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Internship Spotlight: Indie Artists to Innovate Records

Where you go to school does not limit careers you can have if you work hard enough. This is the quick version of how I went from intern-managing an indie band to having an internship with Innovate Records in Ohio.

Growing up, I always loved music and had an interest in the entertainment industry. I come from a practical Pittsburgh family who wanted me to stay close to home for college. Because of this, my dreams of working in the music industry had vanished – or so I thought. I proceeded to enroll at Grove City as an English major.

Music Marketing Course

Everything took off at the beginning of my junior year. While optimizing my schedule in the summer, I noticed Dr. Lewis’ Music Marketing course, which he only offered once before, had an open space. I immediately emailed him and he signed me into the class. During this time, students split into teams and intern-managed an assigned band. Fortunately, I love the band I worked with (Atlantic Wasteland, check them out on Spotify or wherever you stream music). We ended the semester with a 50-page marketing plan, which we presented to a panel of artists and record label representatives.

Knowing my experience was coming to an end, I asked Dr. Lewis if I could take an independent study with him in Artist Management (an independent study is when you and a professor create an in-depth mini course to look at a specific topic. I would highly recommend!). He approved, and I was able to continue learning more industry specific marketing techniques.

Relay for Life Benefit Concert featuring Atlantic Wasteland

During the course I used analytical tools, such as Spotify for Artists, to gather data on Atlantic Wasteland’s target audience. After discovering the main demographic is college students in the Pittsburgh area, I knew this was the perfect opportunity to bring a new kind of music to campus. I then paired up with my sorority, the sisters of Sigma Theta Chi, and the Pansophic fraternity to create the Relay for Life Benefit Concert featuring Atlantic Wasteland.

We spent long hours searching for local sponsors and coordinating with other bands. The set included the campus-renowned professor band, Crimson Floyd, the Pittsburgh alternative rock band, Young Lungs, and the headlining alumni band, Atlantic Wasteland. The event went well and in four days we raised $230 for The American Cancer Society.

Innovate Records Internship

While this was happening, I received surprising news from Dr. Lewis. Due to the timing of our paperwork, my independent study would not work. To make this happen he contacted Grove City alumnus Jordan Biel, who owns the Christian record label Innovate Records. He also owns its secular sister label The Cellar Records.


I am working with Sol Virani an artist under The Elite Allegiance Records. Also, I recently received acceptance to study at the Contemporary Music Center in Nashville next semester.

With this I leave you with one piece of advice: Never be afraid to ask for anything, the worst response you can hear is “no.” Which is not too bad anyway.

If you want to find out how you can pursue the music industry through Grove City College, feel free to email me any questions at or talk to a Grove City Ambassador head over to the official website at

Innovate Records Intern, Samantha Funderlich, with Atlantic Wasteland

Me with Atlantic Wasteland after the benefit concert.

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