Listen to the interview (Approx. 1 hr. 13 min) or download it.
Graduated in 2008 with a major in Music Production & Engineering. Principal Instrument: guitar.
Position: Mechanical Engineer at Function Engineering, Inc.
Overview: Owen finished his Berklee education by doing Berklee’s LA Internship program, which he recommends highly. That led to four years working in various studios, as an assistant engineer, lead engineer, and assistant tech repairing equipment. Owen liked the tech end, and didn’t like the late-and-erratic hours, so he decided to switch careers. He got his Masters in Engineering from Boston University, though it’s LEAP program, which is designed for folks with non-engineering undergrad degrees. Through his coursework, Owen discovered that he really liked product design, and he finished his degree in 2014. It was a long job search, but ultimately he moved to San Francisco, built a website that showcases his portfolio, and directly reached out to product design companies in that area, which landed him a 3-month paid internship at Function Engineering. Owen was offered his current job at the end of the internship.
You can see Owen’s LinkedIn profile here.
Choice Quotes: “”I loved doing MP&E becuase I’m very creative, but also very technical. Being able to combine the two is my dream job, regardless of what it is. Today I’m virtually doing the same thing–the technical side of being creative.”
“It was intimidating at first to have my music background when everyone else at Function Engineering went to Stanford or MIT, but then I realized that everyone thinks my background is really cool and they were intimidated by me!”
“”You’re not going to know if you like something until you try it.” Getting a feel for whether something is good and you could do it for the rest of your life.”
Owen as a Berklee student, working at the console. “I actually do a lot of the sound testing at my job. Moving parts in consumer electronics need to be quiet. I use the same microphones & amplifiers that I used at Berklee, only now I put them in front of robots & moving parts.”
Owen with his dog, who is much easier to take care of now that he has regular working hours!
Owen has two pieces of advice for folks thinking about switching paths. One is to do internships in order to build up a resume and get good contacts. The other is to “Research various careers. You can always go back to school, though it gets harder as you get older, so don’t waste time.”
See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.