Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Internships in the Music Industry: Kelly Miller, Intern at Madison House, Inc.

My name is Kelly Miller, and I'm a senior Broadcast Production major in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications. I'll be graduating this May and have been interning at Madison House for about a year now. I have learned so much about the music business. Madison House Inc. is a booking and management agency based in Boulder, CO. They represent clients such as String Cheese Incident, Bassnectar, Keller Williams, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Zion I, Blackalicious and more. As booking agents, Madison House is responsible for contacting venues and scheduling tours. Their artists have been at venues and festivals across the country. They also serve as managers for many of their clients, as well as producers of Rothbury Festival, which hosted over 60 acts in 2008 & 2009.

As an intern, I assist the agents and their assistants with anything they ask for. This could be researching venues in different parts of the country that artists are trying to build a fan base in, entering show information into their system to see how many people came out for certain shows, or writing news blurbs for their new interactive website. The agents are so busy everyday, on the phone and in meetings, that they may never get up from their office chair and it is my responsibility to make sure that they have everything that they need.

What I enjoy most about Madison House is their idea of quality over quantity. While other agencies focus on having as large of a roster as possible, Madison House focuses on finding musical acts that they enjoy and sharing them with others. The agents have a close relationship with their artists, and that is not always the case with large agencies. Also, being based out of Boulder helps in the goal to expand the music industry to the Rockies. While most agencies stay in LA or New York, Madison House works to bring attention to the amazing artists and venues we have in Colorado, like Red Rocks. MH artists travel all over the world, but they make sure that Colorado is taken care of when it comes to being exposed to great shows.

My advice to students who are looking for internships in the music industry is to research and jump at any opportunity you can get! Begin with checking out Career Services Online (CSO) for internship positions. There are so many interesting opportunities on there, that you can really broaden your experience in many different areas. So many of these positions often go without being filled, so this is your chance to land an internship where you can not only learn valuable skills, but expand your network of professional contacts.

So many people want internships these days that it is important to work hard to earn your place. Before I started interning at Madison House, I was a production intern at the Fox Theatre in Boulder. I was hired almost immediately, along with other students, but once you were hired you needed to prove that you would work hard in order to stay. People who only worked for free tickets did not last very long. I would also recommend being specific about what you want to accomplish. I knew right away that I wasn't going to be the one setting up 50-pound speakers on stage and that I wanted to work in booking or managing. I approached my boss with what I was interested in and he really helped me out. He told me about Madison House and their internship program. In this industry, you really need to work your way up and prove that you have what it takes to be successful.

Career Services offers so many great services and events, for FREE, that I would highly recommend making an appointment with a counseling or going in during walk-ins to get assistance. I've been going to Career Services since my freshmen year and it's been so helpful. I feel more prepared for life after graduation because of all the events Career Services puts on and all the support they've provided. I would definitely encourage students to attend the next Annual Networking Night to practice your networking skills and learn more about what networking is. This event has helped me to feel more comfortable networking with employers and I can practice my networking and communication skills, something that employers really value, in a casual setting with people who are there to help me.