Article by Kaitlin Balmert (@kait_bee) & Thomas Agnew (@Thomas_JENESIS)
Attention future interns, the time is now to be proactive! Land an internship and get the most out of it. Understanding these five tips will make attaining the internship you want simpler and upon completion, will provide benefits for the future.
Employers receive overwhelming amounts of applicants for internship positions. It is vital that you stand out from crowd, which can be done prior to interviews as well as during. Prior to submitting applications along with your resume and cover letter to positions, spice up your resume design-wise and be sure that wording describing any previous job experience in your cover letter is tailored to that of the internship description. Create a LinkedIn profile and begin e-networking. Upload any available portfolio items and display them on LinkedIn to enable potential employers to view your work. During the interview process, be sure to sell yourself on your strengths and let the employer know what YOU can do for THEM.
You see the internship that you want, it looks promising, but what are your main learning goals while working the internship? Your advisor/boss will be able to help you out better once they know what your interests are and why you want to work for this company during your three to four month internship period. I’ve gotten into the habit of asking each intern what it is they want to learn from me or from a member on the staff. Maybe they want to learn how I manage staff members; maybe they want to learn how the editor built his skills up to become a trustworthy content builder, etc.
KNOW THE COMPANY YOU’RE APPLYING FOR
Not truly knowing what the company is about can do more harm in your growth than help. You may want to ask for further information before applying blindly because they have a great description. There are major differences in interning for an established business versus a start-up business. Ask what your duties will be and if they’re of interest go with the best opportunity.
BUILD NEW ABILITIES
This is a prime opportunity to learn real-life career skills that school will probably not teach you. All too often employers get applications from people who know how to only “manage” the job, but have no prior experience related to the job their applying for which leads to them asking for “experienced” individuals to apply for open positions. Your internship is the perfect opportunity to build your skill set and knowledge of your industry or field. Prior to the start of an internship find out what things you should be ready to learn or have basic understanding of. This reverts back to having your goals in order.
GROW YOUR NETWORK
Other than building on new abilities, growing your network is the important aspect to take away from your internship. Your network is what helps you navigate easier for future opportunities. Clients, potential partners and job openings will appear faster by staying connected to the network you’ve built while interning. You may not obtain a job with the company you interned for, but the client you worked with during that time period may have an opening that is what you are looking for.
World renowned Producer, Director, Author and Wu Tang Clan leader, RZA, comes to Pittsburgh on a promotional tour stop for his “Wisdom of the Word” Tour in which he will be speaking on “The Tao of Wu” which is latest philosophy enlightenment book.
He will be interviewed by Terrance Hayes and then the crowd will be able to have a Q&A session. The New Hazlett Theater is located on the Northside of Pittsburgh at Allegheny Square E. Ticket prices are Ticket Prices: VIP $65, Reserved $35, Balcony $20 which will definitely be limited.
You can buy tickets here at: http://pittsburghlectures.culturaldistrict.org/production/35630#tab=overview
Dope Couture is a high end street wear brand based out of Los Angeles, California. Also known as “DOPE” for short, they offer everything from raw denim to vintage Chanel accessories. Some of today’s biggest artists including Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, Kendrick Lamar, and many more have been seen decked out in the brand. They are guaranteed to have something for everyone. I have had the pleasure to link up with Belarmino Frogozo (@beiarmino – AKA “BJ”) who is straight from the DOPE team and he is here to give us the inside scoop on all things DOPE.
BJ, Can you share with our readers what your job as a marketing director for Dope Couture consists of?
It really consists of finding new opportunities for the brand and capitalizing on them whether it be product placement, in-stores, music sponsorships, or just maintaining social properties. Basically trying to engage the fans of DOPE and move the needle.
Wow. I know you work with Interscope Records too, it really sounds like you have your hands full. How did you become affiliated with the brand anyways?
