Summer Experience: Music industry internship eye-opening for Samantha Sharp

BGSU junior journalism major expands her horizons

sam-sharp
Samantha Sharp, middle, interned over the summer at The Syndicate in New Jersey

I spent my time this summer interning for a brilliant company in New Jersey. As a sophomore I had barely begun researching potential summer internship programs, when my music industry professor recommended that I should apply for an internship with The Syndicate.  

Despite being fairly informed with the music scene, the name did not ring a bell. A quick Google search showed me that this small company has had its hands on projects with Pearl Jam, Coldplay, Taco Bell and several more influential artists and brands. The Syndicate is a music-marketing agency that offers street team marketing, radio promotion, public relations and digital media marketing.  

I had no expectations when I started the internship, because I had never interned or worked specifically in a marketing department. At first, I was incredibly intimidated because I didn’t believe I had a proper skill set to function in a fast-paced work environment. I am a multiplatform journalism major with a music industry minor, so marketing is not my strength. The office ended up being incredibly warm and welcoming and I felt like everyone respected me like they would with any other professional coworker. They assigned me tasks to execute by myself and allowed me to contribute my own ideas to some of their marketing campaigns with actual clients. Since I signed a non-disclosure agreement contract, I am not allowed to go into great detail with the extent of my involvement. The contract seemed a bit scary at first, but in the long run it made me feel like they truly trusted my fellow interns and I like part of their staff.  

While office work was the main focus of the job, I gained valuable field experience during my time in New Jersey. Two other interns and I were hired to distribute promotional materials for Andy Grammer at a “Today Show” concert. We were granted VIP access and had the opportunity to connect with fans and talk to a label representative on Grammer’s team. This behind-the-scenes action was an excellent networking opportunity, as well as an awesome way to experience the business side of live performance. I was also able to promote the musical duo Odesza in Brooklyn, and I was able to pass out posters and flyers for an upcoming show at Barclays Center. The Odesza campaign was exciting because I am a fan, and it was really neat helping out artists who I love.

Another surreal moment was the night I helped curate a social media storyboard for a concert at the Central Park Summer Stage. I helped shoot and caption media content of the bands All Time Low, SWMRS, Waterparks and The Wrecks performing for Taco Bell’s Feed the Beat Instagram account. The storyboard was my original idea, and I pitched it to one of the company’s partners. They liked me idea enough to let me do it, which gave me confidence that my ideas are valuable and good enough to execute in a professional atmosphere.  

This internship was very informative and useful for my music marketing class I am taking this fall. It gave me real-life experience in an industry that is often hard to understand. The social media management skills I learned will aid me during my future and my present as I help manage the Music Industry Club and The Music Industry Minor Twitter and Instagram accounts. For anyone that is unsure if they would fit in the music industry, I highly recommend taking music industry courses at Bowling Green State University. Now that I'm a junior, I realize my time as a music industry minor has helped me narrow down my future career choices and has given me a summer I will never forget.