December 23, 2011

Holiday Greetings

Just a quick note to say Happy Holidays to all of you and thank you so much for your continued support. I'll save the sappy stuff for a end of year post, but for now suffice it to say that talking to each of you, hearing your feedback, connecting you with new opportunities, and growing together is what really makes this all worthwhile. Have a happy, safe, peaceful, and wonderful holiday season. As always, if there's anything I or another member of the team here can do to try to help somehow, let us know. Happy Holidays!


December 22, 2011

Starstruck: What to Do When You Meet a Celebrity at Work

Working in the music industry, it's practically inevitable that someday you will run into a celebrity. It's also likely that since you've decided to work in the music industry, you have some pretty strong opinions about many of those celebrities. From your secret, or maybe not-so-secret crush on Usher or desire to be just like Taylor Swift to your hatred- or love- of everyone whose face has ever graced The Disney Channel, you know what you like and you aren't afraid to profess it to your friends, Twitter followers, and just about anyone whose eyes don't glaze over the second you mention the great artistic visionary that is Lady Gaga. If that sounds about right minus maybe a few name changes then the good news if you're probably in the right industry. The bad news is that behavior won't cut it when you find yourself riding the office elevator with Adele or ordering lunch for Britney Spears.

So what's an intern to do when in the presence of a celebrity they idolize, or perhaps even hate, at work?

December 20, 2011

How to Cope with a Disagreeable Boss

You passed the interview and got the job but a week in you're wondering what happened to that sweet, smiling face of the person who shook your hand at the interview? The whole point of the interview process is generally to get a feel for personality fit but sometimes a person's true character can be a bit muddled under all of the pressure of selling one's self and/or the company position. It is possible that, a couple weeks in, you may find that you keep butting heads with your boss, who now comes off as irritable and difficult to please. When your internship has only just begun, you may be wondering if it's even possible for you to leave this internship alive let alone with your reputation intact and a glowing recommendation under your belt.

I could try sugar-coating this type of situation with unicorns and rainbows, but let's be honest: this sucks. BUT it's not the end of the world and you can take steps to turn it around. The very least you can do for yourself is to not make things worse.

Find an outlet for your frustration
Allow me to clarify: It's ok to go home and pummel your pillow or let out a rebel yell in an isolated, sound-proof room. But whatever you do, do not let out your frustration by yelling at your boss, complaining to a co-worker, or tweeting words you'd never dream of saying to your boss's face. If you're under the impression that doing any of these things will not come back to bite you, you should go immediately to a corner and think again until you've convinced yourself otherwise. Why don't you want to vent this way? 1. Your boss's network is undoubtedly greater than yours and your name will be Mud to everyone within it. 2. Office gossip almost assuredly reaches outsider ears. 3. Your boss might not be in the wrong. That's right, you heard me.

Consider that your boss is not being unreasonable
I know you may feel like the victim but sit back and consider for a moment that your boss may not be intentionally trying to ruin your life. While you're sitting there, steaming about how mistreated you are, he/she could be in the office pulling chunks of hair out over how to finally get across to that intern. Your boss may be feeling equally as stuck and frustrated as you are. But, don't get me wrong, this doesn't necessarily mean that you're "the problem" either. Most likely, there's some sort of communication barrier here that neither one of you has yet found a way to cross.

Talk it out
After you've found an appropriate, non-destructive way to vent your frustrations and you've calmed down a bit, try talking to your boss. Explain how you're feeling (but avoid pointing fingers). Exactly what you say here depends quite a bit on what you feel the issue is. Are you uncomfortable with things your boss has been saying to you? Are you feeling overwhelmed with too many projects to do in the given amount of time? Are you consistently being scolded for mistakes in your work and you're not sure how to prevent them? Be honest and try to remain calm while you explain.

Shut up and listen
Once you've communicated your side of the story, pretty much the only thing you can do is listen to what your boss has to say, take note (literally, take note!) of any advice/critiques, and try your very best to implement them. It's possible the relationship between the two of you may remain unchanged and you'll continue to butt heads every now and again until the day you both let out a sigh of relief that the internship is finally over. Or starting a dialog could show that you're really trying your best and actively trying to improve and your boss may learn that he/she hasn't been communicating with you as effectively as he/she thought.

If things don't improve, it's important to remember that it could simply be the case that your personalities and/or learning-teaching styles just aren't lining up. It doesn't mean that your boss is a terrible person or that you're a slacker; just that perhaps this position wasn't the best fit for you and vice versa. So don't beat yourself up over it and try not to get upset. Just do the best you can and cross it off the list of valuable learning experiences.

Katie Hazard | Digital Artist, User Experience Designer | @katie_hazard

December 19, 2011

Cast Your Vote for #MusicIntern Chat Times

#MusicIntern has been a lot of fun so far and has been going strong! To make sure most of you can come though, we're holding a vote. So let us know which day you think the chat should take place on Twitter. Generally, the chat would be at 9pm ET to accomodate time zones across North America (sorry Europe, Asia, and Africa I wish it were possible to have a time to suit everyone!). So let us know what you think before Christmas, so we have time to schedule next week's chat- which will be about goals for the new year! Thanks again to everyone who participated tonight!

What night (US times) should #musicintern chat take place each week?
It should be midday
It should be morning free polls 

Tonight's #MusicIntern Chat Topic

Ever wondered if you should give your boss something for the holidays? Whether to say Merry Christmas/ Happy Holidays/ Happy Festivus/ Happy Chirsmakkuh or what? Not sure what to wear to the holiday party? Or how to request time off to visit your family? This is what tonight's chat will be all about: the holidays at work. Join us at 9pm ET/6pm PT on Twitter by following and using the hashtag #musicintern. 

