Internship Spotlight: Stephen Herring/North Star Media

Lesley Mahoney
March 30, 2009
"Berklee experiences that you didn't even imagine having any pertinence are all of a sudden incredibly important," says Stephen Herring of how Berklee prepared him for L.A. "It gives context to your lessons."
Photo by Lesley Mahoney

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

Stephen Herring '07, a performance major and saxophone principal originally from Alabama, got the best of both worlds when he interned through the Berklee program, with posts at music publishing company North Star Media and major film studio New Line Cinema. His work at North Star led to a full-time job as the company's Creative Department coordinator, which included the role of internship supervisor. His boss, North Star's VP of creative services and another Berklee alumnus Marty Silverstone, worked with Herring as an intern and was happy to bring him into the fold.

Herring on responsibility as an intern:

"This is not a class to miss. This is a job to go to. Realize that you're taking your career in to your own hands. There's no professor to guide you. As an intern, the first day at North Star, I was given about 20 CDs to listen to and see if any of the bands were good enough to sign. That's A&R, a very important part of the company. I got to do all the major film research, find out what films were coming out. I got to do all the distribution, mail-outs, CD creation. I don't think there was ever a time when I felt like the low person on the totem pole. It felt like I was brought in as an equal. It didn't feel like an internship. It felt like a part-time position.

"In my experience, the intern is not only an important role, but, in a lot of ways, a crucial role because you end up doing tasks that the other people can't afford the time to do. They may want you to send a CD mail-out to a big executive; it doesn't get sent out unless you assemble a mail-out, figure out what the postage rate is, and get the mailing label. It doesn't happen without you, and all of a sudden, you have this huge sense of responsibility. You end up becoming a very important part of the system."

Herring on Berklee support:

"I don't think I would have succeeded if it weren't for the support from the internship office. They were very helpful. And I couldn't have been happier with Park LaBrea; it's gorgeous and safe, and it puts you in an environment with other Berklee students."

Herring on how interns keep up to speed:

"Our interns are exposed to the newest recordings and equipment, the newest sort of social networking opportunities, and the newest marketing methods, and those are kinds of things we need to grow and survive."

Silverston on the potential to segue to a job at North Star:

"Stephen has become an invaluable part of the staff here. I find that most Berklee students are serious and well-rounded. They move out here with a purpose: to have a career in the contemporary music industry. For a small company like us, it's a really good thing to know that students are coming out here that have potential and can possibly stay on if it's a good fit. In terms of Stephen, we welcomed the opportunity to bring someone on that will mean an investment in time for them and us."