When I first applied for the Music Forward Artist Development Intern position, I had no idea how much of an impact this internship would have on me. Not only was I given so much knowledge from amazing professionals from Music Forward, but I was welcomed with open arms by every single staff member that I met. I was encouraged to bring new ideas, challenged with new tasks every week, and given many opportunities to learn new knowledge in the industry. Throughout my time at Music Forward, I have had four big takeaways: Connections are essential, take on new challenges instead of the familiar, how a workplace functions in a remote setting, and knowledge is power.
Most professionals hear repeatedly how important connections can be to your success, which I continue to find so incredibly true. The people that I have had the honor of working with and getting to know have instilled so much knowledge in me during my time at Music Forward. These connections also taught me how important it is to be around creative individuals with fresh perspectives. In the industry, you are working with many different types of personalities and need to learn how to work together for a successful outcome. When you take the initiative to get to know who you are working with and connect with them, you set yourself up for connections that will last you a lifetime.
When it came to starting my internship, one of my first tasks was to scout fresh talent for our Open Mic program. I was intimated by this task and viewed it as a bit of a challenge for me as I wanted to bring in an impressive group of artists. I was not used to being the one to scout artists but was eager to learn how to take on this challenge with enthusiasm to find new talent. While I was nervous, I spent hours researching and finally found my groove when I was looking for artists that would be interested in the opportunity. It was also so exciting to see artists that I scouted perform and move on to the final showcase. I am glad that I was given this challenge as it was new for me and now, I have the skills to be able to take on similar tasks.
Another big takeaway for me was understanding the workplace in a remote setting. I am the type of person that loves to interact and connect in person instead of over zoom. I love being present and able to be more proactive when I am in a similar environment as my coworkers. So, learning how to engage better over zooms and emails had its challenges, but the Music Forward team made it a great learning experience as they always came with so much enthusiasm. I also had to learn how to manage my time and stay focused on the tasks at hand as it is so much easier to get distracted in a remote setting. This internship helped me develop those remote job skills that seem to continue to be very present in the world today.
Finally, my last takeaway from this experience has to be “take every opportunity to learn something new.” Music Forward gives out so much information and knowledge of the industry to young creatives. It is inspiring to be around people who want to learn new information about what they are so passionate about. I was so lucky to be a part of a nonprofit organization that strives to make it their mission to instill knowledge onto the next generation.
I will always be proud to say that I got the opportunity to work at Music Forward with talented individuals who saw potential in me as a young professional. I hope to continue to stay in contact with every person I came across at this internship. I am going to continue to attend the classes/programs and learn everything I can from my Music Forward Family.