Bartholomew Heeren studying Audio Engineering and Sound Production at JMC’s Melbourne campus, and recently carried out a work placement as part of JMC’s Internship program.
“I was placed at Sound City Melbourne (SCM) in Spotswood, which operates as a rehearsal space for local musicians, but also provides facilities for recording music, podcasts, and production for international artists. My role was more to do with the business side of the operation, dealing with client liaison, brainstorming revenue opportunities, and social media management and content creation. During my time at SCM, the business has expanded to provide music distribution services to international artists and labels who wish to have their music on Australian labels. Particularly, I worked with multi-platinum artist Nathaniel Willemse on his current Marvin Gaye tribute show, 'Let's Get It On'.
Even though I am an Audio Engineering student, the internship was much more focused on the Entertainment Business Management side of things, so although it related to the industry I was studying, it incorporated many skills that I hadn’t yet developed through my course. That being said, the awareness I have built as to the operation of the music industry, the interpersonal relationships that occur 'behind the scenes' with an artist, and how social media and online presence affects how an artist's music is received by audiences has been an extremely edifying experience, and will undoubtedly make me more aware of the industry I work in, whether I am working as an engineer, producer, or anything in between.
Since undertaking the internship, I have been introduced to an entirely new aspect of the music recording industry that my audio engineering course did not specifically focus on, and therefore, my future career prospects have definitely changed. Being able to apply my skills in audio to a more business side of the industry has been an interesting experience, as I can translate my knowledge of recording and production to the business side of the industry, allowing me to more easily move into this role without needing to learn audio terms and jargon also. It has also meant I can complete smaller, more technical tasks, such as video and audio editing on a whim, making me a more valuable asset to wherever I may find myself in the industry.
For students looking into, or who have been selected for an internship, the main piece of advice I can give is to show up on time, look presentable, and be ready to work. Always offer to go above and beyond what your superiors ask of you, but don't be scared to ask for advice or guidance - you are there to learn, and are not expected to know everything right away! It is much better to spend one minute asking a question to clarify a task, than spend an hour working on something you have no idea about!”
Find out more about studying Audio Engineering and Sound Production or JMC’s Internship Program.