Do you count yourself among the hoard of college students and young professionals taking those first, uncertain steps into the professional world? Do you have burning questions about today’s business environment or qualms about how you might fit in it? Well, worry no more. Wisconsin’s own Emily White is here to help.
White, an author, entrepreneur and music industry professional has recently unveiled “The Interning 101 Podcast,” a free online series streaming through Jabberjaw Media. The podcast expands and reinforces her similarly-titled book published in 2017.
She was inspired to create the book and its recent spin-off podcast after spending years employing college interns at her management company, Collective Entertainment. Over time, she found herself consistently needing to bridge knowledge gaps among her young colleagues in areas such as professional office dress, email writing and phone conversation.
“I realized that there was all this information that can’t always be taught in the classroom,” she said. “Like picking up industry cues and terms, and starting to build that network both online and off.”
“The Interning 101 Podcast” builds upon this realization and strives to get young professionals fully up to speed with modern office basics — filling in those cracks that their formal education has left unaddressed.
White reinforces and explores important tenets of her book, personably illustrating them with anecdotes and lessons direct from her own professional life.
“The Interning 101 Podcast” also highlights a host of guests who share their own professional advice and outlook over the course of longer interview episodes. Featured guests range from current and former interns, seasoned employers of interns and various entertainment industry professionals. They are often close friends of White and genuine comrades in her mission of educating and advocating for tomorrow’s workforce.
“I keep coming into contact with colleagues who are really passionate about the book which means they are really passionate about interns and educating students and really get what we’re doing,” White said.
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Recent features on the podcast include the likes of Kevin Lyman, founder of the Vans Warped Tour and USC Music Business Professor, Brian Viglione of the Violent Femmes and Nine Inch Nails. Matthew Wang, a prominent composer for several Netflix series, has also been featured.
White offers a single pearl of wisdom, a simple but priceless phrase for all college students and prospective interns approaching the working world: make yourself indispensable.
She stresses that young professionals must accept every task and challenge they are handed by their employers with persistent joy. Do your job so well that it simply could not get done without you. To land the career tomorrow you must make yourself indisputably valuable to your bosses today.
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White says this advice was given to her during college orientation and it stuck with her long after. The phrase grew especially resonant when she first networked as a young professional.
Today, she cites her early internship experience as an exemplary anecdote of “indispensability.”
While a student at Northeastern University in Boston, she interned with the then rising alternative rock group, The Dresden Dolls. She had approached frontwoman Amanda Palmer after a local gig and simply asked if there was anything she could help the band out with. By the next day, White was taking dictation at Palmer’s house and was on the ground floor with a musical act in the midst of their commercial break.
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Her work with The Dresden Dolls would expand and evolve from merchandise sales to full-blown tour management. By the time White graduated, The Dolls were signed with a professional management company and had negotiated their contract to make her a full-time employee of the group.
“I had made myself indispensable to that band,” she said. “I made it so that functioning with me was a lot easier than functioning without me. That was by doing the tasks I was asked to do well and understanding how they fit in the bigger picture.”
Herself a native of Hartland, White says the state of Wisconsin and its people still have a very special place in her heart. She offers her sincerest encouragement to all University of Wisconsin students in their own career searches and networking.
White encourages students to reach out to her with questions and hopes they consider her a valued resource.