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Great story Corrie! Glad to know that I am not alone on this scary, yet exciting journey. I can completely relate to this and think it will motivate me more to strive to obtain what I want, regardless of age!

Mojo Bone

Nice resume. I think you need to tighten up the writing a little more, there were a few redundant sentences. Good luck with the job hunt!

Bruce Houghton

Corrie will go far!

If working for almost nothing counts, I too was a music industry intern until I was almost 30.

I never even knew that I wanted to be in music until I got a chance internship. Then the first time that I stood by the side of the stage, looking out at a see of enthralled faces and knowing that I had a (very) small part in making that happen, I was hooked for life.

Like any career, some days are better than others, but I can't imagine any other life

Emily White

Yay Bruce! What a cool insight; love it :).

Pete Weisman

Corrie- Employees who deliver solutions instead of problems to their managers are worth their weight in gold. You are a rare breed that understands work and expectations of employment. Please start the cloning process, I will hire you(s) immediately.


Great story -I did an internship at 19 for Chrysalis records (Sunset strip 88) great experience - my song "American Dream" (video) http://youtu.be/fhBW4G6zBRw


Truth. This should be in your bio, Bruce.


Dave Spak

Not to degrade Corie's accomplishments (she is the same age as I and far more impressive), but this type of mindset can be dangerous when she gets in a corporate setting. She worked for an indie label which is perfect for gaining diverse experience fast. I co-run an indie record label and I could tell you that if we need additional help, there is no way we could pay them at this point but they will learn a ton.

The problem is that corporations are snagging people like this up left and right as a means of free labor regardless of their accomplishments. They aren't seeing them as people of real value; they are seeing an increasing level of highly skilled workers that they don't have to pay. At what point do your degrees and experience add value? Where is the threshold where corporations say we have to pay you or we are going to lose a great asset.

She says "My generation has disproved the theory of my parent's generation that if you go to school and specialize in something, you will exit prepared to be an expert, and be entitled to a job in which you will find satisfaction and wealth." It wasn't a theory back then; that's how things were done. Now, you graduate and your degree is little more than an anchor holding you down with massive debt. Schools cost more and teach less while corporations won't hire unless their profit margins are through the roof. Unless companies start to see value in people again, our generation is going to be at a perpetual loss.

Caroline Bottomley

Do you know, I think it's awful to use people's labour and not pay them.
We are a bootstrapped company and even from the beginning we have always paid people for the work they do for us, minimum wage at least (this is a UK thing).

I think there's something wrong with business if you need to rely on people working for you for free to make it work. And something a bit wrong with one's ethics if it's OK to have people working for you for free just cause you can.

Not wanting to be holier than thou or anything, but this 'interning' thing is very wrong.

Music Marketing Maven

I like corie's story which brings me to this...

We have one intern position available. We call our interns "project coordinators" - and they are. Working on our client's projects.

We are a hands-on learning institute here at Web 'n Retail. There is no age in our office. We all teach each other in this ever changing world of online marketing and social media.

Anyone that may be interested in our internship position which is 2 or 3 days a week from Noon to 6:30. Please contact Webnretail@cs.com

Emily White

Hey Caroline,

I hear you! Fyi, Corie joined a company that is a brand new start-up, so there was no capital on Day 1. Additionally, we have taken interns from being literally scared children with no qualifications to confident business people by the end of their tenure with us and have landed anyone with their merit a job that suits their interests and skills elsewhere. I did 8 internships as an undergrad student and it completely set the trajectory for my career. I applaud the U.K.'s system as I did an internship at MTV in Camden that paid under 200 quid a week, but frankly, that's the same amount of money I received in benefits from my U.S. counterpart internships. I've never even had to use my C.V. in my career to this day because of those experiences. I believe we are providing opportunities for students that truly benefit them both personally and professionally. Additionally, when I have students who show up on Day 1 who literally have NO skills and don't know Google Cal from Dropbox, we are taking the time out of our incredibly busy days and away from our business to mentor students. And fyi, we do pay qualified students who are doing legitimate work when they aren't on a learning curve. Corie was of course compensated for stepping in to tour manage Brendan in Austin after our tour manager went home ill.

Best of luck with your business as well!

Take Care,

Corie Kellman

Thank you AK for your support and I am so touched that my story may motivate you, too.

Corie Kellman

Thank you Mojo!

Corie Kellman


Thank you for your support on this article. I, also, had no idea that you also found the passion for the industry later in life and had interned in your late 20s. You inspire me!

Corie Kellman


I appreciate your value of rewarding and retaining those that work hard for what they believe in. Do you work in the music industry, too?

Corie Kellman

Thank you for taking the time to read my article! I will check out your video, too!

Corie Kellman


I agree with you that there is a problem with the cost of a degree vs the value in the workforce and your return on investment in the US today. It is a slippery slope, but I also believe in adapting to circumstance in order to prevail. Thanks for taking the time to read my article and stir up some good food for thought. There are good internships and their are bad ones-- I found a tremendous value in working with Readymade and the lessons I learned have been priceless. It has been a great opportunity for me and that is why I was so motivated to share.

Corie Kellman


I entered this industry with drive and skills that I believed could be carried over into an industry I knew very little about before Readymade entered my life. My story is unique in that I signed up for FanBridge emails to learn more about Readymade Records as I applied endlessly to internships at major music corporations without so much as a call. My resume was jam packed with goods but no music experiences--heck, I don't even know how to play an instrument. FanBridge asked me if I wanted to ask Readymade a question after completing the newsletter web form. I introduce myself as a marketing professional and asked where I could send my resume. Emily provided me an opportunity of my lifetime. There was much more value in the time I have invested in Readymade. I have been introduced of industry professionals, I have joined the team on the road, traveled to new cities, I have watched shows side-stage, and had the chance to know what I was getting myself into before I started a new career in a sea of the unknown. I will also confirm that I was compensated for my time tour managing this year.

