Preparing for a Multi-Billion Dollar Music Industry

I can’t get [experience] from a book or a professor. I have to get it in the real world.

Kari Bosen attended her first concert in February 2008. She saw the Jonas Brothers at the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Little did she know that this experience would ignite her passion for the music industry.

“The second I walked into the arena and felt the energy and the concert atmosphere, I knew I wanted to go into the music industry,” said Bosen, a junior in the Music Industry Management (MIM) program offered at Ferris State University.

“I chose Ferris because I had a friend in the program,” says Bosen. “[My friend] started her schooling in Tennessee and transferred to Ferris to finish her degree. I thought to myself ‘she is willing to leave Nashville, the music capital, to come to Big Rapids? It’s got to be a great program!’ I applied the next day and didn’t consider another college.”

Bosen is interning at The MRL Group in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The strategic planning and effective solutions company puts on music festivals, promotions, and events. Bosen doesn’t intend to stay in Michigan after graduation, which led to her optimal cross-country internship experience.

“I am actually the second person from my program to intern with The MRL Group. The first was a 2013 graduate who has since been hired into the company and is now my supervisor. If it weren’t for my program stressing the importance of networking, I would not have come across this opportunity,” Bosen says. “I can’t get [experience] from a book or a professor. I have to get it in the real world. Classrooms prepped me for the internship, and the internship will prep me for the career.”

What is the most valuable piece of information she’s learned as an intern? The prominence of social media and that it can be used as a main form of communication, interaction, and promotion.

Lola Schultz, a MIM major and Communication minor, has found a desirable internship closer to home. She is interning at a local production company, Porterhouse Presents in Traverse City, Michigan.

Schultz attains holistic music industry experience as an intern, such as marketing, development, production, and management.

“Porterhouse puts trust in their interns, and lets us take our ideas and run with them. They give their interns empowerment, and diverse experience. I know I’ll be able to take on any endeavor of the future.”

Similar to Bosen, Schultz serendipitously came across the MIM program at Ferris.

“When I was applying to colleges, I was looking into a general Business degree. I came across the Music Industry Management degree at Ferris and it sparked my interest because I’ve always had a passion for music. It never even crossed my mind that you could go to school to work in the Music Business. Since I was already interested in a business degree, I thought I would specialize my schooling even more and go into Music Business.”

As for her career goals, Schultz can see herself owning a music venue, or being heavily involved in music festivals.

“Right now I’m just dipping my toes into as many puddles as I can and finding out what it is I want to pursue.”

Ferris’s Bachelor of Science degree in Music Industry Management is endorsed by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), and requires students to obtain two internships. Multiple minors and certificates are offered to students interested in the music industry program.