As an intern in the music industry, you’re already set up to be in a highly competitive position. This is where most people start climbing their way up the ladder in this business. Companies typically only have a few interns and few, if any, get chosen for full-time jobs afterward. To be confident you have all the knowledge and resources to succeed, you’ll  need to have prepared before you start your music industry internship. Luckily, we’ve compiled an intern checklist with everything you need to go above and beyond expectations.

1. Laptop

Although it’s pretty much expected, this will definitely be your most important tool. Currently many internships are operating remotely, and if that’s the case this is how you’ll be meeting and communicating with your supervisors. Regardless of whether your internship is in person or remote, a laptop is an essential tool you’ll be using to access your daily tasks. Any Mac or PC will work effectively. 

2. Notebook

Whether this is your first internship in the business or you’ve already had some experience, it’s important that you use every encounter and task as a learning opportunity. Be sure to keep track of any skills you pick up along the way, and take notes on what assignments you’re in charge of!

3. Headphones

Depending on what type of internship you’re in, you may have assignments that require you listening to music. It’s always good to have a pair of high quality headphones on hand so you’re able to ensure great quality when listening, even if you’re just listening to music while you work on other projects.

4. Planner

Whether you keep this online or maintain a physical copy, it’s important to be sure you’re always aware of what your day looks like. Keeping a daily schedule will allow you to always be prepared for what needs to get done so you’re staying on top of your deadlines.

5. Professional email/work email

Most likely you’ll be getting a lot of emails regarding assignments you have, or you’ll need this email to log into profiles related to your internship. It’s important to maintain a professional appearance in every career-related opportunity you have, so if you don’t have one already be sure to create a work email.

6. Canva/Adobe/Photoshop

This depends on the internship, but it’s always helpful to be familiar with professional graphic design software. You may need to be creating thumbnails or graphics, and most internships don’t provide training on how to do this – therefore, you’ll need to train yourself. Besides, it’s another skill you can add on your resume!

7. iMovie/Final Cut/Adobe Premiere

In addition to learning the basics in graphic design, it’s beneficial to know your way around a video editing software. You may be asked to edit promotional videos or social media content, and if anyone asks who knows how to do it, you’ll already be ahead of the game.

8. Excel/Sheets

For an internship in any industry, proficient knowledge in Excel is very valuable. You may be asked to use excel for several assignments and it takes time to learn the ropes of the platform. If you can add this to your resume before you start applying for internships, your application will already stand out to potential employers.

9. Logic Pro X/Pro Tools/Any DAW

Any musician in the industry is likely aware of what a DAW is, but if not be sure to do some research on the different options available. Currently, Logic Pro X and Pro Tools are becoming the industry production standards, and if you’re a studio intern knowing your way around music production software is a crucial skill you’ll need on your resume. It’s also a skill that can only open more doors for you in the industry once you continue to improve your production chops.

10. Come Prepared With New Proposals

After learning your way around the company for a few weeks, be sure to take note of what’s working and what needs work. There may be an instance where someone asks for your opinion, or if you have any ideas for new projects. Even if this isn’t the case, it’s always impressive to show that you have good intentions for the company and ideas you can bring to the table. Being a self-starter and showing initiative will give you more responsibility!

11. Bring Industry Questions

After getting a music industry internship position, you’ll likely have many questions about how things work and how to move ahead in your career goals. It’s important to remember that even though it’s only an internship there are still connections to be made and people around you that want you to succeed! Take advantage of the connections you’re making and be sure to inquire about personal one-on-one meetings with your higher ups to discuss any questions you may have about moving ahead in the industry, most of the time they’ll be happy to offer advice.

12. Always Keep a Good Attitude

Attitude is what defines your reputation in this business, and as cliche as it sounds being a hard worker and staying motivated really can shape your career. As long as you have a passion for the industry, let that drive you into becoming successful no matter what tasks you’re presented with. New doors will be opening in no time.

Overall, this list is a great thing to keep in mind when starting an internship in the music industry. Even if you’re unable to have everything on here, being open to learning new things and trying your hardest is what matters most! Make the most of every opportunity, and you may be surprised where they take you.


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