I was with a friend working on some DJ shit and he was wearing the brand so I asked him where he got the shirt from. To my surprise the guy that was making the shirts (aka Matte, The owner of DOPE) went to Indiana University with me. My homie introduced us and we realized we had a lot in common in terms of lifestyle and fashion. I hadn’t really met anyone into that was into the stuff I was interested in such as Supreme, Bape, J Dilla & sneaker culture. At the time Matte was running the business out of the attic of his frat live-out house. A month later he had an office to create out of and that’s how it started.
When did Dope Couture originate and what were some of the main influences behind the brand’s creation?
I believe Dope started sometime in 2007, it’s been a little hazy since Haha. I would have to say tastemakers Ibn, Cudi, Pharrell, Jay-Z, Birkin Bags, Hermes Scarves, Clicquo, Dom P, Wagu Beef. Just real fly shit, anything and everything to do with high-end living and trying to build a lifestyle around it.
In the fashion world, one day it is in, the next day it is out. What keeps Dope Couture in and your customers coming back?
What keeps our customers coming back is just continually putting out product that embodies the “Dope” lifestyle. We know that our fans of the brand have dreams and aspirations of owning multimillion dollars flats in New York, BMW i8’s, and big face Rollies. It is all about bringing that “DOPE” lifestyle to the masses.
Dope Couture’s motto is “No Dope, No Hope” can you explain what this represents?
I feel like it’s up to interpretation, we can’t give away all the secrets haha.
“You know dope money is slow money but it’s sho’ money……”
Speaking of secrets, what are a few things we should be on the lookout for from Dope Couture in the near future?
Lookout for more collabs with artists, the boutique expanding, more in-store events, along with stronger and more inspired product.
That sounds like a growing list of anticipation. While we are on the subject, DOPE has been known to host some of today’s most sought out hip-hop artist such as Big Sean, Kendrick Lamar, Rockie Fresh, along with others but most recently Freddie Gibbs; How were you able to build these relationships?
I really started building these relationships via twitter. I would hit up the artists managers on twitter or I’d do a blog post on the particular artist and their manger would hit me for product. Another good avenue was having the original boutique in a college town (Bloomington,IN) Always having rappers roll through (i.e. Big Sean, Big K.R.I.T., Mac Miller, Big Boi) Bloomington was key, they would stop by the store get laced with gear and typically wear it that night for the show.
Can you describe this experience to those of us who are not close enough to visit a physical store?
Here are some videos of our previous in-store events. This will tell it best.
Dope Couture Fall/Winter Featuring Mac Miller. #MostDope. Camera and Editing by Harvey Lemmings.
I have heard that you can tell a lot about a person by the items they carry with them, what are your daily essentials?
Macbook Pro, Beats by Dre, iPhone, Bape Sunglasses, USB Drive, Wallet, Car Keys, Kermit The Frog Pezz Dispener, Harbio Gummy Bears, Raw Rolling Tips
I have to ask, does the Frog Pezz dispenser have any ties to your last name, Frogozo?
Haha yeah it does, ever since I was little people have called me Froggy, Frogz or would use expressions like “Don’t get too Froggy”
BJ, thank you for joining us at JENESIS. We all admire the DOPE movement, keep it coming!
Dope Couture’s combination of fashion, street wear and a taste for all things luxurious has driven this brand and allowed it to attract the average customer as well as some of the hip-hop industries heaviest hitters.The brand has proven it has the ability to provide a unique and customized look for everyone. Through designing limited edition items DOPE has maintained its ability to keep each product sold just as unique and rare as the day it was purchased.
Here are a few of my personal favorites from the online store http://shop.dopecouture.com/
-Mel B (@melissablythe5)
For our third Brand of the Month, we feature the innovative young brand Kreemo. You may have seen their “Kreemo Dropout” design worn by many people such as Wiz Khalifa or seen their brand highlighted on such sites like In Flex We Trust, BET, Greedmont Park, and others. But the brand is more than just its trendy tees, hoodies, and hats. They have different sectors that maximizes its reach through music, video production, and graphic design for major companies such as Atlantic Records. Check out the interview below to learn a bit more about Kreemo.
When did Kreemo begin and what was the first piece that helped start moving the brand?
