Updated on Friday 1 March 2013
Internships in recording arts provide an unparalleled hands-on experience. In fact, many recording arts programs consider an internship to be a degree requirement. Knowing which type of internship is best for you and knowing how to obtain it are important things to figure out as you're working through your program.
The internship serves an important role in the development of many professional careers and a career in recording arts is no exception. Controlled hands-on training in the classroom should be augmented by hands-on training in the real world, and a full-fledged recording arts internship is the best way to ready yourself for a successful entry to the various recording arts professions. Internships provide an unparalleled experience and come with a wide variety of options. Knowing which type of internship is best for you and knowing how to obtain it are important things for international students to figure out as they consider applying for schools.
A quick online search for an internship in recording arts returns hundreds of results. The vast array of opportunities, from year-long stints in a recording studio to a basic recording arts summer internship, are due in part to the variety of careers that require a recording arts background. It's worth keeping in mind, though, that while there are hundreds of these great internships, the number of students studying recording arts is rising. Thus there has been a heightened demand in recent years for the best internships. International students looking to start their recording arts career with an esteemed internship will have to bring their A game.
Many academic programs stress the importance of the recording arts internship. Some schools even go so far as to call it essential. These schools back up their demands by requiring students to have a recording arts summer internship or something equal in order to graduate with a degree. Often in these cases, schools will actually select and assign students to certain internships provided by companies with which they have a positive working relationship.
A recording arts internship can come in many colors and styles. You could work for a record company by assisting with production, mixing, postproduction, or even marketing. Or maybe you could work for a recording gear company, learning the ins and outs of the newest audio-visual equipment. Another option would be to intern with a tech company and help weave audio into the newest video games. If the big screen is your calling, perhaps you should intern at a film studio and work the audio booth with seasoned veterans of recording arts. Even small screen interests could lead you toward an internship on set for your favorite TV show. If you're the type of student who loves to keep it local, consider available internships at local radio and TV affiliates. Finally, if you're the kind of person who loves high-energy events and quick thinking, you should look into internships with live performance venues. The sky's the limit! If you love manipulating sound, there's an internship out there with your name on it.
Once you've settled on a school, there are several things to consider when thinking about applying for a recording arts summer internship. First, make sure you know your school's requirements regarding internships. As mentioned above, some programs demand a recording arts internship as a degree requirement. These programs usually offer assistance in setting up the best internship for you. If the school is not as hands-on with setting up internships, be sure to know the credit hour requirements. Schools tend to ask for 280-320 hours or 12 weeks of internship experience. Second, if you're one of many international students who are unfamiliar with the American recording arts scene, you should do some research to find the hot spots for the American entertainment industry. Places like Los Angeles, Nashville, Orlando, and New York are hubs for the vast majority of internships in recording arts. Third, know the expectations of various internships. Almost all internships require students to have some basic knowledge already in the bag. Remember, internships allow you to work in real world studios, which means handling thousands and possible millions of dollars worth of high-tech equipment. Your potential boss is going to want to make sure you know what you're doing.