A discussion I had with the head of my department really underscored how a serious interest in music proves necessary and common throughout the label. Michael Kushner, the head of the Business and Legal Affairs Department, graciously offered his time for a one-to-one conversation about my career and life in general. In one of his first questions he asked me why I chose an internship at a record label as opposed to any other place. I naively avoided telling him about all of my history with music – how, say, I’ve played at some pretty selective venues across the city, like Rockwood Music Hall – I thought such a confession would imply that I was less motivated to do business and legal work. Mr. Kushner quickly cut off my anemic response and informed me that he only ever hires people with a real reason for working in the music industry.
Mr. Kushner, head of Business and Legal Affairs, gave me much valuable advice… he offered, "keep making music."
After really diving into my internship, I saw how a common interest in music united everyone in the office. For example, the Human Resources department organizes a cross-departmental assignment called Marketing Madness where interns are divided into teams and asked to create a marketing plan for an Atlantic artist. At the end of the project, the intern groups get to present their work to Julie Greenwald, Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Atlantic Records.
This project allows interns to dip their feet into every department and see all of the different work being done at Atlantic. Specifically, the project asked us to create an original marketing strategy for one of two label artists: Trevor Jackson or Night Terrors of 1927. We had to devise a name, construct images, brand the artist, publicize, and even think up possible events and campaigns. While toiling on this assignment, the intelligence and creativity of all of the interns greatly impressed me, and I again found that everyone shared a common interest in music that allowed for immediate connection and successful working relations. Our group shared tracks that we created ourselves, discussed favorite artists, and all of this allowed us to work more cohesively as a group.
Two things particularly impressed me during my internship at Atlantic Records: how a passion for music resonates throughout the company and the strength of the internship program. Corey Williams, my supervisor provided me with constant advice on diverse topics like interviewing or how to best accomplish an assignment. He was always accessible and I always had a wealth of assignments that challenged me and helped me grow. I can speak equally highly of every individual that I worked with. Prior to the internship, I was a bit hesitant about what it meant to be at a major record label. Part of me feared it would be more corporate than a record label, but I now know Atlantic Records succeeds because a passion for music unites everyone working in the office – no matter what department they are part of.