Everyone should at one point, be an intern.  I can’t stress this enough.  Sure, you may be thinking, “I know what I want to do and it’s not fetch coffee all summer”. Or perhaps you just don’t like the idea of working for free.  Yes, these are all valid concerns, but the positives you can gain from an internship greatly out weigh all of these issues.

You might say, “I want to be a producer!” and that’s great.  But do you know what a producer does from day-to-day?  Working with a composer/songwriter/producer myself this summer has shown me that we spend our time on about 25% music and 75% office work.  Sure, there are the days when we are working on a song for hours, but those are few and far between.  Instead, my supervisor and I are both busy sending e-mails, making phone calls, finding that next job, and most importantly, making sure people know that we exist.  Now, I’m not saying this as a deterrent for future producers, but this is the reality of the music business today.  Acquiring an internship, either through Berklee or your own means, will help confirm that what you want to do is actually right for you. Hands on experience in your field is key.

“But I don’t want to be a lackey, running errands for everyone all summer!”  Yes, the dreaded coffee runs are a reality for some interns, but in my opinion, that is becoming less and less common.  As companies continue to be hit by this economic recession, they are becoming smaller and more focused.  This is great news for possible interns because the company, in most cases, will be looking for them to take more responsibility and initiative.

No one likes the idea of working for free, and this is understandable.  However, what you need to realize about an internship is what you are learning every day.  It is important to put yourself in the right mindset of, “I am going to learn as much as I can today about ______”  Some days that may be difficult, especially if you are doing simple file management, but if you approach all tasks as an opportunity to learn something, your entire outlook on work will change.  Instead of being a job, it’s an avenue to learn more about how this crazy industry works.

Internships are a great resource for students.  They serve as both an educational source as well as practical training for the future.  Best of all, internships can expand your network, leading to connections and job offers in the future.  This might not seem like much, but it today’s unstable economy any opportunity is something to be treasured.

Next up: “I’m Done With Berklee… What Now?!?”


Bryant Fuhrmann – Summer 2010 LA Internship Program – intern for alum Matthew Puckett. To contact Bryant, email him: bfuhrmann@berklee.net