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  • Sep 13, 2021
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  • SMG Impact Fellows Mix Tape Series: Madi’s Intro
SMG Impact Fellows Mix Tape Series: Madi’s Intro

This article is written by Madilyne Nguyen-Acosta and is part of the SMG Impact Fellows Mix Tape Series, a collection of first-person essays written by the inaugural cohort of Sony Music Group Impact Fellows. Read more about the SMG Impact Fellows Program here.

Tell us about the MAIP recruitment process and how the program connected you to Sony Music Group. What should a student expect to happen?
Applying for MAIP is a challenging, rigorous process. You must select your desired disciplines, the preferred cities you’d like to work in, answer four essay questions, submit a letter of recommendation, and provide a three-minute video showcasing who you are. It’s not guaranteed, but the majority of MAIP Fellows are offered a 10-week internship that they partake in, in addition to the professional coaching and workshops that are built into the MAIP program.

For me, the essay questions and video were the hardest part of the application process because you want to showcase yourself while making your message clear and concise. One thing that helped me while writing my answers and filming my video, was peer feedback. While working on my application, I found myself in a cycle of constant self-critique but getting feedback from my family and peers reassured me that I was sharing my true and authentic self. Once you submit your application, you wait several weeks to find out if you’re a finalist, and another month or two to receive an internship offer.

When I found out that Sony Music Group offered me a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion internship position I literally jumped up and down in my room and screamed. I immediately knew that I had to accept the offer. Without hesitation, I logged onto my MAIP portal, hit “accept” then called my friends and family to tell them the great news. It was a full circle moment. My mom’s first job was with Sony Electronics back in the day, and my dad has always been in the entertainment industry as a DJ. I knew immediately that this opportunity was perfect for me and was excited to bring my skills and experience to the table.

What advice can you offer to future SMG Impact Fellows?
At virtual spring training, MAIP gave us tips and advice on how to make the most of our virtual internship experience. During the first week, insight from MAIP helped me not only to make a great first impression on my supervisor, but also establish solid habits and standards for myself to keep throughout the duration of my internship.

For me, this included greeting my supervisor right when I log on, as if I were greeting in the physical office. It was my way of letting her know that I was online and ready to seize the day. I also made sure to go over what was expected of me, her preferred communication style, and what projects I’d be assisting with throughout the summer.

If I were to share a helpful tip to other interns, it’d be to block off or schedule your lunch breaks on your calendar and treat them like a meeting. In a virtual setting, it can be hard to step away from the screen or even realize that you may be hungry. Doing this helped me set a personal boundary for myself that also improved my productivity and overall mental health!

What does an average week look like in the Office of DE&I?
The work our office engages in is very dynamic and changes from week to week, so it’s challenging to describe an ‘average’ week for the Office of DE&I at Sony Music Group. Our team was formally established just a year ago with the hiring of Executive Vice President & Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Tiffany R. Warren, so there plenty of exciting growth opportunities to pursue and take advantage of. I often get added to calls with our external DE&I partners, compile industry research for our team, and assist with administrative work. Although administrative work doesn’t sound like the most fun thing to do, it’s necessary. I truly feel like I’m helping build the foundation for our office to succeed and continue being DE&I leaders in the music industry. What I love most about my weeks online is genuinely feeling like I’m was a key part of an effort when I get to see the final product of projects I’ve contributed to. There’s no greater feeling!

What’s your favorite part about working with Sony Music Group?
My favorite part about working with Sony Music Group is the people! I’ve had the opportunity to meet fellow interns and other professionals in different departments who have been so welcoming and enthusiastic toward me. It sounds cliché, but I also love getting to listen to music whenever I want to! On a more serious note, each day, I learn more about diversity, equity, and inclusion in the music industry. I’m so grateful to be supporting Sony Music Group’s DE&I efforts and making history in the music industry, all thanks to the partnership between MAIP and SMG.  

Last but not least, what songs are currently in your rotation and on repeat?  

  • “Come Through” – H.E.R (feat. Chris Brown)
  • “I Like Dat” – T-Pain & Kehlani
  • “Vibe For Me (Bob for Me)” – Aqyila
  • “Do Me Nice” – Show Dem Camp
  • “Tangerine Dream” – Snoh Aalegra
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