Toni Marshall

SMAC Entertainment

Currently in 4th year studying a BA (Hons) in Music Business at Perth College UHI.

Placement experience

I researched management companies in LA and contacted a few I was interested in working with. SMAC Entertainment got back to me saying they were looking for an intern and asked if I could do a skype interview with them. After that my Visa and travel plan was arranged and I flew over and worked for 2 months in their office in Westwood.

My main duties were to assist the management team. I would do a lot of bookings both for employees and clients as a day-to-day manager (hotels, restaurants, excursions), do a lot of research about other companies and clients who wanted to work with us and also help the team plan timescales for big events like The Superbowl, The Oscars and The Grammys.

This experience was relevant to my studies as it was based in the entertainment industry and this benefitted my studies as I could learn the operational processes of the business in a practical sense.

Impact on future career aims

Well, now I know what I am getting myself into. I can honestly say I am just more prepared for the reality of the jobs I will take in the future. It’s not all glitz and glam but I am more aware of the industries ethics both in the UK and the US and how to conduct myself in the industry.

Advice

Placements are vital to the development of your career. They are a good way of learning your industry in a practical sense but also creating contacts which is normally the first step in securing a job.

The main piece of advice I would give is don’t limit yourself by doing something comfortable. If I was told at the start of 2014 I would be heading to LA to work with Wiz Khalifa, Michael Strahan and other big celebrities, attend big events like The Grammy’s and travel around the West Coast of America, I would say it sounded like a nice dream. Put yourself in a strange environment and challenge yourself. Even if its on the other side of the world, where it is irrelevant. I know it’s a classic saying but while you are at university, the world truly is your oyster so take big leaps and don’t fear failure, but also don’t fear success and just go for it.

I didn’t know anyone in LA, I didn’t know the guys I was staying with or the people I would work with and now they are all really good friends of mine. It was a surreal journey that I know going forward will set me up for further successes in the future.