Successful Berklee Alumni #36: Michael Benson

Michael Benson

Michael Benson

Listen to the interview (Approx. 55 min.) or download it.


Graduated in 2010 with a major in Music Business.  Principal Instrument:  guitar.


Position:  Senior Account Manager at Pixability, a start-up which helps companies do online video marketing campaigns.  Michael works with clients to get the specifics on the ad campaigns and results they want, and helps implement it. He supervises three more junior-level account managers, and also works to think up improvements for his own company’s software/interface.

Overview:  While at Berklee, the Music Business Dept. recommended him for an internship at SonicBids, which led to other internships and a job as an account manager when he graduated.  Something over a year later, Michael was brought onto a “start-up” within SonicBids, but found that it had too little structure and he wasn’t doing well, so he started looking for a new job while continuing to work.  Michael felt that “Opportunities within music were limited for someone with my skill set.  I decided to open up my job search and see what’s out there.”  A high-volume job search for several months led to an account manager job at ContentLEAD, which specialized in search engine optimization, though Michael also worked with clients to help them design effective websites.  After a couple of years, a former-colleague who had moved to Pixability recruited Michael for an account manager position there.  Good work & company growth led to a promotion a couple of years later.


You can see his LinkedIn profile here.


Choice quotes:  “What makes a business setting worthwhile are the people you work with, and do you have the chance to learn and grow?  I enjoy working with tech , and the process of sitting around and brainstorming and envisioning something and then bringing it to fruition.”

“My music education was a real differentiating factor in the job market.  It’s really important to  be a good listener–it helps you deal with clients.  You hear subtleties in their voice–do they have more to tell you?  Negative space plays a role in the dynamic of a conversation–Musicians understand all this.”

He has performed at a couple of friends’ weddings.  “Music is something that never leaves you no matter what you end up doing.  I play every day to my children, as well as with my family and at friends’ weddings.”

Don’t do your resume by yourself–have someone else look it over.  Also find some ones that you really like and use them as a template.  Your resume will be looked at for 30 seconds or less.”

“Listen to that little voice in your head telling you if something is right or not.  I’m happier now that I’m maintaining a work-life balance then in the first few years after college when I was working 60-hour weeks.  I wish I could look my former self in the eye and tell him not to worry too much.  Even if the years after school are really difficult, remember to look up, be thankful, open, honest, and appreciate the moments.  Life is generous.  Don’t fall prey to too much fear.”


See the full index of Successful Berklee Grads.