Berklee Blogs introduces Devin Wojtanek, a Music Business major and spring intern, as he begins his internship with Indie Ambassador, the team behind presskit.to, a portfolio web app designed to enhance communication within the professional music & entertainment industries. In today’s blog, Devin tells us how he found his internship at I.A. and a bit about it’s unique “independent music company vibe”.
My internship at Indie Ambassador began on the very first day of this semester. This was the first time I had to commute to work in Boston (to one of the last stops on the Orange line), so that day I remember being a bit more nervous about getting to my night class on time than my first day of work. In fact, I felt rather comfortable going into my first day. I noticed this attitude and at the time it actually surprised me. I am one to not necessarily get nervous about things, but I tend to build up a lot of anticipation for new experiences. The relaxed attitude I felt going into that day definitely had an impact on first impressions and hopefully said something about my confidence. I think the reason I was able to go into this new experience so ready, was the internship I had in the fall. It was at Pirate Promotions, and it introduced me to the “independent music company vibe”, I guess you could say. It was also mentioned to me in my interview at I.A. that Chris and Ben, my supervisors at I.A., were friends with Steve, my supervisor at Pirate. This gave me the impression that their work environments would be comparable, and in fact, it has turned out to be that way.
While with Pirate in the fall, I had begun my search for the Major-specific “495” internship. Two places, The Echo Nest and Indie Ambassador, had both taken interest in my resume, and I interviewed at both. Each went extremely well, and I actually now had a choice between the two. With some advice from Steve at Pirate, though he said both places would be awesome, I chose Indie. My rationale was that I.A. would provide me with a stronger foundation in start-up experience. At Echo Nest I would have been a music analyzer, not doing much more than mapping musical classifications for their software. At Indie, I would, and thus far have had, real hands on impact on their projects.
Right now, they are building an online electronic press kit web site called Presskit.to. The first thing I was asked to do when I got there on my first day, was to use their site and build a press kit for myself and any musical projects. So my initial reaction to working there was a confirmation that I had chosen the right place. The product/service they offer is that of great use to me as a musician and an aspiring professional. I think it’s crucial to my personal success that I see and understand the value they are trying to create through the website. I have a valuable insight for them, as my point of view towards their product is that of their target costumer. And then obviously, I get the perks of getting to create this online press kit for free and other such references they make available to their users.
Other than giving my general review of the site, the other project I have been working on is compiling a very large catalogue of music blogs. I’ve been using another site called Hype Machine to create a database of music blogs and their respective genres, location, and contact information. Although the work of compiling the information is a little tedious, I have had a lot of fun helping to grow this list. As an independent musician, I truly see the value in such a database being made. I do not believe such a catalogue exists, and when I.A. makes this information available to their premium customers, it will be an invaluable tool. This is I.A.’s attempt to help to organize the madness that can be internet promotions. Especially for smaller projects, online promotions can be overwhelming, and this service will help to guide artists to effective online publicity campaigns.
A final project worth noting is that Presskit.to is beginning to be implemented for Berklee LA’s students and alumni. It is not a project I have been directly involved in yet, but Chris and Ben have told me that this will be their focus for the coming months. I certainly see the prospects for growth that I.A. sees in acquiring these users. Presskit.to is the forum and foundation for all those involved in music to come together in a professional way, and I believe that I.A. has already done a great job in building the site functionally. I see that now the focus is building the user base, as of course the site means nothing without the proper users. Having Berklee LA students and alumni, and eventually hopefully all those of Berklee, use the site will begin to bring in the more important players and future players of the industry to their forum.
All in all, I could not be more pleased with this internship thus far, and I am very excited to not only see the company’s progress while I am there the rest of the semester, but also following my employment.
Devin Wojtanek is a Music Business student in his final semester at Berklee (hometown: Chicago). He has played guitar in numerous punk bands during his stay in Boston, and currently finds himself as half of the guitar duo known as Safety. After graduating Berklee he plans on moving to NYC with his buddies to continue pursuing both the artistic and business aspects of music. He is currently a marketing intern at Indie Ambassador, a company which has recently launched the portfolio web-app Presskit.to.
Check Devin out on Facebook:
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