News - Music Business Internships Open Doors of Opportunity for Students

Music Business Internships Open Doors of Opportunity for Students

Music Business Internships Open Doors of Opportunity for Students

Experience gained from summer internships can translate into full-time employment for college students, and Danara Moore (pictured), professor of music business at Greenville College, is determined to connect her students with hands-on experience in the music industry.

Last summer, she helped students fill internship positions in Los Angeles at Warner Chappell Music Publishing, Prescription Songs and Spectacle Entertainment Group. Students also worked at two Tennessee locations: Converge Music in Nashville and AC Entertainment in Knoxville. With one eye on learning and the other on improving their employability, GC students honed their job skills, dug deep into their social networking capabilities and expanded their industry contacts.

Who you know and who knows you

In an industry where success depends on well-developed relationships, networking is critical. London Smith ’14 emerged from his internship with Converge Music more connected than ever. The management, booking and artist development agency founded by industry veteran Chris Blaney represents over 15 artists.

Smith’s responsibilities as intern differed little from those of other Converge employees. He managed information in a contact database and initiated conversations with event organizers to determine their needs for talent. “I would send out emails to hundreds of people each day in an attempt to book a tour for one of my artists, performers, or speakers,” Smith explained. He particularly enjoyed finalizing shows. “Knowing that I was responsible for making a concert happen that brought joy to someone is a huge reward.”

Learning from others’ experiences

Working under Blaney’s direct supervision also proved rewarding for Smith. Blaney’s previous collaborations with artists like Mercy Me, Jeremy Camp, David Crowder Band and Hawk Nelson gave depth to his insights.

“He has been in the industry for a long time and knows the ins-and-outs,” said Smith. “He conducted himself in a professional, but approachable way and was generally fun to work with, even while I was learning a lot.”

And, learning is essential when it comes to practicums that translate into college credit. By law, internships must include an academic component. Simply running personal errands for managers or making photocopies and sorting mail don’t qualify.

Understanding that transcends job training

Music publisher Dr. Luke’s Prescription Songs employs a network of 50 songwriters that include Ke$ha, Katy Perry and Benny Blanco. Last summer it also employed student intern Bri Phillips ’15. Phillips said the internship helped her understand the music industry’s project-based culture. Working closely and engaging in conversations with co-workers revealed to her that taking a job in one field doesn’t lock one into that role for life. Hard work and a friendly disposition can open any number of doors, and skills from project-to-project are transferrable. Phillips’ internship also altered her expectations about employment. “Your dream job does not exist,” she concluded. “You must create it.”

This summer, Greenville College music business interns will work at a number of diverse organizations that vary from record labels to local businesses across the United States. Music business interns and internships include: Bri Phillips at Glassnote Records and Q Ideas in New York City; Ben Barber and Adam Crouch at Humble Beast Records in Portland, Ore.; Matt Holland at Southern Ground Studio in Nashville, Tenn.; McKinley Watson at the Red Hat Amphitheater and Raleigh Convention Center in Raleigh, N.C.; Trevor Sattler at Bass Club Chicago in Chicago; Corey Miller at the Oak Ridge Boys Theatre in Branson, Mo.; Lauren Joseph and Kiah Kelson with RYFO in Anaheim, Calif.; Rachel Jervis at ChristFest in Greencastle, Ind.; Kenzie Howell with the Nokomis City Parks in Nokomis, Ill.; Ryan Besse with Calor Amplification in St. Louis, M.; Urri Thames with Tragan Records in St. Louis, Mo. and Bekah Dothager with Mari et Terra Marketplace in St. Louis, Mo. 

This story was published on June 11, 2014

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