Pay It Forward with Well Dunn #GivingTuesday

I will never forget the first time I heard of the Well Dunn organization. I was sitting in my internship advisor’s office at Belmont University in Nashville, TN. We were going through my options for my senior year and what possibilities that might hold concerning internships. I mentioned to her that I would love to be a part of the program offered in Los Angeles in the fall that but due to my financial situation and the extra expenses that entailed, this would not be a possibility. She then proceeded to tell me about the scholarship options offered through Well Dunn. This was the first semester my university had partnered with them and she quickly gave me the information needed to apply. After filling out the application the wait began. In meantime, I researched more on Well Dunn and realized the vast amount of community involvement and scholarships they were funding. A few weeks later, I received a call from Well Dunn informing me that I had received the scholarship and the amount would more then cover the extra expenses needed to attend the program in Los Angeles that fall. I did my best to retain my professionalism until the end of the call, then proceeded to carryout some unattractive mixture of tears of joy and exclamations of excitement.

So here I am, sitting in my favorite coffee shop in LA, with three weeks left of the most amazing semester to date. The memories, friendships and connections I have made here have exceeded my highest expectations and have advanced my career in more ways than I could have ever imagined. I have spent my time in LA working with Wide-Eyed Entertainment, an artist management company. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this internship seeing as though I am a Music Business Major with an emphasis in songwriting and productions, but what I did know is that I wanted to really see the ins and outs of the daily life of an artist and writer and what that entails. I could not have ended up with better mentors and supervisors. They believed that the best way for me to learn was by doing exactly what they did during a typical workday, which in reality was anything but typical. I have been asked time and time again what the day to day generally looks like and the only real answer I have is that you never know what could happen. This is, of course, meant in the best way. Some mornings start out going over budgets for music video shoots and end with booking tours or spending hours in rehearsal with an artist while they prepare for a live performance. I have gotten a chance to be a part of A & R meeting with some of the top executives in the music industry, go to studio sessions with artist I have looked up to for years and even attend a few shows on the road. I have also learned the importance of taking an interest in everyone you come in contact with. It still amazes me that no matter how busy the day is, my supervisors still find the time to send birthday gifts to their colleges or ask the lady at the cash register how her day is going. I genuinely believe this is why they have achieved so much success and it has challenged me to do the same not only in my career but in every aspect of my life.

I can never thank Well Dunn enough for making these experiences and this semester a possibility. I do not say this lightly or theoretically that I could not have done it without their immense support and contribution. I hope that one day I will be able to do the same for other students and induvial and help make their dreams a reality.

Melanie Siegrist