I have had bad internships in my life that I brought me to tears, but this one has been the most motivating and uplifting experience for me. I hear you-- it's not fair to abuse people's time and labor, but I stand that this was not an instance of that. What I also know at 27 that I did not know in my younger years was when to walk away if I was felt I was being taken advantage of. I never once felt taken advantage of at Readymade--they have taken very good care of me.

Thanks for drawing up the conversation. I definitely think it's something that America as a whole should take a closer look at. I never wish for someone to be put in a situation where they felt cheated.

Emily White

Btw, RAD company Caroline! I'm going to pass it along to my favorite video director :) x


I really am very glad for you and wish you every success.
I just don't know how people are supposed to survive - unless they have parents to support them?
very best, C


cheers Emily !

Bruce Houghton

Thank-you all for sharing your great stories.

Paul Resnikoff

I think you're dangling carrots that don't exist anymore.

Actually, I've had unpaid interns at Digital Music News, but realized it's bad for both sides. And, borderline exploitative, if not completely exploitative. Which is why I've shifted to paid only.

Anyway, I could write volumes in this thread, but I wrote a response article here.


good point, its technically illegal in california (as of 2002) to have unpaid interns unless they are college students earning credits.

I was a minor and unpaid so I was being exploited by a conglomerate, however they juste hired every intern at minimum wage and never gave them a raise. (myself included)

Jonathan Jaeger

Awesome, good luck! I agree that formal schooling helps (it helped me get better at writing, even if it was more about a thesis statement than a blog post). Learning after college or grad school is just as important if not more important, in my opinion.

Emily White

Hey Caroline,

I worked my butt off to get a swimming scholarship so I could go to the University I wanted to that had my ideal Music Industry and internship program (Northeastern University for anyone who cares).

I know other students who worked full time at restaurants on weekends to afford interning during the week.

Corie also has a full time job and the above examples are all that of passion for music and growing in the business.

I'm was far from a rich kid :)

Take Care,
Emily x

Corie Kellman

Thanks Jonathan for taking the time to read and reflect!

Corie Kellman

Thanks for sharing this opportunity with all those that are looking for a place to learn new things! I am so glad this story has opened doors and provided motivation!


Disclaimer: I am in my late 20's, interned until I was in my late 20's as well, and have worked at indies as well as majors...and have gone through this hungry, frustrated, yet misplaced, mindset.

I don't mean to get all Lefsetz and shoot it straight but I want you to be successful. Your getting close, and you can feel it...but you have to stop thinking this industry, or anyone in it, owes you anything, sees how qualified you are, or that you deserve anything. There are thousands of people like you (us, I should say), who have great qualifications, a laundry list of internships, are extremely passionate and driven, and just can't seem to break through.

Stay persistent. You are obviously smart and a savvy networker to boot, so you WILL get your shot if you stay persistent. Visualize it, and display humility. You are a hustler and your interviewer will repsect that. But I also STRONGLY encourage you to start visualizing what you will bring to the table once you do break through, and where or "who" you want to be in five years. Concentrate on EXACTLY what lane you want to be in...management...strategic marketing,connecting brands etc...publicity...tour marketing...social analytics? Focus on that and start picking up HARD SKILLS, related to that lane, and you will be able to separate yourself from the pack and be all that much more valuable to your future employer than you already are.

Keep hustling.

Positivity and all the best...


Wow. Exactly what I needed to read at this point in my life. I'm 26 and in the same exact mindset. I graduated from college in 09, came home, got "comfortable" and this is where I've been for 3.5 years. Full time at Apple, then interned at a music studio, jumped at an opportunity for a prominent music house in the area and learned a lot in the 8 months I was there. Small company and I knew the risk, but I dove head first regardless. This is encouraging to read and as I am in the planning stages of my next move. At least I can transfer to NYC/LA with my current full time job and have time on the side...

Thanks for this and good luck!

Corie Kellman

Hi Joe! I love your attitude and willingness to reserve time on the side to work towards your goals. Good luck to you, too!

Corie Kellman

Thank you for your positive thoughts as I continue on!



I'm 26 and interning at a music company. I used to work in Title Insurance until my company decided to let me go. Went on interviews and although lots of my employers thought I was great, still couldn't get the job. Having a bachelors isn't enough anymore. Decided to create my own career.

I think what you're doing is awesome.

Our generation has had a different hand dealt to us. And the generation after us will live in a completely different world. So I think it's up to us to reinvent what's possible.

Keep creating!

Andrew Wiebe

I very much like what you said here: "My generation has disproved the theory of my parent's generation that if you go to school and specialize in something, you will exit prepared to be an expert, and be entitled to a job in which you will find satisfaction and wealth. Instead, my generation is slightly behind, had spent years specializing and now needs to focus on generalization and adaptation."

I don't think it's at all unusual to intern whether you're 16 or 96. Generation Y is quite likely to have many different jobs and careers, if for no other reason because we're looking for fulfillment and reward and we don't want to accept the status quo.


awesome! im also an intern about your age...thanx for sharing your story. :)

Corie Kellman

Thanks for the support! I'm so happy to hear you create your own opportunities too. :)

Corie Kellman

It's a hard pill to swallow for many, but we are in an age, where people like Kat (above) are creating their own careers. It's exciting and will hopefully lead to an age of innovation.

Corie Kellman

You're welcome! Thanks for reading/reflecting. :)

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