Summer Centered: Bilge Yilmaz '21 Finds Her Groove in the Music Industry
The prospective political science major, who intends to minor in music and visual studies, is working for La Blogothèque, a French broadcast and production company.
"I feel like everything I do somehow connects to music,” said Bilge Yilmaz ’21, and her summer internship at La Blogothèque in Paris, France, is no exception. From Arcade Fire to Fleet Foxes, R.E.M., and Phoenix, La Blogothèque works with high-profile alternative musical acts to produce digital content that promotes the experience of listening to music.
Supported by the Smart Family Fund and the Center for Career and Professional Advising, Yilmaz is getting hands-on experience working in the music industry for a well-known company that uses everything from video journalism and blog posts to their famous one-take video “take away” concert experiences to create an intimate interaction between artists and fans.
Yilmaz sees her internship at La Blogothèque as an extension of her passion for music and the application of her passion to Haverford’s campus.
"I make music, I write about music—I'm pretty much immersed in it,” she said. “At Haverford I do Chamber Singers, a cappella, and FUCS, and everything Blogothèque does connects to my intended minors [in music and visual studies]. And evidently, being inevitably immersed in French helps me revive my academic experience with French.”
The opportunity to work for La Blogothèque is especially exciting for Yilmaz, who has been a longtime fan of the company since she stumbled upon their content at age 13.
"Their approach to music, and recording music, changed my whole perspective growing up,” she said. “The thing about me is I simply love bands. I love live performances. I remember digging these favorite bands of mine, finding out about their videos by La Blogothèque on YouTube, and getting completely carried away. I was blown away by this simple video of Grizzly Bear performing ‘Shift,’ squeezed up in the bathroom of a Parisian flat, filling the bathtub with harmonies. What a simple, yet extraordinary idea. This is 2006. There isn't fancy equipment or Instagram whatsoever. A camcorder, some mics, and pure music. I go to actual concerts all the time, and all I ask for is this same extraordinary feeling I get when I watch one of these videos. It rarely happens, frankly.”
The main takeaway here? “If I wanted to do an internship anywhere, it was at La Blogothèque.”
From learning technical skills like attaching a microphone to an acoustic guitar or managing a budget to wandering the streets of Paris scouting locations to shoot future videos, from interacting with followers on social media to archiving the massive video collection, Yilmaz enjoys the ability to experience many sides of work in the music industry, where she hopes to build a career after graduation.
"I experience a very unique working environment where everyone is immensely passionate about what they do — they communicate and brainstorm so intricately and so naturally that I can now understand how the magic happens,” Yilmaz said. “I hope to learn from these work ethics and collaboration skills. This industry and specifically this job requires very well-calibrated communication skills, so I feel like it's very important to be in the hub of all this traffic, and observe patterns of cooperation.”
After this summer, the intended political science major can definitively say she is hooked on the prospect of continuing this sort of work.
"I certainly plan to stay in the music industry one way or another,” she said. “I hope to be able to stay in this field where wondrous things happen to people who know how to pursue a dream passionately.”
“Summer Centered” is a series exploring our students’ Center-funded summer work.