Music to His Ears – C/J Major Completes Summer Internship with Atlantic Records
Brett Vergara doesn’t have any connections in the music industry, but he does have a passion for music. So, when it came time for the junior Communication/Journalism major to search for a summer internship, he researched his way to the top, and landed one in the publicity department at Atlantic Records in New York City.
Vergara stumbled upon the internship information on Atlantic’s website. Rather than submit his application online and become “part of the pile,” he dug deeper and found contacts through Google and LinkedIn and reached out to those individuals directly. It took emails to five different people, and a week of communicating back and forth with one of them, before he was invited to their offices in the Big Apple for an interview. With two days’ notice, he made his way to their office for the interview, and before he knew it, the label signed him on as a summer intern.
He was one of over 200 applicants, and one of only six interns hired. The Atlantic publicists each had a team of two interns, and Vergara was paired up with a young woman from Moscow, Russia. He lived in a New York University dormitory, and made friends quickly through Facebook groups and online networking.
His responsibilities varied each day, but included media monitoring and clipping, communicating with artist’s press teams, writing press releases, coordinating materials for media kits, and assisting with photo shoots. He even coordinated a phone interview with People magazine and popular Atlantic Records hip-hop artist, Flo Rida.
One of Vergara’s favorite bands, Fun, is also an artist on the label, and he was sent to the lead singer’s apartment one day to drop off suits for a photo shoot.
“It was the weirdest feeling buzzing into his apartment and having him show me around his place,” said Vergara.
Another perk of his internship was VIP access to summer concerts. “I am a major concert enthusiast, so it was a major plus,” he said.
This was Vergara’s very first internship experience, and he says he still has a hard time believing that he was there. This experience was one he thought he’d have closer to graduation, not one he would have started with.
“I was planning on doing two or three smaller internships in the Rochester or Syracuse area before possibly pursuing an internship in New York City my junior year,” he said. “I am very fortunate that this fell into place before my junior year, and I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity.”
Vergara’s advice to freshmen is that it’s never too early to start thinking about internships. He’s confident that the new skills he learned during this fast-paced job will be great highlights on his résumé, and will pay off when he starts to look for his first real job after college.
“In all honestly, I wish that I had pursued an internship as a freshman. Starting early will give you a leg up on the competition and will make it easier to pursue more competitive internships and jobs down the line,” he said.
The social media room at Atlantic Records.
The Atlantic Records summer interns. Vergara is pictured in the middle of the group.
Photograph © Grayson Dantzic