Ivy Leaf - Spring 2009
At the Top of the Charts
By Marissa Carney
In the city that never sleeps, the music biz keeps pace; deals are struck, hopeful hearts are broken, stars are born … and Ronli Tzour is in the middle of it all. The business marketing and management major landed a sweet gig as a video promotions intern at Atlantic Records/Warner Music Group in New York City.
"Music has always been such a huge part of my life. I am simply fascinated and completely in awe of this business. Plus, I can't sing—so my first dream of being a rock star was immediately ruled out!" Instead, Tzour is behind the scenes, tracking music videos on television and the Web, assisting with promotional events for artists, and producing album release schedules. Tzour's stint at the record company is thanks to her Penn State Altoona business administration internship course.
Because of her classes at Penn State Altoona, Tzour felt ready to take on her responsibilities. She does a lot of budgeting for the internship, which she admits she wouldn't know how to do without her accounting or finance classes. She also puts together some basic projects for the video production department and, through her project management class, she knows how to break the projects down step-by-step to effectively complete them. "A big part of my internship is to promote, pitch, and sell ideas or concepts to some of the department heads or supervisors. Thanks to my marketing and management classes, I know how to approach these people and from what angle to work and intrigue them." Tzour says she loves the fast pace of the industry, and likes the challenges that the changing and developing trends present.
Although her internship is for credit, not cash, Tzour's experiences seem to make up for that. She says the people at Atlantic Records/Warner Music Group embrace their interns and take them seriously, encouraging them to be creative and submit ideas, and executives and heavy-hitters of the label make an effort to get to know the interns personally. She's learning a lot about budgets, concepts, and logistics, as well as the thought, innovation, and time behind shooting and promoting music videos. For class credit, Tzour has a paper due every week, and then specific topic-related assignments are due other times. At the end of the semester, she will come back on campus and present to the faculty her experiences. She also has to write a ten-page paper on the internship and create a portfolio.
But let's not forget about one of the perks of working for a record company: major artists constantly walking through the halls. Tzour has met and interacted with current rappers T.I. and Flo Rida. She's shared elevators with Pleasure P, Maino, and Halestorm, and sat in one of the studios with up-and-coming-band VersaEmerge to shoot their acoustic set for an upcoming video. She also gets tickets to attend concerts.
The 24-year-old from Fair Lawn, New Jersey, will graduate this May. She's hoping that Atlantic likes her enough to hire her. "I've always dreamed of being in this industry, and I'm only just beginning. I have very high standards for myself, and I won't allow myself to fail— especially when it comes to my dreams." Tzour can see herself working in the A & R Department, where artists are discovered and brought to the company, or the ADR Department, where artist careers are developed. Marketing and radio promotions look desirable, too. "Truthfully, whatever they throw my way, I will grab in a heartbeat! I just want to make sure whatever is next for me will be here at Atlantic Records or somewhere in this industry that I admire so much. I've never been so excited to wake up and go to 'work' in the morning!"