Thanks to everyone who has participated in the chats so far. We've had a great turn out and a lot of fun! 

Submit questions on Twitter, in the comments here, or to me via email at

December 15, 2011

The Great Click Track Debate: Part One

It's funny how polarized people seem to be these days. Politics, religion, sports . . . and yes, recording. If you've ever read an internet audio forum, you know what I'm talking about. People who are, I'm sure, very nice in real life, seem perfectly willing to use the anonymity of the Interwebs to tear each other to pieces over the smallest differences of opinion. And nothing seems to get the flame wars flowing quite like a debate over click tracks.

This week, I'd like to talk a bit about why you might choose to use or not use a click track for your recording projects. Next week, we'll talk about what to do when a project that should have used a click track . . . didn't.

December 13, 2011

Should You Drink with Co-workers?

This is the time of when those happen most often and you are most likely to be faced with the opportunity to misbehave in front of your boss and co-workers. That raises the all important question: how do you deal with alcohol? So if you're an intern, entry level employee, or any employee in the entertainment world in general...should you drink at a work social gathering?

The short answer is something like this: if you are not of legal drinking age then you should absolutely not no matter what, if you are legally allowed to drink then you still probably should not. Thinking it's that simple though would be incredibly naive and the issue is made even more complicated by the fact that we're talking about the music industry.

You have to make your own informed decisions at your own risk and accept whatever the consequences may be of that. However, you can't make an informed decision without some information. So, here's some food for thought about the situations you may face regarding alcohol and the work place:

December 06, 2011

Partying with Co-workers: Dos and Don'ts

Especially during the holiday season, it's very likely that companies will host a social event outside of work hours. This could be at a restaurant, bar, or even a co-worker's house. These events provide great opportunities to get to know your co-workers on a more personal level. If you haven't already gotten to know some of them beyond their name and job position, here's your chance. Forget about projects and due dates; no one really wants to talk about that during their off hours.
Oh, and one more thing. Wherever the social gathering is held, there's likely to be judgement impairing substances such as... alcohol (gasp!). It's ok, don't worry. I'm not going to go all Lifetime Special on you and tell you that drinking is bad and if you drink you will get pregnant and die. But if you don't know how many drinks it takes to lose your composure then I hope I don't have to remind you that now is a bad time to find out. If you know your limit, then good, stay under that. If you don't know or if you're a light-weight, you might want to limit yourself to no more than one drink and drink it slowly. And, of course, if you're under the legal drinking age (mostly important in the US where that age is 21) then stick to non-alcoholic beverages (sorry, my friends, but it is the law).
Also make sure you are dressed appropriately. Find out in advance what the expected attire is. If you're going to a public place, you can probably judge what to wear based on its atmosphere. Even if the venue is really relaxed, it's still a good idea to dress a bit modestly: keep midriff, chest, and thighs covered.
Basically, my advice is to get to know everyone and enjoy yourself but remember you will still have to face these people the next morning and you may want them to write recommendations for you later.

Katie Hazard | Digital Artist, User Experience Designer | @katie_hazard

December 02, 2011

Why Internships Are Completely Worth It

Feel like you'll never get a paid job? Well, don't worry, it looks like the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter than you probably imagined. I found this great infographic from the Business Careers in Entertainment Association. Since they encouraged sharing it, I wanted to make sure you all had the chance to check it out. Have a look.

Are Internships Overrated?
Infographic used with permission from Business Careers in Entertainment Association
That's right, not only will interning give you experience and a chance to learn and network. It will also decrease the time it takes you to find a job after graduation, help you feel more content at the job you do find (I'm inferring this from the retention stats), and earn more than $10,000 more when you start working. Maybe that internship isn't quite so unpaid after all.

4 P's of Marketing for Concert Promotion

Any good marketing student knows that the 4 P's form the basis for, well, just about everything in marketing. You may have had a Marketing 101 class that reviewed this until you started having dreams about it, but how exactly does it apply to the music industry? Well, for a general overview of it's role in the music industry overall, have a look at the previously posted "The 4 P's of Marketing for the Music Industry." Today, we're getting more specific and looking at what this means to a concert promoter.

A concert promoter is a person or entity who schedule shows for venues by finding and negotiating with bands and makes sure everything gets done to ensure the concert is a success. It could be one person at a small venue or a huge organization like Live Nation.

Product refers to the actual thing you are trying to get someone to buy. When you're selling a concert you're really selling an experience, not just a ticket. It's the chance to see an artist live, connect with other fans, relax, have fun, get exclusive merchandise, and maybe to try to catch a glimpse and an autograph as the band leaves the venue. Similarly, different ticket levels are like selling a different experience. Are you selling to someone who just wants to be there and doesn't care where they sit? Or to someone who must have the front row tickets, VIP backstage pass, and exclusive merchandise pack? Does the venue even have seats at all? Is it at a bar where the music is secondary to enjoying drinks and seeing friends? Or a local niche venue where music lovers come to hear the next big thing? Or is it an arena featuring a show or the current superstar? Each of these factors has a big influence on who will come to the show, how much they'll be willing to pay, what kind of costs must go into the production, and how profitable the show will likely be.


December 01, 2011

#MusicIntern Chat is Back! 12/5- 9pm ET

Who: Anyone who currently is or has an interest in interning, studying, or working in music industry. The chat will focus on the needs of students/ entry level but everyone is welcome!

What: One hour chat on Twitter to discuss the news items and topics that matter to young people in the music industry.

Where: Follow the hashtag #musicintern on Twitter

When: Monday, December 5. 9pm EST/6pm PST

How: Easily keep-up and participate in the chat by connecting to Twitter on Tweetchat 
Topic: Since the GRAMMY Nominations were just announced, we'll start the chat out by breaking the ice with that as our topic.
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