SXSW

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SXSW Reviews

Updated April 7, 2014
Updated April 7, 2014
12 Reviews

3.9
12 Reviews
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Roland Swenson
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    Programming Intern

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Awesome environment to work in, everyone is laid back and cool, its SXSW! As an intern you get to experience what really goes on in the company. Event production on site is a great and crazy experience, you get to see what goes on behind the scenes of the biggest festival and conferences of its kind in the world.

    Cons

    There are not many career opportunities. The positions are very coveted and there's not much money involved. You have to be really passionate about what you do and be ready to sacrifice some things to work here.

  2.  

    Cool festival to attend, less cool to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX

    Pros

    - It's very cool to see the inner workings of a festival as large as SXSW, and the way the company gears up for it and the months leading into the festival. I've learned so much about the process that could be applied to other festivals.
    - Depending on if you work in Music or Film, communicatng with high profile performers/filmmakers is a cool perk of the job
    - Pretty much everybody gets a badge. Even though my internship is unpaid, I'm still kind of compensated because the badge that I get would normally cost about $1200.
    - There are a lot of sponsors, which translates to a lot of free swag, free drinks, and other cool free stuff at work.
    - The office/everyone who works in it is pretty stylish. To some people this may not be that big a deal, but going into a very sleekly designed environment and working alongside a bunch of people who look liked they stepped out of the pages in a magazine makes you feel cool.

    Cons

    - Apart from training for the database system that SXSW uses, there was no actual training for what I would be doing as an intern. At the beginning I wasn't too worried. As we got closer to crunch time it was frustrating because I got in trouble for not doing anything, but my bosses were too busy to delegate tasks to me.
    - Maybe it was just the department I worked in, but there seemed to be a bit of a gossipy culture. My boss would complain to his colleagues about someone who he felt made his job harder, and in turn she would come over to his area and passive-aggressively make comments about how long his lunches were while he was gone. It seemed like this kind of thing happened a lot, not just with my boss either.
    - The environment at SXSW is very high stress. Granted, it's one of the biggest festivals in the US and there's a lot of possibilities to mess it up, so everybody has to be hypervigilant about everything they do. In the long-run though a lot of the employees seem super high strung and stressed out. Before interning there, I was thinking about possibly working there in the future, but after seeing the way the employees interacted with each other and how stressed they are all the time, me and a few other interns agreed it's just a nice thing to put on a resume.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    - Possibly have more effective meetings. I understand that more meetings are apart of life as it gets closer to the festival, but they wouldn't be such a drag if it seemed like they were actually helping people optimize performance instead of just something that could be sent in an email.
    - Have at least 3-4 weeks at the beginning of every internship be devoted to training interns. It may seem like a lot of time, but it will save you that time of teaching every intern how to do every little thing, and when it gets to crunch time you won't have some people (like I was) sitting around wondering what the heck to do.
    - Consider giving the interns the options of compensation or a badge. Festival perks are cool, but because of my work requirements during the week of the fest I didn't actually get to use a lot of them

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  3.  

    Great people, great environment, hard work, but lots of fun.

    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Film  in  Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Film in Austin, TX

    Pros

    The people are awesome; everyone is really laid-back and accepting and down-to-earth. The office environment is great, not too big but not too small.

    Cons

    If you work in a department that mainly operates during the festival (e.g. music, film, etc.), you're basically working 24 hours a day for 10 days. 6 hours of sleep is a good night, most likely it'll be closer to 4. It can take time and a lot of effort to get to know people; even though everyone is great once you get to know them, it seems like a lot of people are a bit standoffish until you put your hand out to introduce yourself.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
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  5.  

    awesome.

    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    good pay cool stuff to do

    Cons

    only once a year, dang

  6.  

    Perfect Environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Programmer  in  Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Programmer in Austin, TX

    Pros

    Relaxed environment, no micro-management, great benefits and unique fringe-benefits. It's great to have a job where you can be proud of what you do and consistently feel like you're doing something special.

    Cons

    Long hours in winter months can be very stressful but there is plenty of decompression time in the spring.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  7.  

    You're an intern and you will be reminded of that

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX

    Pros

    Excellent opportunity to learn the inner workings of a large scale festival. Great office hours. You will be off for major holidays, plus some time to travel back home. 5 1/2 month internship allows for you to learn quite a bit. You will know the software that you're using in and out. Access to the festival (if you get off in time to catch any of it).

    Cons

    You may or may not get to enjoy the festival. You will be reminded that you're an intern- from the really long work hours during the fest to the "staff only" moments throughout the internship. Parking is a struggle in Austin and so is traffic so be prepared.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    A few more perks for Interns, intern happy hours etc. A chance to interact and work with the live venues more. Remind staff that they too were once eager people just trying to get their feet wet.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8.  

    The experience sounds better on paper

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Stage Manager  in  Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Stage Manager in Austin, TX

    Pros

    Access to entire festival. You gain an greater appreciation of what it takes to put on this event. Fellow event staff are pretty nice and willing to put in work.

    Cons

    Strain and breadth of stage management leaves you too tired to enjoy the benefits you're receiving.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Create more events pre and post festival for the volunteer staff.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  9.  

    Fast Paced and Fun

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Production Assistant  in  Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Production Assistant in Austin, TX

    Pros

    Volunteering allowed me to see behind the scenes at the SXSW Interactive site specifically for the Accelerator events. I gained some great networking connections and learned a lot about producing live entertainment events. I also received a Platinum badge as compensation.

    Cons

    The days are long, up to 12 hours, and if you're not expecting this the compensation may not seem worth it.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  10.  

    Work hard and play hard.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee  in  Austin, TX
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Austin, TX

    Pros

    The conference portion of the festival is a great place for networking and learning about the business of film/ music/ tech by attending panels.

    Cons

    Food, parking, lodging -- everything is expensive during the festival, especially when you are not getting paid.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Send out notices of paid job opportunities to all your interns throughout the year so they can apply as well.

  11.  

    Unique opportunity, great people, surprisingly relaxed

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Intern  in  Austin, TX
    Current Employee - Intern in Austin, TX

    Pros

    Great connections, free badge, resume builder, nice people, located in Austin

    Cons

    Unpaid internship, work nonstop during SXSW, difficult to move up in the company

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    I loved my internship with SXSW, but wish I could have gotten paid, or at least had more of an opportunity to move up in the company afterward.

    Recommends
    Approves of CEO

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