Interning at Brain Candy: My Experience Documented

These past months have been a whirlwind, and I can’t believe that my time with Brain Candy as the Digital Media and Marketing Intern is coming to an end—it feels like it was just last week that I hopped on my first zoom call with the Overlord.

Since then, I’ve grown so much, both as a creative and as a person—and I owe it all to the wonderful Brain Candy family. Each and every staff member put an unbelievable amount of effort into making this internship the most educational, fun, and all-around best intern experience possible. I can’t even begin to count the valuable lessons I’ve learned.




I wrote this short piece so that future interns might be able to see what it’s like to intern for Brain Candy; but before I get into that,


I want to encourage anyone who thinks they might be a good fit for Brain Candy:

JUST APPLY!


I was incredibly insecure about my application going into the interview process; but Brain Candy believed in me, taught me to believe in myself, and now I’m here! If you ever have any questions about my time with Brain Candy or with the application process, please don't hesitate to reach out to me! I'd love to help in any way that I can (:


LET'S GET INTO THE NITTY GRITTY

True to the Brain Candy motto, I had complete creative and professional control over virtually every aspect of my intern experience with Brain Candy; if there was a project (within reason, of course) that I felt would be beneficial to add to my resume, that would be my task for the week.


Freedom of choice is an incredibly important asset in an internship, but so is guided study: as an intern, you are there to learn! As an initiative that has virtually perfected the craft of guiding creatives in their craft of music, graphics, websites, etc., Brain Candy understands this nuance well.

I’ve been privileged enough to be given the opportunity to tackle so many incredible projects: for example, design lead magnets, merch (I designed merch???), an electronic press kit, and social media graphics; conducted and written an artist interview; written blog posts, and case studies.

Perhaps my favorite long-term project was my weekly involvement with the Marketing team, where we discussed things like plans for socials, marketing campaigns, and content creation. I was consistently blown away by the non-traditional ingenuity of the marketing team, and always logged on expecting to laugh. (One of my favorite marketing strategies so far involves porta-potties and poop stickers; I will leave the rest to your imagination.)


From each of these projects, I’ve learned incredibly valuable lessons—of both the technical and abstract sorts. I’ve learned how to streamline efficient design practices, and how to prioritize channeling another’s aesthetic and brand over one’s own. On the more abstract end, I have learned—or rather, Brain Candy taught me—that burning yourself out is not fundamental to being an effective intern; rather, it is counterproductive. The team always ensured I didn’t take on more than I could handle, insisting that my mental health and well-being were the highest priority. It’s no coincidence that the work I’m most proud of is the work that I’ve done for Brain Candy.


my merch design!

But perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned is that change is always possible. I have had the most amazing time getting first-hand exposure to the groundbreaking business models that Brain Candy and initiatives inspired by Brain Candy, like the Greater Than Collective, are successfully executing. Working with Brain Candy has made me realize that change is possible, no matter how bad things are.


Current times can feel apocalyptic; caught between bookends of a global pandemic and trapped in a society that worships the dollar and the dollar alone, life can quickly turn into a rat race to which there seems to be no end, and from which change feels impossible. The music industry is infamous for its predatory business practices; its notoriously cutthroat environment is often what deters many talented potential artists from pursuing their dreams, and it can feel like there’s nothing that can be done to break this vicious cycle. But Brain Candy is proof that this isn’t true.


It has been an incredible honor and joy to be a part of the Brain Candy family. To Kress, Amber, Kristen, Tony, and Tali: thank you all for everything that you have done to make these past few months a truly amazing, unforgettable experience! I wish you all the best!


Again...


If you think you'd do great things with Brain Candy:

JUST APPLY!

You can do it, I believe in you (:


This is Isabel Schmitt, signing off!



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