My name is Karen Miller and I am recent college graduate from Long Island University Brooklyn Campus. In the past I’ve held internships at Downtown Magazine, News 12 the Bronx, CBS, Universal Music Group and a temp position at Def Jam Recordings. My dreams are to purse a career in the music business.
Dear College Students,
Let me say graduating from college is never an easy task. College students have to juggle work, personal life issues, internships and class load. I was once an undergrad student at Long Island University Brooklyn Campus from 2009-2014.
My five years at LIU Brooklyn was an interesting experience. When I first started in 2009 I was this young and confused student. At the time, I was sure I wanted to major in a health field. However, after I failed a biology course, I knew I was in the wrong field. I always had a passion for music and writing.
So in 2011, I changed my major to journalism. I wasn’t so sure what part of the business I wanted to do—so I knew I needed an internship. Since I had no prior experience I found it difficult to land an internship. Looking for your first internship is never easy and I remember feeling discouraged and thinking maybe I made mistake majoring in journalism. Eventually I landed my first editorial internship at Downtown Magazine.
The experience was great and I learned a lot, but I knew I wanting to expand my knowledge and become intern for television or radio station. The process of looking for another internship was another challenge, but I was prepared I eventually landed my first television internship at News 12 the Bronx.
I loved the opportunity, but I would notice there wasn’t much guidance for interns we were left to figure out our own learning experiences. Despite the set back I made sure to utilize my entire time there and I learned how to develop and put together news segments.
But since I was a child, I’ve always had a passion, which is music. Without having any prior music experience I applied for my music internship at Universal Music Group. Hundreds of college students apply from all over the world for an opportunity to intern in the music business. A week later I received a call to intern for the marketing/publicity department.
I knew I found my true destiny, which is working in the music business. I worked hard and was transferred to Def Jam Recordings as an educational temp employee for the label. At the time I thought I knew I would have no issue landing my first job after I graduate.
My advice to college students interning is to utilize the experience and make connection with everyone. The career path I decided to choose is very difficult and many days I doubt myself, but I always tell myself never give up on your dreams no matter how hard it is.
After my temp position finished at Def Jam, I was referred to agency, which helps college grads land entry-level position in the music business. But unfortunately I have not landed entry-level position as of yet. I’ve been on one interview with the agency and a dozen other interviews with companies I applied on my way. During the interview I always hear you have great experience, but since I’m a recent college graduate and worked as temp I don’t have enough work experience I’m told.
As I stated earlier, college students please network and build relations with everyone in the building even if it’s not your interest. I feel I made the mistake at Def Jam by just staying in my department and not networking enough.
I even applied to entry-level positions in the Los Angeles area, which is has the most opportunities in music, but because I did not live in the area, the company wanting to hire someone who lived in the area immediately.
After months of debating I decided I may move to the LA area if an opportunity does not happen for me in New York. I feel unsure where I’m going to start my entry-level position, but I know I will land something soon and have a successful career in the entertainment business.
Remember students every set-back you experience is building you up to become strong individual.