COVID-19 has turned the job market upside down as companies around the globe navigate the economic challenges the pandemic has brought, including furloughs, layoffs and reduced employee hours. In a world where some jobs are unstable, remote work is predominant and safety precautions may mean strict no person contact, how do recent and upcoming college graduates applying to music industry positions get a job in the midst of all the uncertainty?
While it may seem harder to get hired, there are some benefits for those applying to positions in the music industry now. Gone are the days when interns and recent hires were expected to move to another city for an entry-level opportunity; instead, they are a Zoom call away from a life-changing interview that will get them a job no matter where they live. Additionally, job recruiters and potential employers looking to fill spots have become increasingly accessible via sites like LinkedIn, ZipRecruiter, and Glassdoor, increasing the chances of connecting with them.
The Recording Academy’s GRAMMY U Industry Insights webinar on Nov. 13 revealed other ways students can become empowered in today’s job force. Moderator Latoya Lee, VP of A&R at Atlas Music Publishing, asked panelists Akin Aliu, Music Touring at Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Emily White, music industry entrepreneur and author, and Frank Hill, Senior Director of 1824 Universal Music Group, GRAMMY U students’ pre-submitted questions about how they can stand out. The diverse backgrounds of each industry professional generated an organic and eye-opening discussion for young people entering the music industry under the current circumstances. Here are just a few highlights:
The best way to connect with employers is still through relationships building, said Frank Hill, Senior Director of 1824 Universal Music Group:
“The last thing I want to do is get involved with someone else, like a recruiter … You need to figure out who the hiring manager is, and if you want to work at a record label or in music publishing, just start finding those people on LinkedIn and build a relationship with them. Building a relationship is not following someone on LinkedIn or becoming a contact. You have to build those relationships. People in the industry love to talk about themselves and what they do.”
Be reliable before you even get the job, said Emily White, music industry entrepreneur and author of Internships 101:
“Build your reputation for reliability. Get back to everyone on time, and do the things that you say that you’ll do. It doesn’t sound very glamorous, but most things in the music industry are not. You just have to be a geek about the work from day one.”
White also highlighted the importance of strong communication skills: “Send your emails so that they are read. And start to hone some basic, but overwhelming communication platforms.”
Show you make the most of any opportunity when you don’t have relevant work experience, said Akin Aliu of CAA:
“Relevant work experience is always good, but I love to see someone making the most out of whatever opportunity they have. It matters more what past employers are saying about you if you’re a good communicator, both verbally and written. These are the sort of things that make a cut-through application, and what I look for the most in what I do day-to-day.”
In addition, the panel solidified the notion that internships, whether they are remote or in-person, provide students with fundamental industry principles and experience in their desired field. Internships can vary from digital marketing to A&R to live event production. These experiences may be indispensable in opening further opportunities and learning the ins and outs of the creative-minded processes within each sector.
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has limited opportunities to work in an office setting and live entertainment as well as interning while studying abroad, remote internships have created wider access for students to acquire unique experiences in the music business. These possibilities, as highlighted during GRAMMY U’s Industry Insights webinar, make a full-time job applicant stand out by showing unyielding efforts to explore, innovate, and utilize strength during a pause in traditional work environments.
Students can visit online job boards, company websites and platforms like LinkedIn for internship opportunities. Here are just a few remote Spring and Summer 2021 internships that are actively recruiting candidates:
Warner Music U College Representative – Spring 2021
“Warner Music U is now hiring college music junkies with a passion for promotions, marketing, and event planning to join our team for the Spring 2021 Semester as paid college reps! 18 hours/week”
300 Entertainment A&R Internship – Spring 2021
“300 Entertainment is an independent record label based in NYC, we are currently seeking interns to join our team for the Spring 2021 semester.”
Haulix Social Media Internship – Spring 2021
“Forward-thinking, fast paced music industry leader Haulix is looking to hire an intern with strong knowledge and understanding of the digital media landscape, including various social media platforms. Haulix is currently in production for a popular podcast series and is seeking a content creator to maximize the reach of our final product.
The intern hired for this position will need strong critical thinking skills in order to integrate into our vibrant and passionate team, who are very excited to share this launch with an intern hoping to gain extensive online experience.”
Culture Collide – Spring 2021
“CultureCollide.com covers the intersection of music and travel, from exclusive premieres and concert reviews to artist features and interviews. Open internships for Social Media manager, editorial manager, marketing assistant/project manager, and graphic design/video editor.”
Downtown Music Publishing – A&R/Creative Intern, Sync Intern, Marketing Intern, and Global Client Services Intern – Spring 2021
“Downtown Music Publishing operates in service of extraordinary songs, representing nearly 100 years of popular music. Downtown is the preferred music publishing partner for some of the world’s most beloved songwriters, storied music catalogs, and emerging artists at the forefront of pop culture.”
CBS Interactive- Live Streaming Video Intern- Summer 2021
“In this role the Intern will work closely with the supervisor to understand the basics of an end to end system for delivering live video content using streaming technology. They will be introduced to the overall architecture and dive deeper into the nuances of the backend systems and how to manage them.”
MTV/VH1 Digital Operations Internship Summer 2021
“The MTV/VH1 Digital Operations intern will help the overall Digital Video team at large by working closely with the team’s coordinating producer, production coordinator, and post supervisor to help ensure that projects are moving forward on schedule and tracked properly for archiving purposes.”
UMG HBCU Internship – Summer 2021
“The Universal Music Group HBCU Internship Program is designed to provide hands-on experience and exposure to students pursuing careers in the music entertainment industry. This exceptional program is open to all majors and will host its first cohort of HBCU interns in the Summer of 2021.”
For more information on how to join GRAMMY U, visit the Recording Academy’s membership website.