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What do I do with all these interns?

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  • What do I do with all these interns?

    I get about an email a week from college students asking to intern at the studio for the summer.  Often they are in some form of "Music Business" program at college.  Very rarely do they actually have a suitable skill set for useful studio work, but of course they are asking to intern, not to run sessions.  Anyone have ideas how I can help these kids without letting them become a burden on the business?  What is expected of studio interns?  What do you think these kids expect in their heads?  Keep in mind we're an owner-operated business, just myself and my buddy, and not a big facility.  Basically we're a commercial project studio, not a big multi-room facility with a staff, etc.

    Silk City Music Factory: A Connecticut Recording Studio

  • #2

    Philter wrote:

    I get about an email a week from college students asking to intern at the studio for the summer.  Often they are in some form of "Music Business" program at college.  Very rarely do they actually have a suitable skill set for useful studio work, but of course they are asking to intern, not to run sessions.  Anyone have ideas how I can help these kids without letting them become a burden on the business?  What is expected of studio interns?  What do you think these kids expect in their heads?  Keep in mind we're an owner-operated business, just myself and my buddy, and not a big facility.  Basically we're a commercial project studio, not a big multi-room facility with a staff, etc.




    Back in the day, 'internship' usually seemed to take the form of finding someone who would let you hang around and act as an unpaid gofer. 


    Lots of learning involved. Learn to ask for cream or sugar. Learn who doesn't want mayo, who wants mustard, who wants decaff.


    Learn the right way to coil cable. This is as crucial to your future as getting the cream and sugar right. But, for many, seems harder.  wink.gif 


    Then learn how to set up mics, stands and cables. This is huge. So much can go wrong. Nothing like seeing the vintage Neumann on the boom stand go over like a tree in the forest. (And trust me, everyone will hear that tree fall. Not to mention your howls of pain and anguish.) After you learn how to set 'em up so they don't fall over or get pulled off the stand, then you can start learning where to put them.


    And if they're still around after all that and doing a good job, you can start teaching them signal flow... 

    Hopefully, at some point, the amount of work you are putting in teaching them is exceeded by amount of productive work you get out of them. But at that point, they're probably thinking, Hey, this is starting to seem like real work!


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    • #3

      Philter wrote:

      Anyone have ideas how I can help these kids without letting them become a burden on the business?  What is expected of studio interns?  What do you think these kids expect in their heads?  Keep in mind we're an owner-operated business, just myself and my buddy, and not a big facility.


      I suspect that they're bulk-mailing to studios in their area and aren't aware that you're not a big facility. If you have a web site, they probably haven't read it. Would you want someone like that hanging around while you're trying to work?

      Some may actually be legitimate, and may have some skills that you can take advantage of for certain sessions. Starting interns really do usually start out by making coffee, getting lunches, and just observing. An intern can learn something useful by taking detailed notes on the session - who's playing, who's engineering, the equipment used, mic positions, settings, plug-ins used, Annotating takes, what's good, what's bad, what can be fixed, and what's a fix. Give them some mics (or literature) to look at so they can identify mics. Let them take notes on a computer, and at the end of a session, print out a copy for you and one for themselves as homework. You might learn something from that, too.

      If you do any on-location work, an extra set of hands is usually helpful (of only to get coffee and lunch).

      If you decide to talk to someone, the most important thing to emphasize is that you won't be needing them every day. That will weed out the ones who want to hang out with famous artists who come in to record.

      Or perhaps you could offer to teach a "how to be a studio intern" class.

      --
      "Today's production equipment is IT-based and cannot be operated without a passing knowledge of computing, although it seems that it can be operated without a passing knowledge of audio." - John Watkinson, Resolution Magazine, October 2006
      Drop by http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com now and then

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      • coyote-1
        coyote-1 commented
        Editing a comment

        I knew a guy who got some interns from a local college some years ago.

         

        He set about getting them to

        - wash his car

        - clean his house

        - walk his dogs

        - run his errands (dry cleaning, food shopping, etc)

        - date a couple of them

         

        He's now serving time for that.  lol













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