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.”


troy_not_workingTroy not at work, thinking musical thoughts.  “Music is a lifetime dedication.  I make music almost every day on my own:  writing, producing tracks, singing.  Music is expanding me outwards, as the creativity balances out my very black-and-white job.  It’s a fun life to live where you’re pursuing two seemingly opposite passions–I’m expanding in both directions, while the real me is somewhere in the middle.”





Troy does his best to maintain a positive attitude at all times.  “One thing that helped me mature and get to this point was to be grateful for what is going on at the time.  While at Berklee I was pessimistic about the future.  That’s pointless and I regret it.

One other key to Troy’s success was that he learned how his mind worked and what would work well for him.  He sampled multiple coding classes which he didn’t do well with, until he found Code School which breaks lessons into under-ten-minute chunks.  By not giving up and acknowledging what would and would not work for him, Troy was able to move forward and establish his new career.

Along similar lines of the important of being self-aware, Troy knew that sales was not for him in the long run.  “I wasn’t good at sales.  They weren’t bad jobs; I saw my sales coworkers doing really well.  They had different personalities and are wired differently than I am.”


See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.