Research and Internships: Tia Ho ’17, Rediscovering Her Dream

Tia Ho, Sub Pop Records

My mom loves to tell the story of three-year-old precocious Tia, who had a habit of waking up her parents every morning by jumping on their bed and singing loudly and brilliantly off-key. I still love to hear that story, because it reminds me music has always been an important part of who I am. Last summer, an internship with Sub Pop Records gave me the opportunity to rediscover this part of me and make music my priority for three incredible months.

Sub Pop employees did everything in their power to make my experience a valuable one. I soon learned the intricacies of touring by preparing settlement sheets and distributing posters for multiple bands; listening to unreleased records and correcting typos in lyrics as part of album production; handling sensitive metadata for licensing and business affairs; packaging LPs, and more.  And I was included in the process of taking an idea and bringing it to fruition through multiple conversations with Jonathan Poneman, Sub Pop’s founder.

Accomplishing my assigned tasks while working alongside this talented group of people helped me realize some important life lessons, the first being it is okay to spend a summer surrounded by individuals who love their jobs and are working towards goals they invested time, money, and energy into. The environment was full of creativity, excitement, and a whole lot of love, instilling in me an enthusiasm to do even the smallest tasks.

Another “a-ha!” moment was when I first stepped through Sub Pop’s front door; I had also entered the mystical music industry. I realized how accessible the world of music business could be; this was not an unorthodox dream.

I could write thousands of words on my summer at Sub Pop, but all anyone needs to know is that it changed my life for the better. I’ve fantasized about working in the music industry and entertained the idea of being in a band, managing one, or becoming a music producer. This summer was by far the most formative in terms of my career mindset, and the internship provided promising connections for my future in the music world.