The Big Music Project has part-funded several music industry internships and we’re aiming to inspire and create incredible opportunities for young people from across the country who want to get into the music business. We’re sitting down with each of our interns one by one to find out how they’re getting on! Here’s Cat’s story, who is interning at Capital XTRA.
How long have you been in your role?
I’ve been at Capital XTRA for about 2 months now.
What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office?
Grab a large cup of coffee! I’ll then head to my laptop and get up to date with the morning’s news stories. After making a list of the top stories, I’ll discuss them with the XTRA online editors. We’ll then prioritise articles in order of importance, and I’ll be assigned my news stories to get working on.
Talk us through your day-to-day tasks.
I normally write two or three articles before midday, mainly focusing on Capital XTRA’s featured artists – it’s an urban music station, so think Drake, Beyonce and Rihanna. Stories can involve anything breaking news to fresh music releases. Once the initial news is covered, we’ll get to work on features for the website. I might also have meetings during the day, which can involve XTRA or Global as a whole.
After lunch I’ll often sit in the studio with Toni Phillips, who DJ’s weekday afternoons on Capital XTRA. My role is to assist her on social media, and surface relevant news for her to talk about on air. After seeing Toni I’ll continue with features for the afternoon, before scheduling tweets for the evening ahead. Managing social media accounts like Twitter and Instagram is also part of my role at XTRA, so I keep on top of that throughout the day as well.
What’s your favourite thing you do each day?
It varies! I love helping Toni out, as being in the studio environment and taking on a producer-like role is really fun. It’s also great when our artists come in for interviews – I’m usually lucky enough to meet them before Snapchatting or Tweeting the event to our followers. But day-to-day, I love everything about my internship.
Tell us about projects you’ve worked on and what you liked and didn’t like about it?
Capital XTRA Live was an event we put on for Global’s Make Some Noise charity day, which featured Craig David and Jaguar Skills. It was my first week on the job, and I couldn’t have had a better introduction! Snapchatting the night was so fun, as was setting up and working with the amazing XTRA team who all put on such a good night.
I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every aspect of my internship so far. The job is fun yet challenging, and the team have been so lovely and welcoming.
What kind of challenges do you face day-to-day?
The nature of radio and music journalism can be very fast-paced. If an important music or tour release involving one of our main artists suddenly pops up, we have to be on top of it. I have to keep a keen eye out at all times and stay on top of any breaking news throughout the day, which can be challenging when you’ve got a list of jobs to get through!
What have you learnt about the world of work?
Punctuality is so important, as it proves that you are dependable and reliable. Making a good first impression is also key, so be nice to everyone you meet as this is something that won’t go unnoticed. Also, keeping cool around ‘celebrities’ and big artists is a lot easier than I imagined – they’re just normal people!
What advice would you give to other people looking to apply for internships?
Don’t restrict yourself – be open to any opportunity thrown your way. The more experience you gain, the more employable you are and the more knowledgable you’ll become. Keep applying and don’t give up.
What do you want to do next?
I studied Vocal Performance and songwriting at university, so music has always been my first passion. I’m going to focus on that whilst continuing to write on my pop music blog. Music journalism and working within radio are other paths I would love to go down, which is why this internship has been so valuable to me.
In an ideal world, where will you be in five years time?
My dream has always been to make a career out of music, either as a songwriter or an artist. However, with the skills I have learnt during my time at Capital XTRA, I’m more interested than ever to explore radio as well. I’m just going to work hard, stay focused and do what I love.