Updated on Wednesday 27 February 2013
It is becoming increasingly common for recording studios not to consider hiring someone who has not yet had real-world experience in a studio, post-production facility, record label, distributor, store, live performance venue, or other businesses related to recorded audio products. As the recording industry becomes more and more competitive, it is becoming more integral for international students to gain experience through a recording engineering internship.
Nothing is more impressive to a recording studio than having had a recording engineering internship. These internships will be demanding, and often require the interns to complete a lot of menial tasks such as fetching coffee and cleaning the studio. The work may be tedious and uninteresting, but in the end, it will most likely pay off. Says Donny Da Silva, Facility Manager of Toronto’s Phase One Studios, whose clientele has included Rihanna, Akon, Sting, 50 Cent and U2’s Bono: “When we hire an intern, I’m always thinking, this person will potentially fill in for one of my guys three or six months down the road.” An intern who does his or her job well and goes above and beyond the call of duty will get noticed, and eventually be called upon to complete more exciting tasks. Most recording engineering summer internships are unpaid, and many do not lead directly to a full-time job, but these internships offer real life, hands on training and provide students with a forum to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom. They leave students will positive work referencing beneficial in finding more permanent work in the field. These internships also offer an opportunity to forge relationships with more experienced people in the business. Favorable relationships with the recording studio staff will help interns in eventually securing more long-term jobs and starting their careers.
Many schools assist students in finding recording engineering summer internships in local studios that help students to gain real-world knowledge and hands-on experience in their chosen field. It is a good idea for international students to make connections with their professors and other faculty members; these people can be invaluable in finding recording engineering summer internships. However, don’t just rely on other people to do your work. Do research on the types of audio-related businesses in your city. Use the internet, the library; consult weekly and monthly recording industry trade magazines and journals; talk to the people who work any clubs or live venues you frequent, as well as the retail clerk at your favorite record store. Ask everyone if they know of any internship openings in their field.
International students interested in a recording engineering internship should research the studio(s) they’re considering applying to and learn as much as they can before applying. Students should research what studios are in their area, what their client base is like, what kind of music they specialize in and before contacting them to propose an internship. Some studios can only offer internships to students who are receiving school credit. If this is the case, many recording engineering colleges and trade schools have internship coordinators or placement directors that can help students who have already graduated get internships.
Students applying for recording engineering summer internships should give as much thought to how their interning at a studio will benefit the studio as to how it will benefit them. The recording engineering world is extremely competitive, and studios are not going to hire an intern unless doing so will benefit the studio in some way. When they feel they are knowledgeable enough to discuss what they want to get out of their internship, students should email the studio(s) they’re interesting in interning for asking if there are any internships available (or if there will be in the near future) and attach their resumes. If the studio does have an available internship and is interested in the applicant, they will schedule an interview.