Claudia Caliano-Rida (formerly Caliano)
Graduated in 2009 with a major in Music Business. Principal Instrument: voice.
Position: Change Management Consultant. (Update September 2016: Shortly after the interview Claudia’s good work was recognized in the form of a promotion to Principal Change Management Consultant!) Consultant at NTT Data, a very large (80,000 people worldwide) technology consulting company based in Japan. A travelling consultant, Claudia helps corporations adapt to new software and processes. She works with companies to learn about their process and transition, then develops training materials, designs in implements trainings, and trains people. She spends almost half of her time travelling, and the rest working from home.
Overview: Claudia is from Switzerland, where she got the equivalent of an Associates Degree and training in Information Technology (IT) and had worked for years for Microsoft doing accounting, sales, and customer support. Claudia came to Berklee at age 25 to try something new and was a student employee during her time at Berklee. Post-graduation, she was recommended for a job with a music start up as executive assistant to the president, but she was laid off one week before her visa expired! For about a year Claudia was unemployed, taking classes just in order to get a student visa, then she got a certificate to teach ESL (English as a Second Language). Claudia did that for a couple of years, but the pay was very low.
Eventually, a friend of a friend who worked at NTT Data recommended her for her current job, as she had good background in both IT and teaching. Claudia has been at NTT since 2013, and gradually has been working her way up in autonomy, title, and pay.
You can see Claudia’s LinkedIn profile here. In addition, Claudia invites anyone interested in pursuing a job in corporate training to email her at claudiacaliano (at) msn.com .
Choice quotes: “I’m a teacher by heart. My favorite part of a project is the end where I’m in a classroom and helping people learn. I take something that’s really scary for them–nobody wants change–and help them deal with it and get through it. I teach people and see that ‘A-ha moment!’ and people say I just made their life better. It’s extremely rewarding.”
“Why should I work my ass off just to be a poor, mediocre musician? I’m not as musically talented as many at Berklee. I’m all about exploiting your strengths, and I’m really good at some things!”
“Be open–you never know who you’re going to meet that can help you get a job. You should have an excellent 30-second “elevator pitch.” Also, learn really good interviewing skills. I got this job because I rocked that interview.”
“Companies are erratic about when they hire consultants, so keep looking and keep sending your resume, even to the same place. It’s about timing, so be persistent and believe in yourself. Whatever you do, keep going–all you need is one job.”
See the full index of Successful Berklee Grads.
Claudia at her 2009 graduation. She’d had an good job in Switzerland, but felt that everything had been too simple. “My entire experience going to Berklee–taking a chance, doing something unconventional, being humbled by all the talent around me, knowing I’d have to work really hard to achieve something–made me who I am today.”
Claudia tells others struggling to establish their career to “Know and understand what you want, but cross-reference that with what’s realistic for you to do. Find a middle ground — it’s very liberating. You’ll explore different career paths, put yourself out there and be open to opportunities and you’ll learn a lot about yourself. Apply for jobs that you normally wouldn’t apply for. Don’t get stuck in the one role you think you should be in.
Claudia with her husband at their wedding in 2016, which she insisted happen on the same day she graduated Berklee. “I truly believe that if you want something enough and work hard enough for it. you’ll achieve it.”