October 27, 2011

Protecting Yourself From An Illegal Internship: During the Interview

As we've discussed previously, not all internships are created equal. In fact, not all internships are created legally. Some interns for the movie Black Swan are actually suing the studio as a result alleging that their internship was illegal. The trouble there is that as nice as it may seem to get your vengeance for a summer you seemingly wasted, it isn't exactly the best route to travel if you're interested in scoring a job at a similar company in the future (no matter how justified your case may be most bosses won't be willing to hire the kid that sued their friend- the entertainment industry is a very small place). So the key is to protect yourself along the way so that you avoid a terrible experience in the first place. So far, we've reviewed what actually makes an internship illegal and some steps you can take to spot a sketchy listing before you apply. Today is about what you can do during your interview to help prevent any problems down the road.

Observe the Environment
This is one of the simplest and most important things you can do while you are being lead through the office. Take a look at how people dress, sit, decorate their desks, eat their lunch, move around the office, interact, etc. Do people seem happy? Are they friendly? Is it the kind of work environment you could see yourself thriving in? Do you see any current interns and what are they doing?

Ask if You Can Speak With an Intern
This is a great way to get a good idea of what the environment will be like and what will be expected of you. Ask them about learning opportunities, networking, mentors, and anything else that is on your mind. Ask if they would recommend working there. And, if possible, try to do all of this outside of the office where they will feel more comfortable being honest without the pressure of their boss lurking over their shoulder. A lot of companies hire former interns so you may even be able to talk to an employee that used to be an intern. This is probably a good sign because it likely means both that he or she didn't hate the internship and that there's the possibility it could lead to a job.

Ask A Lot of Questions

October 26, 2011

Internship Opportunity with Hit NYC Production/Songwriting Team The Ultras

You've probably heard the work of the two members, Eran Tabib and Harold Stephan, of this newly formed songwriting and production team on the albums of artists from American Idol Finalists to Angie Stone, The Spin Doctors and Vanessa Carlton, but today these two are set to craft some new hits with their new company, The Ultras. They're looking for an intern to help them build their online presence and maybe learn a bit about songwriting and production along the way.

Usually, when we have an internship opportunity to post I start with some info about the company to give you an idea why it'd be a great opportunity. But as music fans, we all know that a song is far more powerful than words alone. So for this one, I'm just going to let the music speak for itself. Check out the reel below and then click to read more and learn how to apply! 

October 19, 2011

Legal News: Lady Gaga Tries, Fails to Claim LadyGaga.org

What Happened:

A non-profit corporation called the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) manages several aspects of the Internet, including a way for trademark holders to obtain domain names containing their trademark under certain circumstances.  Its main purpose is to prevent "cybersquatting," which is when someone registers a domain name containing a trademark for the purpose of selling it to the person or company who owns that trademark.  The Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (commonly abbreviated UDRP) established by ICANN governs the process of sorting out these types of disputes over domain names.

In August, Lady Gaga initiated a UDRP action against the registrant of LadyGaga.org, who had been running an unofficial fan site at that domain name for the past three years, claiming that she was unfairly profiting from Lady Gaga's fame.  After a panel considered her arguments, Lady Gaga was denied transfer of the domain name.

Why It Happened:

October 18, 2011

Work Etiquette: Requesting Time Off

Generally speaking, if you're serious about your internship, you should be on time to work every day (that you're scheduled to be there) and soak up knowledge/skills like a sponge until the agreed upon time to leave. You're only there for a limited time so you don't want to take away from that precious time with unnecessary days off. Of course, if you're not feeling well, it's perfectly acceptable to take the day off and many employers would most likely encourage you to keep your snotty nose and mysterious diseases as far away from the office as possible. In that case, as a courtesy to both yourself and your fellow employees, please do stay home.

October 17, 2011

Radio Terms Quiz

Music Game created on Quizz.biz

Building a Workplace Wardrobe on a Budget

This is a guest post by Christine Belskey. Christine was an intern this past summer at a global investment firm and is currently working to complete her degree in Media Arts and Design at James Madison University. She loves Glee, creative writing, musical theater, social media, and long walks on the beach during the sunset. Learn more about Christine here

The countless hours of filling out applications and writing cover letters finally paid off and you landed an internship. While transitioning from a desk in a class room to a desk in the “real world” presents many challenges, your wardrobe doesnt have to be one of them. Office appropriate ensembles dont need to cost you an arm and a leg, you just need to spend your money wisely on a few items you can use frequently and that will help you incorporate the clothing you already own. Just add these 5 intern wardrobe basics to your own closet and you will be able to transform your current wardrobe from so college to so professional.

