Natalie Dickinson hit a roadblock in her attempt to break into the music industry during the summer before her senior year of high school. For the last three years, she had worked on a street team promoting bands, but her age prevented her from building on that experience through, say, a job at a concert venue or an internship with a music label.
“I was in a position where I wanted to do something different and get involved,” said Dickinson, now a third-year communication studies major at Northeastern. So she started a Tumblr blog called “We Are The Kids” and began writing about her effort to break into the business.
She quickly built a loyal following, amassing some 25,000 readers. Today she spends a few hours each day posting information about internships and answering questions on topics ranging from finding a good college music industry program to securing an internship with scant experience in the field. When she doesn’t know the answer to a question, Dickinson finds an industry expert who does.
For example, Dickinson recently conducted an interview with the press coordinator for the Warped Tour based on questions posed by her followers. The strategy has helped her build a network of industry contacts, which could come in handy when she applies for co-op positions.
Dickinson is currently working with IDEA—Northeastern’s student-run venture accelerator—to develop a business plan for the blog, which also helps readers find jobs in the music industry. “Having this team behind me is exactly what I need right now,” she said. “I’m not looking to make a living off of this, but I do think there’s a lot more I could do with it.”
Dickinson’s readers often approach her at concerts, telling her of their decision to major in music industry or the great job they found through her blog.
“I started this project trying to learn more about the industry and find internships for myself,” Dickinson said, “so there’s nothing better than having people tell me I’ve made a difference in their lives.”