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Intern issues not specific to Electrical Audio

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:09 pm
by Justin Foley
I am willing to bet the I have interned at more places in the past 2 years that anyone else on this board. Maybe more than everyone else on this board.

These days, I am a professional intern. It is not easy to be a good intern, but I have observed and learned. And I am ready to share.

I am interning right now as I write this and so have a bit of time to respond to any interning questions that people have. While I do not presume to have the answer to your immediate interning problem, I can help you appreciate the rich and detailed tapestry of your internship through providing the insight of experience.

You let me know.

= Justin

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:25 pm
Though I have no questions for you, I had the idea of becoming a professinal intern. After interning at Electrical, I had the desire (still do...) to intern at as many places around the country as possible, just to meet people and learn about recording, music, the industry, etc. This is not possible for someone like me cause i need gear, and gear costs money. Interning is the exact oppososite of earning money. Anyhoo, are you a professional intern for the same reasons mentioned above? Where are you at right now?

Re: Intern issues not specific to Electrical Audio

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:37 pm
by john
Justin from Queens wrote:I am willing to bet the I have interned at more places in the past 2 years that anyone else on this board. Maybe more than everyone else on this board.


If only you had interned for an English teacher or an English teacher.

PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2003 4:37 pm
by A Guy

PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2003 10:06 am
by Justin Foley
This is a pretty stringent board, grammar wise. I can handle that.

I apologize for mistakenly typing "the" when I meant to type "that". And then "that" when I meant to type "than". Careless. The other transgressions were intentional for stylistic reasons.

Now on to the intern stuff.

Some places will pay you a nominal amount of money when you intern. I do not think that English teachers would pay one to intern for them, as teaching basic grammar does not usually throw off lots of cash. Generally, interning means “you get to work and make your money elsewhere.” Mr. Greenspan’s Fed has created an intern-friendly environment where credit is easily available, and most interns resort to debt. That’s what I do.

Right now, I'm interning at the United Nations. They do not pay. If you intern at the United Nations, you have to enter through the same door in the Secretariat building as the European tourists and busloads of Christian daycamps. This latter group wonders vaguely if they are in the house of the devil. The security badge given to interns is color-coded brown. Draw your own conclusions.

I am not expected to change toilet paper rolls here.

= Justin, here to help.


PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 7:10 am
by gaetano
well,actually i have a question for justin...
let's say you want to intern at a studio:how do you approach said studio?
do you contact them by mail,phone,etc. or do you "ring their bell" ie. you show up at the studio?
is a curriculum needed?
thank you in advance and sorry for my bad english.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2003 10:23 am
by Justin Foley
The reason is fairly obvious -- Interning is a simple, menial and negligible trade, and despite our best attempts to fool people into believing we are important (i.e. creating this board), no interest has been generated.

You can do better than that. There are bad interns and good interns; I know because I have had and been both. Last year I completed an internship with JPMorgan Chase and the elevator could not get me out of the building fast enough. Earlier this year, I finished an internship at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and they were ready to name the floor after me. There are a number of complex factors determining how each internship plays out and some of those factors are in your hands.

let's say you want to intern at a studio:how do you approach said studio?
do you contact them by mail,phone,etc. or do you "ring their bell" ie. you show up at the studio?
is a curriculum needed?

Some would say that, because I have not yet interned at a recording studio, I should defer this question to others. I have never yet let ignorance stand in the way of expressing a point of view, so I will carry on.

People always appreciate it when others do their homework. Find out who has interned there before, how they got the gig, what this place is looking for in their interns and why this place is best for you. Posting on message boards is a good start, but don't let that end it for you. Be persistent and optimistic in your approach.

thank you in advance and sorry for my bad english.

No problem here, but I cannot promise that others on this board will be so forgiving. It's a tough bunch.

= Justin, intern until August

PostPosted: Mon Jul 07, 2003 4:59 pm
by Justin Foley
I ran into someone this past weekend that saw my posts on this board. She was a bit shy about posting, but had an important interning question for me. I will share it with you.

She (paraphrased): "I'm interning at this place and they really treat me like crap. I have nothing to do and it's clear that they don't want me bugging them for more stuff to do. If I didn't have access to the internet, I don't know what the hell I'd do. Is this resume enhancer worth it?"

