveted corner office?

Will our generation's legacy be one of great music or mediocrity? Innovation or status quo? How will the generation sued by the RIAA handle running it? Are you here for the "sex, drugs, and rock n roll?" Or are you looking for something more?

You may not have the power to influence things now. But someday you will. You will have your own interns, assistants, and perhaps even your own company. The question is, what will you do when you get there and what can you do today to help make that happen?

November 04, 2010

What to Do With A Bad Internship: Part 2

This is part two of a series on how to handle a bad internship. Part one can be found here and deals with how to try and fix the problem. This post addresses what to do when you feel like you've tried everything.

Look on The Bright Side
Learn to be a little more optimistic. Yes, your situation may be terrible, but is it really unbearable? Have you learned anything? Made a new friend of contact? Does the company have a great reputation? It is fairly likely you've at least gained something good from this experience. However, there are certainly some truly terrible internships out there. Try to figure out whether yours is truly one of them or if you've just spent a little too much time focusing on the negative.


Evaluate Your Options
Should you quit? Before you do anything that drastic you should take the time to think about your options. If you do, can you find an internship somewhere else? Is this internship required for school? Will you destroy relationships and risk losing contacts that can hurt your career later on? How much time is left in your internship, can you tough it out? Don't just quit because you're frustrated, be sure to evaluate the long term effects


If You Must, Then Quit With Tact
If you decide your internship is truly awful, you have the worst boss in the world, you haven't learned a thing, you count down the minutes till you get to leave each day, and you simply cannot stand to spend another second on the job, then perhaps you really should think about quitting. However, don't just quit suddenly or cause a scene. Think of way to do so politely, thank them for the opportunity, and be sure to leave things on a good note. The music business is a small place and as much as you may love to, you're better off not causing a scene.

November 02, 2010

Internships for the Music Tech Major Can be a Pretty Tricky Thing


I want to interject first and introduce you to our new blogger, Alden. He will be focusing on advice specific for music tech people and anyone who's interested in a career in production, composition, live sound, or any other similar music career. I'll add a page soon with bios and more info and you can always reach out to him directly at his email at the bottom of this post. But, as a quick overview, he's done several tech oriented internships, holds a degree in music industry, and currently works designing sounds for video games. I'm glad to have him helping and to finally provide better advice to those of you interested in tech and sound!  Enjoy his first post.
   - Katie

Internships for the Music Tech major can be a pretty tricky thing. There’s a lot to balance and a lot to handle when considering pros and cons of any job opportunity, especially so in the music industry. The following are some helpful tips for finding, and retaining, a great internship in the tech side of the music industry.

1. Find out what you want to do

This might seem kind of strange. You’ve already chosen to be a techie, so you already know you want to sit behind a recording console in a studio, right? Maybe. Then again, maybe not. There are literally hundreds of careers out there to choose from. You could be a front of house engineer at a live venue. Why not be a mixing  engineer for TV or film? Better yet, why not compose the music for TV or film? Ever wonder where the sound effects for video games come from? To use an extremely cliché term, the possibilities are endless. Your first priority in finding an internship is soul searching. Figure out what you want to do, and what you need to do to make it happen.

2. Research

November 01, 2010

Networking: How to Get and Build Contacts

This is going to be a multi-part series, starting with Part 1 here focusing on how to actually start conversations and get some new contacts at a networking event. It can be tough, especially if you're not particularly outgoing and social.

Rely on Easy Conversation Starters
This may sound a bit silly, but if you're feeling a little apprehensive about starting a conversation with someone you don't know, there are two classic ways to do so without needing to actually just walk up and introduce yourself: stay near the food or use compliments. When you're standing in line for drinks or food at a networking event it is pretty easy to turn to the person next to you and ask them if they know what something is, where they found the plate, or if they've tried a certain dish yet without much pressure. Then, it is even easier to turn that into a more formal introduction once you've already broken the ice. Another way to break the ice in a similar way is to complement someone. Who doesn't love being told you like their earrings or t-shirt? Start a conversation about something someone is wearing and then introduce yourself.

Bring or Find a Friend
Usually, the one person you really want to talk to at a networking event is also the person everyone else wants to talk to too.

October 20, 2010

Internships Search Checklist

If you intend to intern somewhere in the spring, now is the time to start looking. It can be a little overwhelming to perform an internship search on your own: there is a lot to keep organized and a lot to prepare. To help you out, here is a basic check list (roughly in order) of the steps you should take along the way to finding that dream internship. Keep in mind though that the timing of each of these steps can vary greatly by company and each has its own timeline. Always be polite and respectful and try to be patient when waiting for feedback or information.

