Internship Spotlight: Amanda Brigham/Velvet Hammer

Lesley Mahoney
March 30, 2009
"At Velvet Hammer, I feel like I have made friends and great connections for my future endeavors," says Amanda Brigham, right. Her supervisor is Elizabeth Sosey '06, left.
Photo by Lesley Mahoney

One in a series of stories on Berklee's Los Angeles Internship Program, highlighting interns and their supervisors.

Amanda Brigham, a music business/management major and voice principal from Syracuse, New York, is an intern at Velvet Hammer Music and Management Group—an artist management company representing such musicians as Cypress Hill, Alice in Chains, and System of a Down. Her supervisor, Berklee alumna Elizabeth Sosey '06, is executive assistant to David Benveniste, CEO of Velvet Hammer and StreetWise Concepts & Culture, a social marketing agency. Sosey had also participated in the internship program, interning at Rhino Records, a post that gave her connections to her current job.

Some of Brigham's responsibilities:

Updating CEO David Benveniste's (Beno's) contact list, making reservations for his car, answering phones, running errands, and printing out and compiling in a spreadsheet radio playlists that track when stations are playing Velvet Hammer artists.

How Brigham's Berklee experience prepared her for the internship:

"A lot of professors told me that this stuff really happens in the music business. I think I divided it up before: the classes and the music business. This is piecing it all together. Everything that I've learned is happening here. You can't be fully prepared until you're immersed in it, but my Berklee experience was good preparation."

Brigham on working at Velvet Hammer:

"L.A. can be a pretty 'cold' place. But Velvet Hammer really takes the time to teach me and the other interns about the business and I really appreciate that. They don't just ask me to grab coffee and food; they give me  tasks that involve learning more about the bands that we work with, and let us listen to demos that hopeful artists send in."

Sosey on Brigham's contributions:

"I had Amanda sub in for me yesterday. It was the first time I've taken a day off in a while and I was able to completely enjoy my day uninterrupted because Amanda did such a wonderful job in my seat. I pretty much threw her into a position that's taken me two years to learn and perfect, and she did very well. I have no doubt she has what it takes to make it in this industry."

Sosey on why hiring Berklee interns is preferable:

"Having an intern helps me immensely. It's like having a second assistant. The interns I get are awesome. When I teach them something, they really take it in and learn it. I have a huge workload, and it's hard to find someone you can trust to do it and do it right. I go straight to the Berklee program when I need an intern because I know the system, I know the people that are coming out of there. Berklee interns have what it takes, they want to succeed, and at the end of the day, they make my life a lot easier."