My first day of interning for a music company was enlightening and interesting. Here’s what went down:
The day started with a listening test, part of the training for sorting music in the company’s licensing department. Essentially, you listen to a bunch of tracks and decide what sounds “professional” vs. “amateur” quality in terms of production. They tell you if your responses are correct, and various aspects of production quality are discussed. Only those deemed professional quality recordings will move on to be considered for placement in films or television shows. This is a very intuitive, gut reaction- if it sounds pro, regardless of the genre, it passes. They gave me a test assignment to see if I had understood this concept (Interns who can hear the difference are allowed to help in the licensing department). I found this somewhat challenging, as I realized that some of the music that I listen to might not pass this basic test, strictly based on production value. It required me to put my own taste in music aside and look at the overall work. It definitely required some adjustment and serious thought on my part, but I eventually began to feel that I understood what the company was looking for in song licensing.
Next was online research for the artist reps (sales people). This involves combing the Web for local independent artists that may have releases in the works, and emailing them to offer the company’s manufacturing services. Attention is paid to make sure that no-one who has already declined the service is repeatedly spammed.
The last part of the day was assembling CDs. A lot of precise work with a glue roller, and much folding of cardstock and paper. Enjoyable, but repetitive.
Of all my first day tasks, I enjoyed the online research the most, as it is essentially the same thing I do everyday: look for cool bands online that I haven’t heard of before. I could honestly do that non-stop.