Successful Berklee Alumni #17: Anna Eliopoulos

Anna Eliopoulos

Anna E radio station

Listen to the interview (approximately 44 minutes) or download it.

Graduated in 2008 with a double major in Music Production and Engineering (MP&E) and Performance.  Principal Instrument:  voice.

Positions:  “Audio News Gatherer” (basically a combination editor, scriptwriter, and in-house journalist)  at Fox News Radio.  Also, Anna works part time at Greek public radio station Cosmos, both an engineer and with her own biweekly hour-long program doing mostly lifestyle interviews and some music.

Overview:  Anna graduated from Berklee wanting to work in a music studio.  She had toured studios several months before graduating, and this led to a job offer (effectively a paid internship) shortly after graduation.  For almost 5 years Anna worked in studios, as the assistant to an engineer, and as the office/business manager.  Meanwhile, in 2010 she auditioned for a Greek-American reality show.  She didn’t get the part, but someone else there overheard her describe her background and offered her a part-time job on the spot as an engineer for Cosmos radio.  Soon she had her own radio program as well, though it’s a small station and would be a part-time job.  By 2013, Anna felt bored and wasn’t learning anything in her studio (office) work, and decided that she wanted a career in radio.  A friend who also works part-time at Cosmos has a day job at Fox News (TV), and asked on Anna’s behalf about openings in their radio dept, and recommended Anna for the job, which–combined with her experience at Cosmos–got her an interview and, ultimately, the position.

You can see Anna’s LinkedIn Profile here.

Choice Quotes:  “Radio is very much immediate and takes its direction from the audience.  You have the ability to connect at a moment’s notice.   People call into your station, ask questions, give their opinion on the music etc.   People still want to feel they’re part of a larger conversation.”

“The Berklee grads I’ve seen who have been successful–in and out of music–didn’t ignore opportunities that might not have been in their life’s plan, but were just as interesting.”

“Just getting into and making it through Berklee shows you’re really focused about something.  Berklee is very intense, and to make it through you have to be ‘on top of her game.’  That same focus and energy needed for Berklee is crucial for so many aspects of life.”


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Successful Berklee Alumni #16: Troy Church

Troy Church

Troy at work.
Troy at work.

Listen to the interview (Approximately 1 hr, 13 min) or download it.

Graduated in 2013 with a major in Music Business.  Principal instrument:  voice.

Position:  Web developer at NKP Medical   Troy is one of several “front-end web developers” who codes websites to meet design specifications, including being optimized for search engines.  NKP Medical specializes in marketing and websites for plastic surgeons.

Overview:  Troy enjoyed the two website building classes he took at Berklee.  Upon graduation Troy needed a job ASAP.  His computer skills weren’t robust enough, and “I suspected it wouldn’t be in music,” so he applied broadly through craigslist and Linkedin.  and got a job selling insurance, which lasted about 8 months.  A former work friend, and an old college friend got him two othersales jobs which each lasted about that long, but Troy didn’t really enjoy sales.  He figured web development would be a good career path, so during those two years he built websites for friends for a nominal fee to build up his portfolio while spending many evenings and weekends taking (mostly free) online classes.  (Troy got a lot out of the (free) classes he took with Code School and his (paid) experience with Thinkful.)  By the summer of 2015, Troy felt his skills were good enough. He couldn’t find a job in NYC where he was living, but he also applied to jobs in L.A., and did some phone/Scype interviews and the third one, at NKP Medical, led to his current job (and move to L.A.)

You can see Troy’s LinkedIn Profile here.

Choice Quotes:  “There’s something that happens when I get into a groove.  I can zone out, listen to podcasts or music.  I get into a state of “flow” where time seems to not exist. You forget everything but the problem at hand, and it’s really enjoyable. ”

“It was hard.  Lots of Friday nights up until 3am trying to solve a coding program.  Lots of summer weekends indoors finding everything to keep myself in that seat by my computer.  Just doing whatever it took to keep learning until it was going to pay off.”

Berklee’s approach to composing/arranging was very helpful to my career, as it taught me to start with a clean slate and write piece by piece.  Web programming feels to me very similar to writing counterpoint:  lots of structured rules, but allowing for a bit of creativity within that structure.”


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Successful Berklee Alumni #15: Chelsea McKinney

Chelsea McKinney

Work at Aventura

Listen to the interview (around 40 minutes) or download it.

Graduated in 2013 with a major in Music Production and Engineering (MP&E).  Principal instrument:  Piano.

Position:  Floor manager at Aventura, a 250-seat tapas restaurant in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Overview:  Chelsea got her first restaurant job during her first year at Berklee.  She initially bused tables, then was promoted to host and then server.  She worked a combination of host and server jobs in Boston, ultimately at Uni (at the time a paired restaurant “Cleo and Uni”) before moving to Ann Arbor to be with her boyfriend a year after graduation.  One month of job-hunting later, they went out to a nice restaurant on a “date.”  Chelsea asked if they had any jobs, and offered herself as a manager.  They recommended her to interview with Aventura, their sister-restaurant.

You can see her LinkedIn Profile here.

Choice Quotes:  “I figured out that what I wanted to do was not so much a thing but a skill set:  working with people.  I found a job where I get to do what I wanted to do.”

“I asked my previous managers to look over my resume before I left Boston. They are older than me and have more experience and know things I don’t.  One of them said, ‘Don’t put ‘host’.  Just put ‘functional floor manager.”  That was a key thing that led to me getting this job.”

“Producing prepared me for restaurant management.  I had to be in charge:.  I learned how to figure out logistics, work with people, communicate our visions to each other, get it all right, deal with unexpected ugly surprises, and get emotional artists to put their issues aside and focus on their work.”


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