Successful Berklee Alumni #11: Katie Amaral

Katie Amaral


Listen to the interview (about 48 minutes) or download it.

Graduated in 2009 with a double-major in Electronic Production & Design (then called “Music Synthesis”) and Music Business.  Principal instrument:  guitar.

Position:  Computer System Administrator at The Broad Institute, a large institution doing medical research.  Katie, one of 80 people in the Information Technology (IT) Department, writes computer scripts, develops their website, and keeps the computer systems running.

Overview:  In her first year at Berklee, Katie got a work-study job doing tech support at Berklee’s computer lab, which she did for the rest of her time at Berklee.  Her Music Business internship at Sonivox led directly to a job there doing customer support, quality assurance (QA), and marketing, albeit at a modest salary.   After a bit over a year, she was feeling under-challenged and wanted something more technical so she found online, applied for, and got a job with Aerva, a start-up that did digital signage, again doing customer support and some of everything.  After a year of very long hours and low pay she joined the family computer business, The Amaral Group, where she set up computer systems & software at other businesses (mostly in the Greater Boston area).  She worked there for 5 years, the last two of which involved her going to Boston University to get her Masters in Computer Information Systems.  A consulting job at the Broad Institute led to her being hired there full-time in early 2015.

You can see her LinkedIn Profile here.

Choice Quotes:  “Just being in an innovative environment surrounded by really smart people is really motivating.  I’m excited to do what I do!”

Always tailor your resume to each job you’re applying for!  You can make yourself look like a good fit.”

“Figure out what you want to do/what would you be happy doing and will help you pay the bills.  Then just work hard at it.  Don’t be limited by what you think you’re qualified for.  Also, there are so many resources online, such as Code Academy, where you can learn job skills for free!”




KatieA_3aKatie worked full-time while going to school, using her vacation days for the times that her classwork was particularly demanding.  “It was a rough couple of years, but I’m glad I did it!”






KatieA_2Katie at Berklee.  “The best aspect of Berklee was the work ethic it forged.  Doing 8 classes, going into the studio, keeping up with ear training, etc. required a ton of work and good time management, which served me very well in my career.”






KatieA_1Katie still plays guitar as a member of the all-woman band Unstraight.  “I still play music, I still record, I play with my music synthesizer.  Music remains a big  part of my life!”






See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.