Spring Internship Checklist/Timeline

Research and Applications
-Do some research on different types of internships and companies

-Determine what geographical area you want to work in

-Research companies in your area of interest and gather contact info or career site links

-Meet with any contacts in the industry to see how they can help you

-Prepare or retouch your resume and have someone review it

-Start creating a list or spreadsheet of companies you'd like to apply to

-Contact each company to find out more about potential jobs, ask if they take interns, find out how to apply, etc. Be polite and professional, this is your first chance to make a good impression.

-Do some research on the companies on your list to personalize your cover letters

September 27, 2010

What to Do With a Bad Internship: Part 1

Have you ever had an internship that made you feel like you were in The Devil Wears Prada? While that movie was surely (let's hope) a bit of an exaggeration, the bottom of the career ladder in media and entertainment careers can be a little rough sometimes. Odds are, you will have at least one bad experience so here are some tips on how to avoid or get through a bad situation. This section, part one, will focus more on solving the problem and part two, coming soon, will provide some advice on what to do what you just can't take it anymore.

It's Not Them It's You
First, try to take an honest look at yourself and evaluate the effort you've demonstrated so far. Are you taking initiative? Showing up on time? Doing the work you were given without complaint? Communicating effectively? Working to earn your boss's respect? Dressing in an acceptable manner? If things aren't going well and you're not getting the opportunities you'd like to there's a chance it is because you have not demonstrated that you deserve it yet. Before you blame your boss and decide he or she is terrible take a look at yourself and see if there is anywhere you can improve.

September 21, 2010

Ego: Keeping it in Check

Ever met a person who was so cocky it seemed they thought they'd made your life better just for showing up? My guess is yes, haven't we all? I'd also be willing to bet you weren't exactly a fan of this person. So, it seems logical to suggest your interviewer won't like you if you assume you will be so good that the company would be stupid not to hire you or that you pretty much make the place better just by being there. I've heard some complaints from people about the egos of college grads over the past few years and clearly you don't want to be the subject of these complaints. Here's a few things to keep in mind to keep your ego in check.

1) There is always more to learn
Even if you've had great experiences at other internships or are working on a degree in music industry or production, there will always be something you still don't know. Especially today, with the constant updates in technology, even veteran music executives still have new things to learn. So don't think just because you know a thing or two you should automatically get the job.

2) Be confident not cocky
Of course, it is still important to believe in yourself and abilities and to show it. There can be fine line between outspoken and preachy and friendly and forceful and it is important that you find that line and tread carefully.


September 04, 2010

Make the Most of Back to School

By now everyone, including those on quarter systems, should be back to school. Whether you're a senior realizing you'll need to face the real world soon or a freshmen figuring out how this whole college things work, it is never too late to get a head start on your career.

Get Involved
There is most likely some organization on your campus somehow related to music that can help you gain some sort of experience and meet other people into music. Of course, most places have a choir or band and a lot of schools have radio stations. Otherwise though, it may take some creative thinking. Your school's newspaper probably has an entertainment section. The television station could lead to some experience in film, great if you'd like to work in publishing. Maybe the theatre group needs someone to run lights and sound, great experience for working in venues.

August 23, 2010

Rules for Email Marketing

The Approach
Essentially, an email list is about permission marketing, as in someone has agreed to let you send them promotional materials. That is important to keep in mind. It means that your mailing list is about trust and it is important that you keep it that way. There is no better way to alienate potential fans than by adding them to your email list without consent or exchanging lists with other bands.

The Info
Don't send out an email about every little thing you do (this applies to tweets, fb updates, etc.). No one particularly cares what you ate for breakfast. Unless maybe you're Justin Bieber. At the same time, don't just use it to sell records or tickets to shows, include a little personality (though again, not by sharing mundane details). It is extremely easy for people to hit the spam button the second your email list becomes impersonal (or too personal).


August 17, 2010

Building Your Personal Brand

These days it is easier than ever to find out way too much information about just about anyone. I'm sure you're guilty yourself of googling some people or facebook stalking. You probably also know that employers do it too. This means that you both can and should use it to your advantage to portray a professional, well informed, experienced image. Here are some tips:

Get Rid of the Evidence
Most things you post online are permanent so you should be careful what you post in the first place. However, if there is anything lurking out there that can and will be used against you but is deletable, you should delete it. This could include photos of you drinking or anything else you wouldn't want your boss to see.

