Learn More About Internships
Internships are an extremely valuable learning opportunity for students to experience and gain knowledge first-hand of the music industry. Learn more about how to apply to internships here and visit Internship Opportunities to find relevant positions.
Generally, interns, with their supervisors, will develop a list of learning objectives and goals that they would like to accomplish and are assigned a project to be completed during their time. Interns may participate in staff meetings and attend events and performances of the organization or venue. Please note that internships in performing arts/the music industry are generally unpaid unless otherwise specified. College credit may be available.
Application materials may include:
- Cover Letter
- 1-2 writing samples
- Letter or recommendation or simply references
Possible positions that are generally offered as internships may include:
- Data Analysis
- may include Donor Relations, Corporate/Foundation Relations, Individual/Planned Giving, Fundraising, Special Events
- may include Community Outreach, Community Partnerships, Audience Enrichment, Education Evaluation and Research
- Human Resources
- Institutional Strategy and Planning
- may include Graphic Design, Communication, Social Media, Interactive Design and Analysis
- may include Production, House Management
- Public Relations
Timeline for Summer Internships
- Begin looking for internship opportunities near you (in an area accessible from where you will be living). Compile a list of all the possibilities and understand what application materials you will need. Make sure you have a resume and cover letter prepared and, if not, reach out in the fall for help constructing them. Visit Resumes and Cover Letters.
- Be sure to apply and apply early, by the beginning of January. There is usually an application deadline by March; however, most internships interview and accept interns on a rolling basis. By applying early, you are ensuring that your application will be read and considered sooner rather than later.
- Follow-up: E-mail every two weeks after you apply to follow up on your application. This sends a message that you are passionate, prompt, and proactive, and that this internship is a priority. Follow up with the same e-mail address to which you sent your application materials. For most small-medium size organizations, you will be connecting with an individual staff member. However, for larger organizations, you will have sent your application to a general Human Resources e-mail. It will be hard to keep in contact with the organization; however, continue to reach out.
- Hopefully an interview! In-person interviews are best. However, do not be afraid to ask for a Skype interview if the organization is too far away to visit for just one interview. Make sure you review your resume and cover letter, study the organization, and practice talking about your experience and why you are interested in this specific opportunity. Some organizations will reach out for a second interview, but this is not always the case.
- Follow-up: Again, follow up immediately after your interview and reach out to the specific staff members that conducted your interview, thanking them for the opportunity to meet with you. Continue to follow up by e-mail every two weeks until you receive notification of the status of the position. This may take a very long time, depending on the organization. Be patient!
Things to Keep in Mind When Applying
While it is important to think about what you are interested in learning about, do not limit your options based on any one factor. Be open-minded, think broadly, and consider everything. Every opportunity has something extremely valuable and new to offer, even the opportunities that did not jump out to you on their own. You will learn a lot about every aspect of the organization just by being in the work environment and working alongside professionals. It is better to have gained any experience than none at all. And it is even sometimes more valuable to learn about what you do NOT want to do, and become exposed to the wide array of opportunities available to you for your future and career.
Ask yourself the following:
- What do I want to learn about? What are my interests? What do I already know and don’t know?
- What type organization am I looking for? Do I want to work in an organization that is large or small? For profit or nonprofit?
- What values do I find important in a work environment or work mission?