Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Tag: interns


Sara Rachele: If Interns were Records…

Crafting the perfect concept album, and proving your credibility in the workplace take the same care.  Snap judgements are in play, you know. Fans either like it, or they hate it. And personally, in a time when even my mama knows how to burn a CD, everybody should want to be the type you keep on vinyl, and play for your grand-kids.

Longevity, darlings –You make a junk record, no one will buy your next one. If you do good work, know your audience and understand your niche, you can leave a great mark on your employer! Take this into consideration when and where you’re applying. You don’t want to be a low-fi acoustic deal trying to play on the urban charts. And once you’re in, know you’ve been welcomed in as an intern, and you are there for a short time, so be appreciative! And take every moment and make it believable.  It’s a huge honor to score an internship in the Biz, and it’s a killer opportunity to learn, so work for it!

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Sara Rachele: On your mark… Get set… Goals

What I remember about trick-or-treating is the etiquette, or lack-thereof.  I can see it so vividly, my neighbors who would leave a giant bowl of candy outside on the stoop, with that little hand-scrawled sign: “One each!” That bowl was almost always empty. It’s dawned on me that I’m a grown up version of my trick-or-treating self, the kid who only took one piece even when no one was looking. I still can’t imagine what my mother would say if I hadn’t. As this pertains to my career, I’ve realized that those grubby-handed children who used to be my neighbors presumably are all grown up too… And out on the job hunt.

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Sara Rachele: Performing as an Intern is Like Performing a Song You’ve Written

My approach to office inter-personal relationships – well, it’s exactly the same as my approach performing with an audience. A singer-songwriter friend once told me, how he always aims to “just be with people” on stage. What a lovely way to describe an artist’s bond to a live audience. You’re not performing ‘to’ but instead ‘with’ them.  And it got me thinking, what a way to approach business relationships as an intern.

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No Risk, No Gain – Sara Rachele, Spring 2011 Intern

It’s that frightening moment. You trip over a crack in the sidewalk, stumble — and you’re suspended in that breathless place between balance and gravity — but luckily it only lasts a second. You either bust it, or don’t. Well, I’ve discovered that the best way to describe my internship experience has been to equate it to that moment. That scary, quick little moment, when you slip.

Except if that moment lasted an entire semester.

I’ve heard the old saying that suggests pressure is all in the mind, but even when I find myself saying silly little phrases like, there have been “no major slip‐ups,” I wonder why I’m constantly in fear of falling. There are so many banana‐peel moments in the day, from screwing up a coffee order, to disconnecting a call, to using the wrong language in an e‐mail. It’s hard to count all the obstacles in the way of an intern, but it’s also really hard not to notice them. With all these landmines surrounding an intern, how does one ever really get anything done, let alone give it one’s best?

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“Why didn’t anyone tell me?!” Things I wish I’d known ~ Sara Rachele, intern

Have you ever tried to put your pants on two legs at a time?

If you answered yes, keep reading. If not, you’re probably okay—but maybe there are some situations where you wish someone had told you before you made a silly mistake and fell on your face?  (Thanks mom.) Well, I’m pretty much an expert in mistake-making, so I thought I’d share some things I noticed, intern-to-intern.

Let’s start with the DO’s ~

Do be on time! It sounds simple, but it can often be more difficult than it seems. Weather, errands, coffee-spillage, or public transportation can be iffy. Make an effort to leave yourself extra time, and you’ll always be prepared and up for anything.

Do be cheerful! It’s an interns responsibility to be upbeat and out of the way, which seems a little tricky.  While a good motto is the “seen and not heard,” slogan,  a few words go a long way. A quick, “This project will help me learn X. Thanks!” is a great way to give simple feedback to your supervisors, and help support the team with a good-dose of positivity.

Do learn! Express interest in areas that suit you. As an intern, your primary objective is to learn, so if you have questions—ask! If you want to know more—ask! Just understand you may have to wait a bit for an answer. Your supervisors are your teachers this semester. They are there to help!

Do enjoy yourself! Internships can be extremely high stress, but allow yourself some time to recognize how amazing it is to be an intern. This is your experience, and after all you’re doing what you love!

From an intern who knows…stay tuned for more.



Sara Rachele, former vocalist and keyboardist for The Love Willows (Decca), has been studying at Berklee since mid 2009. A songwriting and music business major, Sara is the Creative Intern at music publisher BMG/Chrysalis. She is currently living in the East Village with her dog Hank Williams.

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