In the Fast Lane

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CATEGORY: Internships
TYPE: Articles
RELATED PROGRAMS: Economics

Zeid Habayeb ’11
Economics with political science minor
Amman, Jordan
Internship: Atlantic Records

Zeid Habayeb '11 got an internship at Atlantic Records, New York City, through a Macalester alumnus.

How he got the job:

A Macalester alumnus and friend was at a concert with my summer internship boss, the vice president of artist development at Atlantic Records (which is home to aritsts ranging from B.o.B. to Janelle Monae to Matchbox Twenty), and she mentioned me to him. He was looking for an intern, so he contacted me. We hit it off and he offered me the position.

Zeid Habayeb and Bruno Mars

Zeid Habayeb, left, Bruno Mars, music artist

The work:

The Artist Development Department, where I worked, plans the careers of the artists who are signed to Atlantic. Therefore, my duties ranged from tour scheduling to product promoting. Every artist has a development manager, so altogether the department handles around 150 artists.

What does Atlantic do for artists?

Atlantic Records spots talented artists, signs them, and then helps them realize their potential, giving them help with artistic development, A&R, promotion, marketing, and sales. With an increase in file sharing and music sales plummeting in recent years, labels have had to change their strategies and the way they work with artists. New deals are being made with artists, which are called "multiple rights" or "360" deals. These deals give labels rights to and percentages of artists' touring, merchandising, and endorsement earnings. In exchange for these rights, labels give higher advance payments to artists and have more patience with artist development.

What was the highlight of your internship?

The best part of this experience is how closely you get to work with the artists. Each one of them starts out like a small special project, and everything you do is aimed at furthering their careers. It’s grueling work, but soon enough their accomplishments start feeling like your own.

Is this the kind of business you'd like to pursue a career in?

I have always loved music, especially live music, but I’d never considered it as a viable career option. Now that I know better, I’d definitely like to work in the music industry again. Three months ago, my post-graduation plan was to land a job on Wall Street. Now I'm back at Atlantic Records for J-Term working for one of their sub-labels called Big Beat Records. They specializes in house and dance music. I am very hopeful that after these 2 experiences I will be coming back here after graduation. 

PUBLISHED: 01/06/2011