An internship is an opportunity. There is usually a clear time limit when the internship will be finished, so make the most of the time that you have there.

A good intern will be clear about expectations right from the beginning. When you are ready to intern, imagine yourself as a fabulously well-paid and benevolent consultant. Sit down with your sponsor at the beginning and ask some questions. What are the sponsor's expectations? How does the sponsor see a successful internship turning out? How will progress be measured?

Make sure that you listen actively, with your whole body.

You should also be clear about what you want to get out of the internship. Be on the lookout for potential areas of disagreement and work to get them straightened out at the beginning.

Come in to your internship each day with the approach that you are there to learn and help. If you are logged on the internet typing up mindless posts that no one really cares about, you're not helping and you're not learning. Ask questions. Read everything you can. An excellent intern will keep a personal journal about the internship, to both clarify thoughts and provide a keepsake of the experience.

Even a terrible internship working for slave driving goons offers a chance to learn and reflect. It is up to the intern to make the most of the opportunity.

= Justin

PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2003 11:37 am
by Justin Foley
Here's an important thing about interning that can help you:
Make it a point to learn everyone's name at the beginning of your internship. On my floor at the UN, there are 68 people (not including myself). These are fine folks from all over the world. Collectively they represent over 40 countries and so there's many different types of names. During my first two days, I made a map of the floor with everyone's name and nationality in it. It took a lot of effort, but it was worth it. Today I forgot my entry pass but it was no problem. Tin Tin, a friendly co-worker from the Sarawak region of Malaysia, signed me right in.


When you talk to people, address them by their name. This lets people know that you're paying attention. Besides, people like to hear their own name. Maybe you'll end up trading nicknames around the office soon.

Finally, keep your work area clean. A fellow intern at the Montefiore Contract Management Organization thought that a messy desk would give others the impression that she was busy. She was way off base. Your supervisor is not dumb and won't count on paper all over the place to be the barometer of your activity. Keep the clutter out of your internship and you'll find it easier to stay focused on what's important.

= Justin, with 2 1/2 weeks to go.

PS – Let me know if you’d like a .pdf copy of my name map.

PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2003 9:19 am
by Justin Foley
People at your internship know that you are not going to be there forever. If you do a poor job, they consider your limited tenure when deciding how to behave towards you. Expect them to crap all over you.

But if you are doing well, your presence is something novel and refreshing to those at the workplace. This is a good thing. Nevertheless, I would like to warn you about something.

Every workplace has some level of politics. This is just part of the way that humans behave when they get together. Certain places manage these politics better than others do, but chances are you will run across a some friction. Some folks may be dissatisfied in their work, others frustrated with the culture of the organization. Maybe someone's embezzling or worse.

Since you are an intern that people respect and like, those who are feeling some discomfort with their jobs may well unload their grievances to you: The boss is a fuck-ass, no one cares about what they are doing here, the metal detectors out front are so sensitive. In some cases, these may be legitimate insights into mismanagement; in others, it is just some moper pissing about her own misery.

While it is good to let people know that you are paying attention to their feelings, do not take sides on the issue that they're talking about. Unless it is obvious that there is something terribly wrong here ("My supervisor keeps stacking corpses in the meat locker, making it hard for me to get to the shanks"), play the role of the observer. Those who gossip are happy to have others to gossip about - if they think you are ignoring them, they will leave you alone. The complainers of the world will move on when they realize you are not there to comfort their poor, wretched souls. Even those with legitimate gripes need to understand that the intern is not the one who is going to change things.

Be attentive but noncommittal. Beyond covering your own ass, this path allows you to be the better intern.

= Justin, wrapping things up over here

Re: Intern issues not specific to Electrical Audio

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 7:25 pm
by rtjm3734
I think a lot of this isn't just good Intern advice, but good employment advice in general. Thanks for this.

Re: Intern issues not specific to Electrical Audio

PostPosted: Tue Jun 29, 2010 9:29 am
by Wlouch
I currently live in England, and got a job here Which is Rhinebeck, NY I believe.

However, I was not able to acquire a working visa, are there any ways around this? Such as joining an educational institute here to better enable me to move and work in the US with a valid visa.

Its a long shot, but I am pretty much just going to have to forget about that job I think :(