Kreemo was founded in 2008 by Brian Wright & Lavan Wright who are cousins along with their high school friend Hugh Brown. The original Kreemo ghost logo was the first design printed on tee shirts.
At what time/moment did you guys recognize that Kreemo could make it in the clothing industry?
From the beginning, we understood that Kreemo could be considered amongst the best in the street wear industry as long as we continued to stay true to our vision.
What is it that Kreemo is known for the most?
When people think of Kreemo, they think of a brand that “Begs To Differ”. We are not scared to step outside of the box and be different.
What piece of clothing has Kreemo created that has meant the most to the brand?
As of now, our tee shirts have meant the most to the brand. This is how we have established and built a name for our selves.
Along with clothing you also add different areas of art to your brand as far as video production, graphic design, and other things. How has that helped boost the efforts of the brand?
Kreemo consist of four parts Kreemo (clothing), Kreemo Tele (video production), Kreemo Sounds (music production), and KMD (Marketing & Design). All of these branches were built for Kreemo purposes but in the past we have had opportunities to do work for some major companies and record labels such as Atlantic Records, Cinematic Music Group, etc. We designed merchandise for them and in exchange we were able to gain connections with major artists like Wiz Khalifa who wore our Kreemo Dropout crew neck at his show in Atlanta. This has allowed us to gain more exposure.
Can you tell us about Curtis Williams and what he is to the Kreemo brand?
Curtis Williams is an up and coming Hip Hop artist and producer from Atlanta GA. He is also the first artist signed to the music production entity of Kreemo called Kreemo Sounds.
What are some upcoming collaborations that you’re working on from the clothing side and your other branding services?
Right now we are working on our first official clothing collaboration with the fashion designer Brian Wood. Our freshman year in college, my partners and I had the opportunity to intern for Brian Wood where we learned so much about the fashion industry.
Do what you love & Love what you do … Beg To Differ.
Check out Kreemo’s brand, shop, and blog at: http://kreemo.com/
Newest member to Freddie Gibb’s Str8 Slammin movement, fellow Gary, Indiana native, G-Scott releases his new EP. His upcoming album, Weekend In Los Vegas is on the way soon, but until then enjoy this project.
Thomas Agnew caught up with Shawn Chrystopher who is on tour with Big Sean for the “I Am Finally Famous” tour, to get some background on him and talk about being an entertainer vs. a rapper, Silent Films for the Blind, and label whores.
You put a lot of effort into your albums and got back rave reviews. What do you credit to your successes?
Just hard work. Just always being a perfectionist. Not thinking everything you do the first time is good. As an artist you’re going to like every song you make because you made it. It takes songs like I did in college writing essays. You got a first draft, second draft, and then you may have a final or even a fourth draft. I’ll write a verse one day knowing I’ll add on or change it the next. People can really feel effort. People can tell. Believe it or not, I don’t know how, but they can. I want people to understand I put a lot of work into it.
For those who haven’t sat down and given a hard listen to your music, how would you describe yourself and style of music?
I would think that to describe my music, I have the lyricism and the stories of a Midwest artist and the instrumentation of the south. Bass heavy, mini hi hat, loud claps and snares in my instrumentation when I make my beat. When it comes to the lyric side I think I’m storytelling, very emotional, not so much punch lines every line, rather it’s me trying to tell a story in a verse. If you blend those both together you got me.
How are you working on being known as a music entertainer compared to just being labeled as just a rapper?
When people say that I put on great shows and everything that I do, rapper isn’t the first thing that comes out of their mouths. The word rapper has a negative connotation when it comes to intelligence. It’s like you can’t be a smart rapper, that’s how society feels. I have old white people ask me in the airport, they’ll see me tailored all fresh, “Oh, what do you do?” and I say I compose music and that throws them off.
The first thing they were ready to hear was, “I’m a rapper.” I say I compose music because I do. I make beats and I write songs. There’s no difference from what I’m doing and what U2 does. So when people look at me as an entertainer first before rapping it just means a lot to me and lets me know I’m doing what I’m supposed to.
