Successful Berklee Alumni #32: Mark Schafer

Mark Schafer

Mark Schafer

Listen to the interview (approx. 1 hr 9 min) or download it.


Graduated in 2009 with a degree is Music Business.  Principal Instrument: guitar.

Position:  CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software administrator and sales analyst at Yesware, Inc.  Mark customizes the SalesForce software platform to assist salespeople, which includes writing computer code.  Roughly 1/4 of his job involves an analyst role, looking at sales data and putting together reports.

In his spare time, Mark stays involved with music as a volunteer by co-running SOFAR Boston.


Overview:  As his final-semester internship was about to end, the Music Business Dept. recommended Mark for a sales job with Sonicbids.  Mark interviewed there, and everyone agreed he’d do better in a customer support role.  Sometime later, his friend who managed the SalesForce software left the company and recommended Mark as his replacement.  By early 2012, Sonicbids was feeling financially shaky, so Mark searched online for new jobs, mostly not involving music, and landed one at Brightcove as the SalesForce administrator and sales analyst.  In the summer of 2014 a former colleague who had left Brightcove to work at Yesware took Mark out to lunch and suggested that he work at Yesware, doing similar stuff, which Mark was happy to do.


You can see Mark’s LinkedIn profile here.


Choice quotes:  “My job is basically learning how things work in detail and then designing my own systems to handle all these subtleties.  Lots of problem solving:  they tell me a problem, and I get to be creative and figure out a solution, the build & support it.”

“The challenge with collecting data on sales is it’s a very human process.  I need to design something that’s easy to use but very tailored to the company’s process, so people know what do.  You want the software to be set up to where sales people can look at a lead and know right away what’s going on and what needs to happen next.”

“Looking for my next job from Sonicbids, I wanted to stay in Boston, but being in music wasn’t a priority.  My day-to-day job at Sonicbids really had nothing directly to do with music anyway.”

“Do as much as possible and don’t wait for the perfect thing to come along. Even if that first job isn’t what you wanted to do, you’ll learn a lot and a lot about what you do & don’t like and may even discover something you really like.”

“At Berklee I figured out how much an analytical person I am and how much I love digging into details…I had the best time at Berklee, it was such a positive experience and such a crazy creative int’l community.  I don’t regret for a second having gone there.”


See the full index of Successful Berklee Grads.