Make Use of Privacy Settings
This is pretty self explanatory, but if there are profiles you don't want potential employers seeing you should block them. However, you cannot count on this alone, they may be able to find you anyway through a common friend, network, or even just a change in security settings.


August 13, 2010

Music Jobs: New Media

One of the newest jobs in music, or almost any field for that matter, is new media. In fact, because of the increasing importance of technology, it is probably one of the fastest growing careers in the music business too. So, here's some info on what a new media career might involve.

What they do:
New media is exactly what it sounds like: working with any forms of media that are new. This could mean working with direct to fan marketing, social networks, widgets, youtube videos, mobile, etc. At the lower levels of this career it can be extremely tedious and often requires lots of updates social networks. It also involves good people skills and an ability to build relationships with contacts at different sites and write messages (copy) that appeal to fans of each artist.

Potential skills:
This can range depending on the company and the specific job but generally should know at least basic html, css, and photo shop. You should understand how to build a following online and help and artist engage existing fans while attracting new ones. Some jobs require more advanced web design knowledge including flash, PHP, SQL, etc.

How to get experience:
In some ways this can be the easiest to get experience in: learn the applicable codes and programs, build your own social networks and get a following for yourself. This shows places you apply that you know what you're doing. However, online marketing and planning for a band is a bit different than for a person or other brand so use that self-built experience to get an internship.

Other Info:
This job will likely continue to evolve drastically over the coming years. If you want to work in this field it will require a knowledge and interest in culture, new technology, and media trends. You should be the kind of person who find the newest thing online before your friends. For instance, the first of your friends on FourSquare or the one who was on Twitter when your friends all thought it was useless.

August 11, 2010

3 Tips on Writing a Cover Letter

How long will you spend reading this blog post? Probably not very long.
So, how long do you think someone will spend reading each resume in a huge pile of applicants? Probably even less.

How do you get past the trash pile and even get your resume read in the first place? In most instances, a good cover letter is the key.

Don't Be Everyone Else
The purpose of a cover letter is partly to convince them to read your resume and partly to get an interview (this is in conjunction with that resume you're trying to get them to read). So you should sound like yourself and be yourself because the person you portray in your cover letter is precisely who they will be expecting to interview. This means you don't have to necessarily follow the form letters you find online or even write what your career advisor tells you to write. You should follow some general rules and guidance, like being positive and explaining why you want to work at that company, but you should be yourself, not what you think everyone else is expecting you to be.

Grab Their Attention
Remember those hooks you were taught to write in 8th grade English? Now is the time to tap into those skills and use it. The person looking to hire is going to read an awful lot of cover letters, you need to give them a reason to want to read yours. So don't start it with "I am Jen and I am a music major at Awesome University..." Do you even care to read that?

Make It Professional
Be sure to look up some info on how to write a formal letter and follow the format. Use proper English and be sure to proof read and spell check. Change the letter to fit each company and explain why you want to work there.

What To Put on A Business Card

If you've ever been to a networking event you know the power of a business card. But as an intern, student, or new grad you probably don't have one yourself. Here's some thoughts on whether or not you need them, if it will seem pretentious, what to include, and where to get them.

Purpose
Many professionals have told me they don't usually keep cards from students. This may be discouraging, but really all it means is that it is your job to get their contact info and having your own business card will help you do just that. So, ultimately, the main goal of a business card is a tool for networking.

Copy
Be sure to include your contact info, that's probably pretty obvious. But what do you put where most would put a title and company? It is generally pretty unanimous that students should not put a dream job title or any other descriptive title that is not actually a job they have. Otherwise, what you put is really up to you, but you are probably better off just being honest. If you include that you are a student you can include the degree you're working and the year you will earn it. You may also wish to include a website.

Check out Part 2 for more advice and ideas

August 09, 2010

How to Recover from a Mistake On the Job: Part 1

Make a mistake at your job or internship? Who hasn't? The question is what can you do to recover quickly.

Don't Beat Yourself Up
Just as the first line said, who hasn't made some sort of mistake at work. We're all human. Your boss is too. So don't spend too much time worrying about how bad you looked or wishing you could turn back time. You can't. Drewlling on it will just make you more likely to make another mistake and everyone else at the office has probably moved on by now. Learn from it, and move on.

Accept and Address It
If you made a bigger mistake that isn't so easy to just walk away from, then take some time to think through things and show your boss you are actively working to learn and improve. If you feel it is appropriate, set up a meeting to talk about or think about some other way to smooth things over in a professional manner while showing you are committed to growing and learning. Apologizing and accepting the consequences while showing that you are sorry is a much better way to handle it than trying to deflect blame.
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