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 Aaron’s story, who is interning at Capital XTRA’s Music Potential.
How long have you been in your role?
I’ve been interning at Global for 5 weeks now as part of Capital XTRA’s Music Potential. It feels like it’s been more like 5 months. I’ve had some really great experiences and, just being in the Global Radio building day-to-day, there are so many music-related things on your doorstep.
What’s the first thing you do when you get into the office?
The first thing I do each morning is schedule the social media for the day so that it’s taken care of and I can complete other stuff throughout the day without having to keep going back and forth.
So, the first 15-30 minutes are sourcing the content that I’m going to be putting out there, then 10-15 minutes choosing how the posts are going to be worded for the best reception and making the posts, then 5 minutes putting in the timings of the posts. I might fit a cup of tea in there somewhere too.
Talk us through your day-to-day tasks.
The responsibilities of the role are really varied, so everyday is something different.
Alongside keeping the social media for Music Potential flowing, I might find myself organising workshops and work experience for previous, current and future Music Potential graduates; liaising with other roles to make some of those things happen; collecting feedback on features from the MPX course; or going to record labels and music companies to interview people for online articles.
What’s your favourite thing you do each day?
My favourite thing is probably getting creative with my team and talking about our ideas. I really enjoy the planning of interviews, executing them and then typing up the material too. It’s satisfying to see something you’ve worked on turn into an article and you have a finished product to show for it.
Tell us about projects you’ve worked on and what you liked and didn’t like about it?
One project that I worked on was the ‘Dream Job Roles’ series for The Big Music Project website, where I met up with other people in the music industry, who tend to have roles that are popular and highly desired, and then get an insight into what their role is like.
One of the interviews I did was with Twin B from Island Records who works in Marketing and A&R, which happens to be my dream job role. It was a great experience to be able to sit down with someone who has such boastful credentials in what he does and who’s work I’ve respected for years, and still be humble enough to take the time out to give advice to someone on the come up. Another project was Global’s Make Some Noise day which was great fun to be a part of.
What kind of challenges do you face day-to-day?
The biggest challenge for me, especially at the start of the internship was writing emails confidently. I would write an email and take ages to get to the actual point. I didn’t know about breaking up the key points so the person can easily just see what the focus of the conversation is, the questions being asked, etc.
At first I would get an email double checked before I sent it and half the words would get taken out because it was just waffle. Throughout my internship, I’ve become better at it so I don’t really see it as a challenge anymore, but being able to write a good email is definitely really important.
What have you learnt about the world of work?
I’ve learned that in the music industry, and it kind of goes for a lot of of other creative fields, you can really create your own work opportunities as opposed to a lot of professions where job vacancies are advertised and that’s it.
With music you can be putting in as much work as somebody who’s being paid a lot of money for their role, but you’re doing it for free. If it’s something you really enjoy then it’s an investment that can be worthwhile in the long run.
The aim of the game is to do more work than you’re paid for so that eventually you’ll be paid for more work than you do.
What advice would you give to other people looking to apply for internships?
Try and find an internship that is as close to the specific role you’re trying to break in to but also think outside of the box. If you want to work in radio then aim for an internship within radio, which sounds really obvious but also think about all of the departments within a radio company that you may be able to intern in.
If you take Global Radio for example, it’s way more than just the radio studios and presenters and just being in that environment alone, even if it seems unrelated, can be really helpful.
Another thing is to think about transferrable skills. If you know the general responsibilities of your dream job role, go for an internship where you will be doing similar stuff to what you want to be doing. That way when it comes to applying for the job they can see you’ve been doing similar type of stuff.
What do you want to do next?
I feel that after completing this internship I’m ready to advance to the next step. I’d really like to work within a record label so that is definitely where my attention is right now in terms of looking out for opportunities and creating them where I can.
In an ideal world, where will you be in five years time?
Ideally in 5 years time I’ll be an A&R for a record label and working with artists on their marketing campaigns.