Berklee Blogs checks in with Naiquisia Hensey, a music business major wrapping up her internship at Velour Music Group, an artist management company based out of Brooklyn, New York. Naiquisia lets us in on a few tips she’s learned that can make an intern’s life a lot easier. In the meantime we’ll be taking a break from blogging until the college reopens on Jan. 3- be sure to check back then!

While you are looking for you internship, keep in mind that there are a number of different places in which you may want to pursue an internship. You could end up anywhere from London to Japan or Chicago interning in the music industry and it is best to be as prepared as possible before making a final decision. Although many of us would love to travel to the music capitals of the country, or to another continent altogether, there are many things that go into deciding where, when, how and why, you should intern. If the sunny skies of California or the chance to work with your favorite artist of all time in New York City are not enough of deal breaker, then a budget can often become the corner stone of the decision making process.

There are many times when a budget will come in handy on the road to your internship. If your are on an unlimited budget, unlike most of us Ramen lovers, then sky may be the limit, but for the majority creating a budget before you even begin to look for an internship may help to determine if it is the right time for you to take on this venture. A budget made in advance can also be a road map to where you can begin to look for your internship. For instance, no matter where you move you will need to budget for transportation. In New York City for instance, a public transportation unlimited ride pass is $104 per month, where as in Boston an unlimited monthly pass is $40 less coming in at $60 per month. In a number of states across the country, public transportation is not as accessible so instead you would need to budget for a car. If you do not already have a car this could be a larger one-time expense coupled with the continued expenses of insurance, gas, and upkeep. The differences between these three transportation costs could play a huge role in where you begin to look for internship opportunities.

A budget should consist of the necessities: Housing expenses (including utilities), food costs, personal products, and transportation. For safety, you should also write out an allowance for other expenses such as gigging, networking, and taxis. Gigging can often be more expensive than we realize. Paying musicians, buying an outfit, acquiring make up or hair accessories, and sometime even venue fees can suddenly add up to more than half a months rent. Networking is also an expense we don’t often think about when creating our budget. Though this is a work expense, it still comes out of pocket to grab a coffee with a potential band mate, go for drinks with company representatives, or to have lunch with potential bosses. It is good to give yourself a weekly allowance for these things and that allowance should be a part of your budget.

A budget will make a huge difference in deciding the location of your internship, if you will need a second job to survive while interning, and in determining when you are ready to set out on your internship journey. Interning without enough funds can not only be taxing on your ability to perform on the job, but can also be a liability to your survival and your health. So before you decide to intern, come up with a budget to make sure you can afford it. It will be worth the time as well as worth the experience.


Read Naiquisia’s Other Posts

Veteran Tips for Internships

Tip #1: Intern Early



Naiquisia Hensey is a 10th semester student at Berklee. She has spent her last semester as a Music Business Major in New York City interning at Velour Music Group, a small management company for artist such as Soulive, Lettuce, Kaki King and Gramatik to name a few. She started at Berklee in the Fall of 2007 as a singer interested in following her dreams and has been on a musical journey ever since.