Successful Berklee Alumni #7: Dr. Dana Robertson

Dr. Dana Robertson


Graduated in 1996 with a major in Performance.  Principal Instrument:  drums.

Position:  Professor (rank:  Asst. Prof.) of Literacy Education at the University of Wyoming.  Dana teaches elementary school teachers-in-training how to teach reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

Overview:  Dana gigged and toured full-time for several years after finishing Berklee, but decided that touring wasn’t the life for him.  He started substitute teaching, which allows great flexibility on which day you do and don’t work and worked well with his schedule.  He enjoyed that, so got his Masters in Education (M.Ed.) and started teaching fifth grade.  He continued to take classes and after a few years enrolled in a Ph.D. program, while continuing to teach and gig on the side.  Upon receiving his Ph.D. he applied for teaching positions at research universities across the country, and got his current job.

You can see his LinkedIn profile here.

Choice quotes:  “Don’t just take any job, but think about what it is that you really enjoy doing–as well as playing music.  Every job hasn’t really seemed like a job for me, because I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve done.”

“I learned to network as a musician, which applies directly to my job, which requires networking with people at other universities, collaborating, etc.   Also the discipline & focus required to master an instrument..transferred directly over to other aspects of my life, such being able to spend a long time working on a paper.”


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Successful Berklee Alumni #6: Charlie Shaughnessy

Charlie Shaughnessy

Graduated in 2008 with a double-major in Performance and Music Business.  Principal Instrument:  Guitar.

Position:  Wireless telecommunications brand advocate at MarketSource, Inc.  Charlie visits retailers of cell phones in his territory, providing training, support, and connecting with sales managers in support of Microsoft products.

Overview:  Graduating during the worst job market in decades, Charlie moved back home (Washington State).  He made a living doing three jobs:  gigging and local touring with bands, working at Best Buy selling cell phones (for near minimum wage) and helping at his brother’s funeral home.  During his almost-3 years at Best Buy he became friendly with the product vendors.  One day he asked one of them about their job.  She described a job to his liking put in the good word for him, which got him an interview.  He was hired to to product vending/support part time, and was promoted to his full-time position within a year.

You can see his LinkedIn profile here.

Choice Quotes: “I made a really good decision by focusing on the business aspect (of music).  I think some of those business classes should be required.”

“Networking and relationship building is what it really boils down to–at least in this field–for us in the corporate environment.  There are plenty of opportunities that students at Berklee can seize to do (and learn) this naturally…You’re putting together bands with people you see in the hall, doing different projects, etc.”


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