Unlabeled - Unique Internship Leads to LA
Posted by cservaes on March 12, 2012 in "Academic Programs", Aiden, "Current Students", internship, music, "rock music", Uncategorized
When Shyla Shank first heard the band Aiden playing, she never imagined the places she would go or the people she would meet as a result. Shank heard the heavy metal band play for the first time in the summer of 2006. She became good friends with the members, keeping in touch with them and attending many of their concerts.
In the summer of 2010, when band lead William Francis asked, she went out to Seattle to see them produce a CD. “That’s when I realized I’m not cut out for the recording side of things,” Shank said. She had no interest in learning all about soundboards and mixes. During this time, Francis introduced her to Century Media Records owner Don Robertson, and Shank kept in touch. In April she saw the label was looking for interns, so she contacted Robertson, who offered her the internship. “I couldn’t afford to move out there, and I was told [by Ottawa University officials] only juniors and seniors are allowed to receive credit for internships,” Shank said. Century Media Records would only give her the internship if she could receive college credit, so she spoke to her CAPS advisor, Julie McAdoo, who suggested she ask for an exception from Online Dean Fred Romero. Shank created a video explaining her situation and uploaded it to YouTube. “I tried to show that I’m not the typical irresponsible freshman out there partying and being crazy. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and the opportunity may not be there when I’m a junior or senior,” Shank said. After viewing the video, Romero allowed Shank to accept the internship as part of a customized course entitled “Special Topics in Business: Field Experience in Music Industry.” In order to earn the three course credits, she had to fulfill several requirements, including a final paper and a presentation to the dean and McAdoo via conference call. With the credit issue resolved, Shank still needed to figure out how she could pay for an eight-week internship in Los Angeles. Finally, she informed Robertson of her financial situation, and he agreed to let her do six weeks of her internship online and spend only two weeks on-site in Los Angeles. For the online portion, Shank used Skype to communicate with people at Century Media. She spent a lot of time looking up tour dates and putting information on different bands’ websites and social networking sites. She also helped promote the band tours and new releases. For the last two weeks of the internship, Shank went to Los Angeles where she did a lot of office work – typing, copying and faxing. “My first day [in LA], I was in the office for 12 hours scanning articles and pictures out of magazines and newspapers,” Shank said. “I had to get anything that had anything to do with any band signed to Century Media scanned into the computer and organized. When people hear I worked at a music label, they think, ‘Oh, a music label… exciting!’ Really, though, I did a lot of work on the computer.” Still, it was an invaluable experience and education from behind the scenes of a music label – and it doesn’t look bad on her resume either. Shank, one of OU’s youngest online students, plans to graduate in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration, with dreams of working with a label or managing a music artist or group. Thanks to the connections she has made through this internship process, she is one step closer to seeing that dream fulfilled.