The 27 Year Old Music Intern Is Now 28 and Employed
Plus 5 Lessons Learned From Emily White at Readymade Records
Officially, I can no longer be tagged "The 27 year old intern" for two reasons specifically.
1. I turned the ripe old age of 28 last month and
2. I have taken on the role of Director of New Artist Relations at Cyber PR after consulting for the boutique online PR and social media strategy firm for the last 6 months.
After "The 27 Year Old Intern" posted, my inbox and twitter feed flooded with many well-wishers. And this follow-up and era of my career is dedicated to all of you who sent me messages of luck and provided me inspiration, as well as to all of those that have shared similar stories and are looking for a path of their own.
I'd like to close out this chapter and open a new one with:
My Top 5 Lessons Learned From Emily White at Readymade Records
5. Mailing lists are extremely valuable – there should never be a merch table or website without one. Seriously, Emily once had me create one for a musician she didn't even manage at a show we attended. I asked the ticketing window for a scrap piece of paper and a sharpie to create a sign-up sheet and set it in front of a case of vinyl. It sounds silly and simple, but even after countless marketing classes in college, until Emily drilled this into my intern brain, I had NO IDEA that email addresses were as important as they are (even to artists as well-known as Brendan Benson.) It's a conversation I now have daily with artists as we discuss the digital environment at Cyber PR.
4. Not everyone is going to be positive towards your vision. She taught me to not get to high on the highs or low on the lows. For every well-wisher and supporter, there will always be a Negative Nancy. Don't let that cloud your vision or your passion. I was recently in a situation where I was found laughable by a fellow professional. I started to question my value and knowledge. I thought back on a message from Emily when my first Hypebot piece posted where she warned me to get ready for the haters and that I should prepare myself for the one person who did not agree with me and not to let it get to me. I didn't need the advice right then, but I pulled on it to get me through a more recent trial. It's important to stay positive, move forward, and grow from these events– this is a very competitive industry and there will be a low moment every now and again.
3. Answer your emails within 24 business hours, even from people who are not in your address book. This is one of the best habits to get into. Emily answers every email down to every last unsolicited music submission to Readymade. (She also takes Sunday evenings to make sure her inbox is empty so she can start her week fresh– a habit I have also inherited.)
2. Be professional and accountable! Our industry is fun; sometimes we even get to have a beer and watch a concert as a part of our workday, but it's still work. It's important to be professional and accountable for what you have committed to do. There are so many moving parts in the music industry and we all work together to make something like an album release or a tour to happen and if one person misses a deadline or an important email, it can throw the whole team off. Don't be the weak link. Your team will remember when you do a good job and recommend you for other projects, which brings me to. . .
1. Networking is important (even for someone like me who it does not come naturally to.) Emily's career has been paved from internships and referrals because she has done a good job and made great connections along the way, not from what is printed on a resume. Networking is the farthest from something that feels natural to me, it's a challenge, but I understand it's value. It is the primary reason I was put up for my current position at Cyber PR– Emily supported my professional development and helped place me in front of important people and ultimately placed the recommendation that changed my career. In my new position, I have come across countless people in the industry that I met while at Readymade Records, too; further promoting the importance of making good impressions on the people you meet along the way– they will likely pop up again in your future.