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Leondra James

Music Graduate Still Chasing Childhood Dream, Lands Internships in France, LA

Music and business graduate Leondra James ’13 said she’s most proud of continuing to pursue a dream she’s had since she was in high school.  As a master of entertainment industry management student at Carnegie Mellon University, James is finishing up a summer internship in Los Angeles with NBC Universal. She also served as an intern for Lakeshore Entertainment at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival in France.

“I’ve always wanted (to be a music supervisor for film, TV and or video games), but I never thought I’d actually be doing it in France and LA,” she said. “It just makes me look forward to what I’ll accomplish.”

During her three-month internship with NBC Universal, James said her responsibilities include assisting music supervisors and directors for the E! and Esquire networks – from music and copyright searches and coordinating with music publishers and labels to obtain the rights to use music in shows and promos, to reviewing cue sheets to submit to performances rights organizations and organizing legal documents for original compositions.

“I apply a lot of what I learned at Otterbein,” James said. “To my surprise, the general requirements of being a music major, like music theory and even music history, are complimentary to an understanding of the business, because you can speak music to composers and decipher what less musically-inclined producers are going for in a show or promo.”

James said she landed her two-week internship with Lakeshore Entertainment, at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2014, after applying through a program called, The American Pavilion. She said her responsibilities included assisting with the international sales of Lakeshore Entertainment films, managing the vice president of international sale’s schedule and meeting with buyers from around the globe.

“It was a very interesting experience learning about the international film market,” James said. “I also got to attend red carpet screenings, see celebrities and go to parties. I also got to meet my all-time favorite French rap group, L’entourage, which was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

James said these internship experiences have helped her get closer to her goal of being a music supervisor.

“I’m learning how to have an ear for what producers want and how to pick music when producers doing know what they want yet,” she said. “I’m learning the process of licensing music from labels and publishers and how musicians get paid. There’s also a lingo and etiquette in the industry that I’m picking up as well.”

Learn more about Otterbein’s music and business major.