A Day In The Life of an Intern at Tolbooth Stirling

We caught up with Leo from Tolbooth Stirling

The Big Music Project has funded several music industry internships. The aim is to inspire and create incredible opportunities for young people across the country who want to get into the music business.

We’re sitting down with each of our interns to find out how they’re getting on. Here’s Leo who has been working as an intern at Tolbooth Stirling.

Hey Leo, how long have you been in your role?

Hey, just over two months, loving it!

That’s great to hear. What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office?

I’ll usually check what tasks need to be completed for that day, any meetings or events we have planned and what needs to be prepared for.

Talk us through your day-to-day tasks.

My day-to-day tasks vary quite a bit, depending what we have going on that day. I spend a lot of time working on promo. That means making posters for events, doing market research, taking pictures and creating videos for some of our events. On the flipside, I attend a lot of the Tolbooth workshops, helping and shadowing the tutors. In a week I’ll usually be involved in teaching guitar, songwriting and occasionally even studio recording.

Your roles tend to keep yourself busy which is always positive. What’s your favourite thing you do each day?

I really enjoy teaching. I never thought I would teach, but this internship has given me some great experiences. There are some really hard-working and passionate young people here and it’s always fun to play a role in their development.

I think it’s also good for them to see someone of a similar age to themselves working in the music industry, full-time. Knowing that I was in their shoes just a couple of years ago can put into perspective just how fulfilling these workshops can be.

Tell us about projects you’ve worked on and what you liked and didn’t like about it?

I’ve recently worked on an event called ‘City Music Live’ which is an under 18s gig night that I was actually involved in before I started working here. The event was a huge success and it sold out our main stage. It’s always nice to see the younger musicians play to such a high standard and see all of their friends supporting them.

One difficulty I had with that show was the marketing. Since a lot of the bands are just starting out, they don’t have many high-quality photos, videos and recordings. That makes promoting the event a little tricky, but clearly it wasn’t much of a problem here.

That’s sounds like an interesting experience! What kind of challenges do you face day-to-day?

Learning new skills is always challenging. For example, I had to get fairly comfortable with photoshop early on so that I could create posters – I think I’ve gotten quite good at using it now though! Another challenge for me personally is balancing all my other commitments with work.

What have you learnt about the world of work?

As I mentioned, it’s been tough adjusting to full-time work having worked part-time for the past year. It’s been really hard to balance my own music with work. I was asked to join a local production of ‘Oliver’ for a time, which meant rehearsals and performances every night until ten. This meant twelve-hour days which did take it out of me a little. I’d be lying if I said I could do that for longer than a couple of weeks, but I really enjoyed it.

Wow, 12-hour days? That’s intense!

Yeah it was pretty intense.

What advice would you give to other people looking to apply for internships?

Internships are different from jobs because they’re not looking for the finished product. You need to be willing and eager to learn and you want to show that in your application. Show examples of things that you’ve done in the past and how you think the internship could help you develop your skills.

What do you want to do next?

Once my internship is over, I’m planning to take some time out to focus on my music and tour a little. After that, I’m going to uni to study music.

In an ideal world, where will you be in five years time? 

Playing Wembley, with Ed Sheeran opening for me, haha!

Just like Leo, if you are passionate about getting your foot in the door of the creative industries, check out our news board for hints and tips on making those first steps.

If you are inspired by Leo and interested in a paid internship, check out our jobs board which is always updated with the newest entry-level roles from around the UK.