Student Wei Jing Saw shares what worked for her in getting an internship.
In regards to advice for future students, start your internship search early if you want to get a good one. I put feelers out in a casual search last May for an internship this spring, sending out an inquiry to my top-choice internship. All I had wanted to know was what the procedure was in applying to this particular company but got back an email asking me to send in my résumé and cover letter. That’s where I thought it would end as it was so far in advance, but not a week later, I was in there for an interview from which I left with a “see you in January!” from my future supervisor. It really alleviated a lot of stress that I imagine a lot of students feel because I secured an internship almost a year in advance!
Now, I’m taking that “do-early-research” approach in my entry-level job hunt as this is going to be my last semester at Berklee. Since I’m starting so early, I feel like I still have room to be picky about where I apply to (which I have to be because I’m going to be on a OPT visa that stipulates that I have to get a job in the industry that I studied), and haven’t had to resort to assistant jobs yet. I’m not saying that this isn’t going to happen – if we get to May and I haven’t got anything lined up, by all means, I’ll take what I can get.
So far, I’ve already had one very promising follow-up call from one of the top 3 companies on my list that I’d like to work at for an interview. Unfortunately, they were looking for someone to start immediately so that particular position wasn’t for me, but since I had been exchanging emails with the company’s recruiter, I made sure to stress that I’d be in touch again in April. Fingers crossed!
Since it’s my last semester and I only have two ensembles and my internship left, I decided to make the most of it and actually be at my internship for most of the week (four days, 9.30am-5.30pm). Although, after you factor in evening rehearsals for the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble and the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra, managing said orchestra, and prepping for the GMATs, my schedule is insane.
So far, I’ve been working at my internship site for a total of four days and I’ve been doing mostly intern-y work: familiarizing myself with how the office’s network is set up; where all the media is; putting together CDs and DVDs for press kits; updating news and artist pages on the website; and some photocopying thrown in. Stuff that’s just enough to keep me engaged but still fairly easy. It’s fine for now, but I’m anticipating it getting monotonous if this is all I can do for the next three months.
My supervisor is helpful and willing to teach – he pulls us interns from our work every so often to show us how he makes his mailings on Photoshop; how he deals with printing screw ups for posters and CD inserts; and what he’s working on himself, which I find pretty interesting. I’m going to keep going with the tasks handed to me and making sure that I do what needs to be done to prove that I can handle more than burning CDs and photocopying. So, here’s hoping for increasingly interesting and challenging undertakings in the near future!
What does Wei Jing’s supervisor at Ted Kurland Associates have to say about internships? Check out David Greenberg’s video interview and his latest blog post.
Wei Jing Saw is a final semester Music Business and Performance double major currently interning at Ted Kurland Associates in Allston, MA. She is also the personnel manager and plays flute and piccolo for the Berklee Contemporary Symphony Orchestra – the largest ensemble at the college – that gives concerts in the Boston area every semester. She has been awarded various scholarships and recently received the Performance Division Dean’s Award for her work with the BCSO, helping in the development and consistent growth of the ensemble in the two years she has been manager. Wei Jing hopes to stay in Boston to get her career established, staying on the business side of the music industry after she graduates this coming May. Her resume and more information available on LinkedIn.
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