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How To Get That Recording Studio Internship

With the number of “Recording Arts” schools ever increasing, and the number of students looking for employment also growing, internship opportunities are becoming more and more difficult to land. Read on as we explore a few key points every studio owner will look for in their interns, so that you can have the best chance of getting the opportunity!

Common Sense

Ok, you’ve sent your résumé to a number of studios, have heard back from a few, and are now on your way to your first interview. Congratulations! But keep your head on straight! You might be nervous, but keep focused.  Most of all, be humble. Remember, you are the one being interviewed, not vice-versa. Mind where you step, where you sit, and where you put that can of Red Bull you are drinking to help compensate for your long hours of study last night. Know the names of the studio owner and any engineers you are meeting with.

Always remember that, as much as you love gear and flashing lights and turning knobs, this isn’t your stuff: so don’t touch it. Better yet, imagine how you would like your gear treated if you spent tens or hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars. I don’t think you’d want some ‘kid’ coming in your studio, who probably doesn’t know the difference between balanced and unbalanced cabling, to be touching your stuff. Yes, that’s probably how you will be viewed. Yes, you should get over it. If you really know your stuff, you won’t have to prove it in any way other than being yourself.

Always be polite, never interrupt someone else, and be completely honest when speaking about your experience. Don’t go lying about the immense amount of experience you have if you can’t back it up in the way you speak, your manner in the studio, and your comfort level while working. The worst thing you can do is talk yourself up, and then not have the ability to prove it when push comes to shove.

So far, this shouldn’t be anything new. It’s mainly called being respectful and honest. If you haven’t learned that by now, good luck getting any job anywhere… but you’d be surprised how many times I’ve been disrespected or lied to.

Set Yourself Apart

Ok, you’re in the studio, have gotten past the initial handshakes and chitchat, and now it’s time to show what you’re made of. If you’ve done your coursework properly, you should now be feeling more comfortable. This is what you’ve studied, this is what you know and what you’re passionate about; relax, let your mind focus, and do your thing.

Think about the areas in which you have shown the most skill during your coursework, and offer your talents in those areas. Don’t ask too many questions, but also don’t be afraid of offering a different approach to something. If you know a miking technique that is different than what is being implemented, suggest it. If it turns out to sound great, you will be viewed in a very positive light: you weren’t afraid to give feedback, you offered good advice, and you proved your worth. Even if it doesn’t sound great, you still show your ability to go against the grain and not be a follower.

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If you’re not sure about something, don’t make up an answer or solution you can’t stand behind 100%. You are much better off admitting that you are uncertain. Again, a studio owner will respect you for your honesty. Its widely understood that people have the ability to learn new things, but changing a personality is nearly impossible.

Summing It Up, ‘Out Of the Box’

In general, treat an internship interview as you would treat an interview for any highly regarded studio position. You never know what doors will open up for you if you just show up on time, show respect, and prove your worth when the time is right.

As much as I would like to say a studio owner looks for a brain full of knowledge, or an extremely high level of competence, I actually feel that straightforwardness, respect, and talent weigh in much more. Of course, if you do your homework well you can be more comfortable, making it easier to be straightforward and respectful, and making it easier to show the talents you have… ; )

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Charles Szczepanek

Charles Szczepanek

Internationally awarded and recognized, Charles Szczepanek has enjoyed performing for diverse audiences as well as engineering and producing for many highly-respected artists across multiple genres. Hailed a ‘Whiz’ and ‘Genius’ by some, Charles has collaborated with Grammy Award winners. Additional personal achievements include: multiple international prizes for piano performance, recognition by Steinway for ‘Outstanding Piano Performance’, as well as awards in music composition, ensemble direction, and vocal performance.

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