Where did all the entry level positions go? More so now than ever before, that piece of paper that you painstakingly worked so hard for can end up being just that – a piece of paper. A very expensive piece of paper. There was once a time, a long time ago it seems, that you could walk out of a university, wave that degree in front of potential employers and start your career. These days, that degree is barely worth the paper its printed on, and serves only as nice addition to the more important piece of paper. The CV. That’s not to say that there is no value to at all – of course the university experience is all about gaining knowledge and expanding one’s mind, but employment outcomes can often be flimsy at best.
Across platforms such as Seek, Indeed and CareerOne, the key word ‘entry-level’ will bring up job listing that require a minimum amount of experience, normally between 2-3 years. For today’s budding young professionals, the job market positions that are billed as ‘entry-level’ are actually aimed at people who already have careers, whose resumes include a few years of work experience on top of that bachelors or masters degree. It’s that old ‘need experience to get a job, need a job to get experience’ conundrum.
The ‘real world’ is vastly different to that cosy lecture theatre you’ve become accustomed to. Communication with managers, clients and businesses is not the same as communication with your teacher. Exposure to deadlines and projects where a poor job or late submission effects not just your grade, but clients, the business or the bottom line. This kind of exposure is what employers are looking for and will make you stand out from the other 250 applicants.
Specifically looking at the entertainment industry, it is more than likely that today’s entry level applicant is fresh out of the classroom with a shiny new degree, whereas 20 years ago, there was no such thing as a degree in entertainment management. According to David Herrera, the internship coordinator of Curb School of Music Business in Nashville, the new entry level positions are internships, apprenticeships and cadetships. Many Employers are hesitant to hire recent graduates because they might turn out be serial job hoppers. Hiring and training is expensive, and that is precious money that some employees are just not willing to spend on someone who is more than likely not going to stick around. An education is not enough for entry into the field. Experience is required, and most applicants get that experience through a university-sponsored internship. A major aspect of student internships, especially in the music industry where personal contacts are paramount, is the development of pathways to entry level positions. It is a commonly held belief in the music business and in music business education internships are not just important to obtaining entry–level positions; they are essential.
The importance of extra curricular activities are now more apparent than ever, and students are encouraged to not only focus on their grades, but take every opportunity that presents itself, and chase every opportunity that doesn’t from internships to work experience. This shows prospective employers that you can stick it out in an office setting, and it creates a network of people to put into your little black book of contacts. That little black book could be the key to unlocking the door to a dream career, provided that you have contacts in there to vouch that you can do all those amazing things that you say you can do.
Get a headstart with these internships today.