Jessica Williams: Milk & Honey
PRCM major Jessica Williams interned with Milk & Honey in LA
Describe your internship. Where were you and what did you do?
I interned at Milk & Honey which is a music management and marketing company located in Los Angeles, California right outside of Beverly Hills. I helped the guys in the office with different things everyday: researching for new talent, writing up marketing plans for clients, finding management contacts for artists, going through Spotify playlists and noticing the trends! I did something new and different everyday so I was always excited to go to work. The people in the office were fun to be around- we played with nerf guns every now and then and always watched music videos on the main TV- so it was a blast! It never actually felt like work, even though we got a lot of stuff done everyday.
How did you develop this internship? What advice do you have for others?
I’m super into songwriting and the music industry so I went to a music festival in January down on 30A (The 30A Songwriters Festival- would suggest it for anyone it’s awesome). It’s a festival that features songwriters of all types- some that have never been heard of, and some that have written songs everyone knows! So I went to one of the showcases that had one of my favorite songwriters- David Hodges. He’s written Kelly Clarkson hits, Avril Lavigne hits, “Crush” by David Archuleta, and so many more. I went up to him after he performed and told him how much I admired him. As the conversation went on, I told him I wanted to work in LA for the summer and he told me that his management company was always looking for interns! He got my info and forwarded it to his management company- and I got the job!
My advice would be to not be shy in going up and talking to people. Everyone wants interns- because most internship positions aren’t paying (unfortunately) so it’s free work for them! I had no idea that being bold and talking to one of my favorite songwriters would lead to living in LA for the summer and having one of the best experiences of my life!
What are the most important things you learned during the internship—both inside the office and out?
The most important thing I learned is that LA is expensive. haha forreal though. I learned that if I want to work in a big city after I graduate, that I need to get a job that pays well to be able to live the lifestyle I want to! (pro tip: if you want to live in LA and drive a car, pay attention to the parking signs…I paid over $400 in tickets this summer……#broke)
What advice do you have for interns during the internship experience?
I would say that during your internship, always be asking if there’s something you can help with. My bosses told me that they were grateful that I always wanted to help out and not just sit around waiting for them to tell me what to do. It made them like me more and they told me when I left that they would help me find a job with whoever I wanted to work for!
Is there anything else you want to add?
Go outside your comfort zone!! If there’s somewhere that you’ve always wanted to live, intern there!! Interning is a great opportunity to live and work in a place you’ve considered without having to pick up all your things and move permanently. I didn’t know if I would like LA, so getting a small glimpse of it this summer was great. I know now that I love it and am now looking for jobs out there to apply for!
And here’s an article Jessica wrote for LinkedIn…
An Open Letter to Internship Hunters
Published on September 28, 2016
Aspiring Singer/Songwriter with experience in A&R and Public Relations
Dear Internship Hunter,
Take a deep breath. Relax. Don't stress. Finding an internship that you will love is easier than you think.
This letter can hopefully help you narrow down your search, set a game plan and help you have the most rewarding (and enjoyable) internship experience ever!
So I'm a Public Relations major. I enjoy the classes I'm taking and I know the things I learn in my classes can be applied to any field I choose to go into. But to be honest, Public Relations isn't my passion. Music is! So when I started looking for an internship, I didn't even look at strictly PR firms like most of my colleagues, I looked at companies that were associated with the music industry.
Tip #1: Look for an internship that involves something you're passionate about
I looked for intern positions at record labels, publishing labels, studios, artist management companies, music magazines, etc. I browsed their websites and social media and found really interesting ones that made me excited. The options were kind of endless, so I had to narrow it down:
Tip #2: Is there some place you've always wanted to live? Don't limit yourself to where you're from
For me, I took a year off school and lived in Nashville learning about the music industry and knew I already liked it- but I didn't want to limit myself. I knew Los Angeles was the hub of entertainment, so I thought I would look there! Being from Alabama, LA seems like such a huge leap, but why not? Why not try out a different city for a few months and see if you like it before you have to pack up and move all your things for a permanent job? Just a thought.
Tip #3: Go to events where potential employers could be
Alright, this tip and the next is key to landing a job (or really anything in life): networking. It's all who you know. So to get to know people who you want to potentially work with, you have to go to the places they would be (but not in a creepy way--you know what I mean).
Every January there is a music festival in Florida called the 30A Songwriter's Festival. It's great. You should go. The festival is focused on songwriters (duh) and you get to listen to them in very intimate settings and hear the stories behind huge hit songs. Record and publishing labels are there as well as talent scouts, other music lovers and songwriters that are just there to listen! I got to go up to some of my favorite songwriters after their showcases and tell them how much I admired them. Which leads me to the next tip:
Tip #4: Don't be scared to reach out to big companies/important people (they're nicer than you think)
It's probably the most important tip if you want my opinion (and if you're reading this, then I guess you do want my opinion, so...here we are). Reaching out to a huge songwriter I admired got me my internship! I told him that I was an aspiring singer/songwriter, was studying PR and was looking for an internship in LA to complete my degree. To that he said, "oh no way! My management company always needs interns, let me get your contact information!" Boom. There it was. And I didn't even have to say much!
Tip #5: Stay in contact- you're not being annoying
A week went by, and I never heard anything from the songwriter or his management. So I contacted to his management company directly. I went to their website and found the president of the company's email address and sent him an email. I told him I had met his client at the festival and asked about internship opportunities. He quickly responded and we set up a Skype interview for the next day, even though his client never ended up mentioning my name to him. He loved the fact that I met one of their top songwriters and after a lot of small, un-intimidating talk, I was offered the internship on the spot!
Tip #6: Dot your i's and cross your t's
- Make sure your internship is cleared with the school. I was nervous that because I wasn't getting a PR internship that it wouldn't clear, but it did!
- Find the perfect place to live in your new city near your office.
- Try to find a roommate or two to share the experience and expenses with.
- Save up your money before you move! Especially if you have an unpaid internship in a big city (like me).
*personal side note: LA has very expensive parking tickets.
Internship hunting shouldn't be scary or stressful. Everyone loves having interns--especially the non-paid ones, because it's free work for them! The school required me to work the internship 20 hours a week, but I ended up working 28 hours a week because I loved it so much! I don't think I could've said the same if I had worked at a PR firm. Music was continually the topic of conversation and I always felt a part of the conversation. I had the most rewarding experience and get to put that I worked in LA on my resume!
Good luck with your hunt. I hope these tips help your internship experience be as great as mine was!
The Internship Pro (obviously)
Last Updated: July 26, 2018