October 13, 2011

The 4 P's of of Marketing for the Music Industry

If you've ever taken any class that talked about marketing even for a little bit you've probably heard of "the 4 P's of marketing" because they are one of the most basic marketing concepts that you need to understand before you move on to the more complex details, which is exactly why I'm going to explain how they apply to the music world.

The 4Ps are product, price, place, and promotion and together they make up the "marketing mix." These make up the main elements of marketing and most, if not all, of what you can control about a marketing campaign.

The product can mean the artist, a record, a song, a concert, a T-shirt, a download, a physical CD, a ring tone, access to an exclusive online portal or fan club, or any other thing you might be trying sell really. In fact, the idea of a music product has become increasingly complex over the past decade and it really could mean any number of things. Traditionally though, a product would usually either be an album or single, the artist overall, merchandise, or a tour.

October 12, 2011

Protecting Yourself From an Illegal Internship: Before You Apply

Sometimes as an intern you may feel like you're living out deleted scenes from The Devil Wears Prada  and not learning anything. As Lauren discussed recently, there are a few situations where your lackluster internship may actually be illegal and two interns from the movie Black Swan are suing the studio for that reason. Is legal recourse really the answer here, though? Well, probably not if you don't want to seriously hurt your chances of finding another job or internship. Most companies don't want to hire the people famous for suing their former company regardless of whether or not they were in the right. You should, however, do your best to avoid a bad situation by protecting yourself before, during, and after you apply for internships.
By Brad Shorr (The Straight North Blog) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Whether you're buying a house, investing in a business, or choosing a college to attend, you wouldn't make a decision like that without finding out all of the relevant info first. When you chose a college you probably looked at their reputation, their campus, job placement rate, the size of the dorm rooms, the tolerability of the dining hall food, etc. So, you should do the same thing when you look for an internship. Here are some guidelines:

October 06, 2011

Drummers, and Why We Love (to Hate) Them

Anyone who likes rock knows that rock drums are awesome. Rock drums are huge, punchy, epic, and in the pocket. Rock drummers are the unsung heroes of every band, and nothing is more viscerally satisfying in live sound than mixing a top-notch drummer behind a great-sounding drum kit.
By Marc Wathieu from Huy, Belgium (LowSwing studio, Berlin  Uploaded by clusternote) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
That said, it's important to remember that 90% of the drum mix is done by the drummer him/herself. A halfway-decent live sound engineer can pick out a killer drummer/drum combination before placing a single microphone. Just like the rest of us, drummers each have an individual set of strengths and weaknesses. Some drummers have absolutely flawless timing, but couldn't tune a snare drum to save their lives. Others are just the opposite—hours spent honing the tone of each drum are wasted on sloppy playing and spotty rhythm.
But the most-overlooked skill a drummer can bring to the table is balance. I work with tons of local bands, and the thing that separates the men from the boys (pardon me, ladies) isn't a flashy polyrhythm or a lightning-fast double kick, but rather the ability of a drummer to balance his/her kit live, in the moment.

October 05, 2011

When Is An Unpaid Internship Illegal?

With the economy in bad shape and likely to stay that way for a while, internships have become even more of a necessity to gain experience and get your foot in the door.  Unfortunately, some employers have used the desperation of go-getters like yourselves solely as a way to get free or cheap labor.  I am in no way trying to start an unpaid intern revolt or inspire any lawsuits (remember, I am not a lawyer), but I do think that it is important to know your rights, especially when there is a lot of misinformation out there.

There are two important misunderstandings I want to clear up right away.  The first is that unpaid internships are not illegal. There are certain circumstances when a for-profit company is able to have unpaid interns, so don't assume that all unpaid internships are automatically the equivalent of slave labor. The second is that earning school credit does not alone make an internship legal.  School credit is great, but it is not the magic ingredient that turns a questionable internship into a legal one.

So what turns an unpaid internship into a legal, mutually beneficial opportunity?

Personal Branding in Social Networks

According to a recent study, 91% of employers include social networking sites in their background checks for job candidates. Last week I wrote a post focusing on how your digital past on social media sites might come back to haunt you. This week, I'd like to expand upon your social media reputation but focus instead on how you can use it to help your online reputation. There's been a lot of buzz in social news lately about the new Facebook Timeline Profile (launch currently delayed until this coming Thursday) and how the new look can be used for business branding. Those who aren't talking about business branding are sharing photos of how early adopters of the new profile are taking advantage of the new design elements to get creative and make a stand-out profile!
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