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Considering moving to America

Considering moving to America

Old Jan 8th 2010, 8:11 pm
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Default Considering moving to America

Since this is my first post on the forum (I'm happy to be a member by the way), I'll try and keep this simple in the hope of getting some answers

I'm a twenty year old student, currently in the final year of a BTEC National Diploma in Music Technology (UK). I'm holding offers from various universities to study music management at degree level from September of this year. I'm also a part-time music journalist and I write for two publications, one magazine, and an Internet publication.

I would love to live and work in the United States at some point but am completely unsure of my best route and options at this point. Would a degree in music management be a good qualification? Could I gain employment at an American company if I had this degree? Is an internship at an American a realistic option? What about finding work in America as a music journalist? Would my current college course, and a strong resume/C.V, be enough?

A lot of questions, but I'm sure I'm not the first ambitious twenty year old who wants to move across the Atlantic at some point.

Any help/advice/suggestions/answers to the questions above would be greatly appreciated.

Philip.
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 8:14 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to America

Read digest and then ask questions

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Pulask...ork_in_the_USA

and

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Pulaski_Simplified
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 8:28 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to America

Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the guide. Some of those questions didn't apply but some that did (are you a potential intern/trainee for an organisation?) did apply to me. I'm sure that many people who were considering moving to the U.S didn't have an idea of where to start either so I guess I'm in good company.
Does anyone know whether the journalism route may be a realistic option? I've had a good amount of experience in this subject (work experience at newspapers, radio stations etc, I wrote reviews for my regional newspaper for a year), and I don't know how easy it would be to find a job as a music writer in America. Would it be advisable to write letters to American magazines and find out?

Last edited by philip_west1; Jan 8th 2010 at 8:33 pm.
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 9:00 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to America

You could always try but realistically you face a steep uphill battle in getting here. It's extremely hard for a newly qualified to get their foot in the door here BUT! It's not impossible. Being employed at an American company, probably don't have a chance but a smaller company or independent kinda thing, knowing somebody, might stand a chance. Like I said very hard, but not impossible
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 10:32 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to America

Originally Posted by philip_west1 View Post
Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the guide. Some of those questions didn't apply but some that did (are you a potential intern/trainee for an organisation?) did apply to me. I'm sure that many people who were considering moving to the U.S didn't have an idea of where to start either so I guess I'm in good company.
To help you narrow down the available paths further, ask yourself this question:

What skills, qualifications or experience do you have that will impel a prospective US employer to -

1) Pay thousands to sponsor a visa application for you, and wait months for your arrival if a visa is granted
2) Employ you over the already many jobless banging on his door, who already live in the US and are already work authorised (which you are not) and can start tomorrow

If you can find a good answer....then that gives you a direction in which to focus your efforts.
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 10:46 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to America

Originally Posted by philip_west1 View Post
Would a degree in music management be a good qualification?
Aside from the obvious, for what sort of job? I have a BMus in music theory and composition and I was never able to get a job in that field. I ended up becoming a high school music teacher for 13 years... but still compose for my own enjoyment though!


Could I gain employment at an American company if I had this degree?
Yes - if you found a US company to sponsor you and that degree (or something similar) was a requirement for the job.


Is an internship at an American a realistic option?
Not only realistic, but probably your best bet.


What about finding work in America as a music journalist?
Unless you have extensive experience and superior skills, this probably isn't realistic. At least, not at this point in time.


Would my current college course, and a strong resume/C.V, be enough?
Likely not... same reason as above.

Ian
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 10:48 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to America

Are internships one of those things that are H1B related? As in, once you're done with it, you have to leave the country?
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Old Jan 8th 2010, 10:55 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to America

Originally Posted by philip_west1 View Post
Does anyone know whether the journalism route may be a realistic option? I've had a good amount of experience in this subject (work experience at newspapers, radio stations etc, I wrote reviews for my regional newspaper for a year), and I don't know how easy it would be to find a job as a music writer in America. Would it be advisable to write letters to American magazines and find out?
Probably not because there are so many out of work journalists sloshing around in the US, more so than many other professions thanks to the paradigm shift in online/offline publishing that's occurring. Combine that with the fact that everyone and their aunt wants to write about the fun stuff like music, film etc. and it's a recipe for frustration.

As you'll discover on these boards, getting to work the US is an uphill struggle that involves equal parts realism, careful planning, and sheer luck (in that order if all goes to plan). A degree is no real advantage, unless perhaps it's from Oxbridge and very relevent to what you want to do. Did you consider doing a post-grad degree in the US?

As someone who managed to move to the US as a journalist in the 1990s, my only advice to you if you want to be in "publishing" is to go the trade publishing route, because that's about the only area of this withering profession in which specialized knowledge is needed and you can stand out from the crowd. Maybe not computer-related stuff (for which there always seems to be a surplus of writers) but perhaps music recording equipment, intrument design, you get the idea. Trade publishing also pays a lot better than mainstream journalism.

I suggest taking a long-term view... focus on getting yourself a niche specialization in the UK first, then leverage that to try to get yourself over to the US, either on an H1 visa or an L1 via a subsidiary of a British organization. I worked for United Business Media in London for many years before I engineered a transfer to their San Francisco-based subsidiary.

In the mean time there's no harm in shopping your writing to US online/print publications. Making a name for yourself is, after all, the other way of becoming a "specialist".
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Old Jan 9th 2010, 10:35 am
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Default Re: Considering moving to America

Thanks to everyone for the advice and suggestions. I'm beginning to realise (even in my young idealistic state), that my options are wide open and there are more possibilities than I'd first assumed. I'll be writing letters to various companies across North America, and finding out about internships and such. But I'm also going to consider possibilities including transferring from a British branch of a company to the American side, but this is all further down the line.

I'll keep you all updated with my progress and what's happening.
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Old Jan 10th 2010, 1:31 am
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Default Re: Considering moving to America

I don't like your chances but it's absolutely possible.

How about you try Canada or maybe Australia but basically get experience and when the economy turns your chances will increase.
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Old Jan 10th 2010, 3:12 am
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Default Re: Considering moving to America

Originally Posted by Weebie View Post
I don't like your chances but it's absolutely possible.

How about you try Canada or maybe Australia but basically get experience and when the economy turns your chances will increase.
Yeah that's pretty much how it is. I would definitely go for Canada if you don't mind the cold winters. But at least ur right next to the U.S. and not ages away from the UK
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Old Jan 10th 2010, 10:52 am
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Default Re: Considering moving to America

Canada is definitely on my radar without a doubt. I've been doing some research on finding work over there and it seems to be more wide open than America as far as jobs go. As for the weather, I actually prefer it cold to be honest, so that wouldn't be an issue for me.
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Old Jan 10th 2010, 7:43 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to America

Originally Posted by philip_west1 View Post
Canada is definitely on my radar without a doubt. I've been doing some research on finding work over there and it seems to be more wide open than America as far as jobs go. As for the weather, I actually prefer it cold to be honest, so that wouldn't be an issue for me.
Well then, I would definitely have a think on Canada and maybe post a thread on the Canadian forum. You get taxed up the ass in Canada but you don't have to worry about health insurance though after you meet residency requirements
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