My Internship at Sony/BMG: Giving the Music Industry a Spin


Published: November 15, 2007

Ever since I was 15 years old, my dream has been to grow up and work in the music industry. I was obsessed with becoming a publicist; more specifically a music publicist. I never believed in starting out small, so freshman year, I chose the oldest, largest and most famous record label in the world, Sony.

At 18 years old, I confidently marched through the huge, brown, lacquered and extremely expensive doors of Sony’s Human Resources offices, and tried to convince them that I was the perfect intern for them; young, smart, enthusiastic and willing to learn anything and everything about the record business.

It worked. I was assigned to Columbia Records, which is one of the many labels that are a part of Sony/BMG. The few interns that were on each floor stuck together, and we quickly learned that our main job was to make the assistants’ lives easier, so that they could then work more efficiently for their bosses, who varied from radio promotions managers all the way up to the vice presidents. Tasks ranged from running to pick up packages on the other side of town to stuffing 300 sample CDs of Jessica Simpson’s new single in envelopes, CD sleeves and boxes in an hour’s time for Z100’s deadline.

Most of the time the tasks were extremely tedious and long, but the perks were always fun. We got free CDs and T-shirts, a head start on the season’s new albums, but best of all, we got to accompany our managers on their daily errands. Later when I was reassigned to Sony Urban to work directly with a music publicist, I was able to meet Nas, Beyonce, John Legend and Bow Wow, to name a few.

My favorite experience to date is accompanying the publicist on a photo shoot for Bow Wow’s 18th birthday, and later seeing the spread in the many magazines we worked with; it really gave me an inside scoop on how to get your client published in the mainstream market.

What I disliked most about interning at Sony, which is actually true for many large companies, is the fact that you have nothing to do for long periods of time. Because our managers had nothing for us to do, or would just do whatever needed to be done themselves, I often found myself just wandering the halls watching people hard at work, dreaming that one day, that will be me. So, even though these huge, billionaire corporations appear to be very well organized, they certainly aren’t when it comes to their interns. I wish that Sony would have a more organized and clear assignment task force for their interns.

Nonetheless, the most valuable device I took from my internship at Sony was my contacts. I still keep in touch with the many people I used to work with, not just the other interns, but also the actual employees. As a direct result of my contacts, I was able to attend the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards with five of my girlfriends, which was mind-blowingly fun!

Overall, my rating of my internship at Sony would have to be a three coffee cups. Although there isn’t always a lot to do, I would still recommend it to anyone else whose dream is to one day work in the music industry.