interview: Emily White of the Interning 101 Podcast

interview: Emily White of the Interning 101 Podcast

Making it in the music industry, and also just any industry, can be difficult. Thankfully, Emily White is here to help. The author of Interning 101, Emily has recently debuted a companion podcast, interviewing experts in the biz for their tips, tricks, and more. We talked with Emily about her tips for breaking it in the biz and more!

  photo: Paul Buckmaster

photo: Paul Buckmaster

TGE: What made you decide to create a podcast form of your guidebook? What did you envision for this podcast and how do you see it helping others?

E: Frankly, because I was asked. I'm beyond flattered that The Jabberjaw Network and Mike Mowery at Outerloop asked me to turn Interning 101 into a podcast. In hindsight it makes sense for a lot of reasons. I can't wait to bring all of the knowledge of the book to life with guests that are either in the book or exemplify best practices of modern business every day in their own careers.

How did you decide on who you wanted to speak to? Do you have any dream guests in mind?

The guests are a mix of those whose experience I know can help the audience along with folks that I find fascinating within this space. I have a few dream guests that we're going after as the show grows, but I honestly want to have Monica Lewinsky on it in a very serious manner. I've been wanting to cover #MeToo and interns for awhile, and it wasn't until a former boss who used to hit on me kept contacting me about the show that I realized I wanted to have her on to talk about what the hell to do when your boss hits on you. It's scary, it's weird, you want to do the right thing, but aren't always sure where to turn. 

What was your very first internship ever? What did you learn and did you end up applying it to future jobs?

Powderfinger Promotions outside of Boston. Although I did a ton of internships in school, this one was crucial. I'm still in touch and good friends with my boss Winifred Chane. Win took me to the first Bonnaroo and just about every show in the Boston music scene that you can imagine. Between her and the company's owner, David Avery, I couldn't have asked for a better opening experience in the music industry.

What do you feel is the value of internships, especially as they relate to the music industry? When do you think someone should consider getting an internship and do you think there's ever a time where an internship might not be valuable?

I think the value of internships in the music industry is the same in every field. There are terms, nuances, best practices, genuine networking, and much more that cannot happen fully in the classroom. I can't recommend strongly enough that students build in an internship or two into their educational plan, if they can. Students should start as young as possible and that can be as simple as joining a street team for a local venue to start to gain experience and contacts. I really don't think there's an internship experience that isn't valuable, unless it delves into unethical behavior. In that instance, tell a faculty member at your school, a family member, me, or any one that you are comfortable talking to. That said, even a truly terrible internship will teach you what you don't want to do as much as what you want to do - and remind you of the golden rule and how you will treat interns when you are in that position.

What's one of your favorite guests you've talked to so far and what's something really important that they shared with listeners?

Warped Tour Founder Kevin Lyman was super fun as we only got to know each other recently, so I didn't know what to expect. I love talking to folks older than I who didn't necessarily have internships as options and just dove into their passions to create their own path and success.

What advice would you give to someone who might be considering an internship in the music industry? How do they make sure their internship is the right fit and how do they get the most from it? How can you tell whether an internship will be a valuable professional experience or not?

Just do it is a great slogan for a reason! You never know what it will be like until you try, so start trying. Students shouldn't worry if it's the right "fit," as it's an internship, not your entry-level job out of college. For example, when interning at what is now Live Nation New England - which seemed like a no brainer as I loved going to shows and they produced all of the club level shows and up in the region - I realized that working in a more corporate culture isn't for me. It wasn't anything to stress about, more so than something I was glad to figure out while in school instead of post-college while in the workforce. To get the most out of your internship, honestly read Interning 101. That's not a plug, but is why I wrote it. I didn't set out to be an author, rather I felt an inherent need to get this info out to the world that I don't feel is being taught in this way otherwise. That said, research everything you can about the company and key team members before you interview and begin, in the least. I guarantee you will gain something out of your internship, even if it's figuring out what to wear in your field of choice, as I guarantee you it's different from what you wear to class.

What was the first job you ever wanted? And how has your career or your goals changed since then? 

I don't know what the first job I ever wanted was! I've never used my resume in my adult life as each internship experience led to the next until I was hired by Madison House and The Dresden Dolls a few months before graduating from college. Honestly, my goal was to get a job where I could sleep in (ironic since I get up at like 5 AMnow), listen to music all day and go to shows at night. I had no idea how far my career path would take me beyond those initial goals.

What's the number one piece of advice (intern-related or otherwise) that you would give someone?

Make yourself indispensable.