June 30, 2010

The Not-So Helpful Career Office

I went to a college with a degree in music industry. But the general career office was...well...less than helpful sometimes. My advisor was great, a sweet person, helped me find housing in other cities, and helped with various problems and frustrations along the way. But the thing is applying for internships in the music industry (or any creative one really) is a little different than your average internship and the competition is high. There are some things, when it comes to applying for jobs and internships, that it takes an experienced industry person to understand. Word has it that most career offices are lacking in music industry expertise as a result. So, here's some tips on how to deal when your career office is driving you crazy.

Take Charge
Be proactive and seek out opportunities on your own, don't just rely on them to find one for you

Get a Mentor
Find someone who knows something about working in the music industry and get their advice instead when it comes to internships and expectations. If all else fails feel free to email me, I'm glad to help!

Make Use When You Can
There are some things your career advisor should definitely have some expertise in, like resume formatting, housing, etc. Don't be afraid to ask for you help when you think they'll be useful.

Be Yourself
Don't be too informal, but you can give your emails, cover letters, resumes, etc. some personality. This business is about creativity after all, embrace it and don't try to conform to normal "business behavior" just because your career advisor says you must...unless he's an industry vet that knows what he's talking about.

June 28, 2010

Beyond the Coffee Run

So you got an internship and you were initially excited. But that soon faded after you spent your first few weeks just sitting around, picking up lunches, getting coffee, and filing things. Well, you shouldn't let that discourage you. Every single thing you do on your internship is an opportunity to learn something or to make a good impression. But I'll save that for another post. The period after the first few weeks of an internship can make the difference between a great or lackluster experience. So, how do you move beyond the menial tasks and start getting some jobs that are resume worthy?

Get Off Facebook
Yes I know you're bored sometimes but sitting on Facebook just looks like you're wasting the company's time...and you probably are. This goes for Twitter, Google+, texting or anything else blatantly unproductive.

Ask for It
Need something else to do? Why not try asking. You don't really have anything to lose as long as you're polite about it and your boss will likely appreciate the initiative.

Do the Dirty Work
Taking out the trash and picking up coffee can sort of serve as a stepping stone to the bigger stuff. If you can use it to prove you're reliable and can do a great job without complaining, you're far more likely to get a real task next time one comes up

Think of Something
If you're waiting around for something to do try coming up with a new promotional or other idea on your own and presenting it to your boss.

So next time you're feeling frustrated give these tips a try. It is all about building some trust and making a good impression. You can't just expect great tasks just for showing up.

June 27, 2010

Where To Begin?

So you really want to work in the music industry? Maybe you dream of glamorous award shows and partying with rockstars or perhaps you're convinced you can provide something better than what's already out there. Whatever the reason may be you know you're destined for music but you don't exactly have your eyes set on the stage yourself. You'd rather be the one behind the scenes controlling the soundboard, playing songs on the radio, managing the artist, or promoting the record.

Over the years it has become incredibly easy for a band to be heard by someone. Sure it still takes some luck and a lot of work but it is relatively simple for someone to record, create a myspace, and get their songs on iTunes. But where does that leave you? The business side hasn't gotten any easier to break into, in fact with industry lay offs nearly every day it's probably a lot harder.

It seems it's time someone do something about that. Sure, I can't actually get you a job, but I can give you the information you need to make connections, write a strong resume, build experience, and figure out how to impress once you find an internship.

So, where should you begin? Learn as much about the music industry as you can. Check out the articles on Billboard, pick up some books, search for advice online. You should try to begin getting an idea of how the industry works to figure out if it really is a place you can see yourself and what you might want to do if so.
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