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How to Get a Studio Internship

How to Get a Studio Internship

So, you want to become a studio engineer and you need a good place to start gaining some hands-on experience. An internship is a great way to do that! Internships are usually unpaid but can really help young, aspiring engineers get a foot in the door in the audio world, as well as learn some new skills. But how do you find an internship? Here are a few ways to get you started!

First, do some research. Find out what recording studios are in your area and look into what sort of projects they work on. Do they mostly record rock bands or are they solely a post-production studio? Decide what type of audio internship you are looking for and seek out the studios that work on projects that interest you. Be willing to “pay your dues” — many internships will consist of a lot of busy work and errands with little or no pay, but they will allow you to be around during sessions that can teach you a whole lot.

Next, if the studios you are interested in have a formal internship program find out how to apply, start filling out the paperwork, and setting up interviews. Keep in mind many studios have internship programs that require you to be in some sort of audio school to participate. If you are not currently in an audio program you may have to rule out a few places.

Many studios do not have formal internship programs but will still take on interns based on their needs around the studio. These can sometimes be a bit more difficult to apply for and you will need to have some patience. Look on the studio’s website for some contact info. If there is a phone number, always call and leave a message if need be. Usually a phone call is a better way to contact busy engineers who may not see all their emails every day. If a phone number isn’t listed, find an email address on the studio’s website you can reach out to and ask about internships. Send your resume, along withany  questions, to the studio you are interested in. Sometimes studios won’t be looking for an intern, but if they are impressed with your experience they may change their minds.

If you know anyone in the field already, reach out to them and see if they could use your help with any projects, or find out if they can point you in the direction of other engineers who could use an extra hand. A lot of time the connections you already have will get you farther than cold calling/emailing.

Finally, try your best to set up in-person interviews. Most employers will get a better feel for you if they meet you in person. This can really help you land the internship if they are trying to decide between you and another person. Personality is very important in the audio world and having great people skills will absolutely help you along the way! If you aren’t able to meet in person then a phone call or video chat can work well too. Anything to make sure you get in touch with a real person, rather than having your email sit unread, is worth your time.

Be persistent! Internships can be tough to get in this industry. Keep on working hard and finding ways to gain new skills and experience in the field. The more experience you already have, the more likely you will be to land an internship. Don’t be afraid to email lots of different places and keep your options open. Not every studio will be looking for an intern, and that’s okay. Always be willing to go the extra mile and it will take you where you want to go.


Rachel Leonard

Prior to joining the Sweetwater Studios team, Rachel curated pro audio–related content for YouTube videos at Reverb and also ran live sound as the house engineer at Penny Road Pub in Chicago. Her experience working on so many genres of music — including classical, jazz, choir, metal, singer/songwriter, rock, funk, and others — has made her a vital member of the studio team.

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