You just released Silent Films for the Blind. Can you explain the title and the influence behind it?
Silent Films for the Blind came about when I thought how I was working hard on music…and [realizing] sometimes people really like ignorant stuff more than music that was thought-provoking. I kind of felt my music was being given to an audience that wasn’t looking for that. It was like you were showing a silent film to a blind person. It was like you got this work of art but you can’t even blame them for not being able to understand it because their blind and there’s no dialogue for them to hear it. I just had to find my fan base. And that’s what I kind of did with this album. It was me homing in on my fan base.
Just to take a step back, we’ve noticed that all your projects have been albums. Do you think it’s more important to put your best into a project rather than loosely dropping mixtapes?
I’ve always wanted to work on my projects like they were albums. You never know what someone’s going to hear first of you. I don’t want people to hear something that’s just half ass and then not liking me forever. I always feel when I work on a song or work on a project I say, “All right if this is going to be the first song they’re going to press play on, what do I want them to take from this?” I never wanted to just put out random freestyles and people think that’s who I am and that I’m just a regular rapper who just freestyles and they just move on. That’s kind of why I focus on just album projects instead of mix tapes.
We recently did an article on the co-sign which speaks on artist building speed with a helpful recommendation. Do you think co-signs are credible sources for who’s good?
It’s hard to say. Certain people wouldn’t be who they are as fast without a co-sign. But I don’t think co-signs are the end-all be-all, because you can be co-signed, but if you don’t have that talent it doesn’t mean anything. Not everyone Kanye and Jay touched became them. It’s like once you have that co-sign what do you do with it? Like Young Money, Wayne was on YM for a long time. He had Boo & Gotti and all these people. So people can say, “Wayne made Drake hot.” That’s not true. Drake is a wonderful artist and Wayne just helped him get there faster. A co-sign just helps speed up the process.
Do you think people are just waiting for someone to tell them what’s hot, who’s hot instead of deciding for themselves?
I think people are label whores to a certain extent. Like, if I have a plain black t-shirt on it’s cool but if I have a plain black t-shirt with a Ralph Lauren logo on it, it’s a dope ass shirt. We can do it without the logo or with the logo just depends how hard you want to work at it. If you’re trying to sell that plain black t-shirt then you got to stop every person you talk to and tell them why you need that t-shirt. The logo is what’s going to help it sell. You don’t have to sell Ralph Lauren. You just put it out there and people are going to buy it. People are waiting for other tastemakers to say what’s hot. But it’s up to people like us to talk to people one by one and really explain to them why we are who we are and why we are a necessity in their iTunes and homes.
Being an all-around, self-sufficient machine such as yourself probably works well for you. Do you think more artists should have more of a say in their careers?
Definitely. Where artist mess up more than anything is that they think they need their label or manager or whoever more than they need themselves. They never really put any say so in cause they don’t want to step on anyone’s toes and say, “Get out of here, man,” so they just stay quiet and go in the corner. But we realize that we’re the talent. They can’t write the lines and make the music that we make. If we want something to be out, we’re going to do it our way or else it’s not going to be out. [As an artist] you want your plaque on your wall. With us being the talent we have to understand we have the power. Just be like, “I’m not putting anything out unless I do it my way.” But we have these get rich quick scheme mind frames where we’re like, “All right, man, put me out,” and then it ends up not working out.
Not all artists want to be famous. Is there a level of success that you want to get to, to be comfortable with what you’re doing?
I’m never really content. I just work until I can’t. God has given me a gift to express my emotions to the world and have people really relate to me. I don’t think I’ll really ever stop. For the most part I work for my friends and work for my family. I want everyone to be good. I tell my friends I’m not the guy that’s going to buy an Aston Martin and come back to the hood and chill with them and everyone else got whatever. I’d rather break that Aston Martin down to five Benzes and we all driving and we all good. When I can look around and see that everyone who’s ever believed in me prior [to me working on music] is good, then I know I’m in a comfortable place.