All You Need to Know About the SMG Impact Fellow Internship – Sony Music

  • All You Need to Know About the SMG Impact Fellow Internship
  • Nov 04, 2022

This article is written by Jocelyn Peña and is part of the SMG Impact Fellows Mix Tape Series, a collection of first-person essays written by the 2022 Sony Music Group Impact Fellow cohort. Read more about the SMG Impact Fellows Program here. Read Jocelyn’s first Inside Sony Music article here. 

Jocelyn was a 2022 Impact Fellow working with Sony Music’s Premium Content team. 

What was it like to be a returning SMG Impact fellow? 
I cannot express enough how much gratitude I have for the SMG Impact Fellow program! It sounds cliche, but this program changed my life in the most positive way. To start off, last year I interned at Sony Music Nashville as a Radio Promo intern. This year, I am returning to Sony Music in the Culver City, CA, office as a Premium Content Intern. This company really trusts and cares for their interns, so I was more than happy to be back. 

The Premium Content team is a content development and distribution team that strengthens our artist relationships, expanding their creative capabilities beyond core music. It includes Podcasting, Soundtracks, Gaming, Film & TV Development & Production, and Long Form Global Distribution. I truly feel like I am being treated as a regular employee and not just an intern—I always feel included and welcome to contribute to the conversation. As a young professional with a goal to work in the music industry, the level of team integration I’ve experienced at Sony Music is a dream come true! 

What is the difference between working from home versus working in the office? 
Virtual or not, this program is built to help you succeed. However, I will say that as an entry-level professional it is easier to build relationships with people in the office. I learned this when I had the opportunity to travel to California for a week to work in person at the Sony Music Culver City Office and meet my team! (Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the program was fully virtual during my first year.) There is a difference between setting up a virtual meeting vs. being able to sit right next to your supervisor and ask them questions you have in real-time, while also getting to know and building a relationship with them.  

Regardless, you can still create strong relationships virtually! Most of my internship is virtual but I still reach out to people in the office online. I recommend checking in with your supervisor every morning and sending them a list of what you’ll be working on that day so there is constant communication. Set up regular check-ins to get feedback on your performance as well. 

While in the office, I made sure to schedule one-on-ones with everyone on the team. I got to see what kind of personality everyone has and got to show them my personality as well. Taking the time to speak with them in the beginning of my internship allowed me to build relationships and to make it known that I am available to support any projects. My supervisors, Charlie Yedor (Sr. Director, Business Development) and Eric Shirkness (Manager, Premium Content Sales, and Distribution), took the time to get to know me personally and they connected me with professionals and invited me to events such as a Kenny Ortega screening and the Bullet Train premiere. What intern gets to meet Kenny Ortega and see Bad Bunny on the big screen on their first day? A Sony Music Group intern! 

What advice do you give someone who has imposter syndrome? 
Imposter syndrome is real. In case anyone needs to hear this, it’s time to overcome it. When talking to other interns, I realized that almost everybody felt this way. Sometimes we tend to doubt our abilities and find it difficult to accept our accomplishments. Yes, there are going to be times where you are challenged. Yes, there will be times when you are going to struggle with an assignment your supervisor gave you. You are going to make errors and that is okay! There is even going to be vocabulary you might not know, but you will learn. Never doubt why they chose you! Internships are a crash course. You are surrounded by professionals. The best you can do is learn from them. The biggest lesson I had to learn was trusting that MAIP, the program I came from, chose me for a reason.  

Favorite memory from the program? 
My first day in the office! It was very eventful. I was running around meeting everyone, having one-on-one meetings to get to know my teammates on a more personal level. I had lunch with the team, dinner with my supervisor and attended a Kenny Ortega screening! I could not believe I got to be in a room full of professional icons on a random Tuesday.  

I never felt like I was “working” because I was having so much fun. I enjoyed the projects and tasks I got to work on and the people I got to work with. You can tell how passionate everyone is about their work which got me so excited to get started and further confirmed my love for the entertainment industry. I want to be surrounded by brilliant, talented, hardworking people who challenge me every day. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity and will forever cherish the many memories and opportunities this program gave me. I would recommend this program to anyone interested. You’d be surprised at how many opportunities you get during the semester.

On Repeat: 

  1. “eScoRpiÓn :)” – Ramon Vega
  2. “RUNITUP” – Tyler, The Creator (feat. Teezo Touchdown)
  3. “Alien Superstar” – Beyoncé
  4. “Cinema” – Harry Styles

Favorite Soundtrack:  
Euphoria Original Score From The HBO Series By Labrinth

For more stories on the SMG Impact Fellows second cohort:

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