Successful Berklee Alumni #39: India Thomson

India Thomson

Listen to the interview (approx. 58 min.) or download it.

Graduated in 2014 with a major in Music Business.  Principal Instrument:  voice.

Position:  Investment Services Analyst at Citigroup in New York.  India works on a team of ten, supporting 150 financial advisors.  India helps with inquiries from customers and financial advisors, places trades, and helps operations.  Her goal is to move up into a role directly evaluating investments.

Overview:  India’s mother is a day-trader, so she was exposed to finance growing up.  By her penultimate year at Berklee, she had decided that she wanted a career in finance.  India moved to New York after graduation, supporting herself by doing social media publicity for a music label while she searched for an internship in finance.  After four months of aggressive searching, she got an unpaid internship, while she studied for and obtained her first financial industry certification (“Series 7” and “Series 63”) which involve lots of studying and a test.

Networking events led to her next job, a financial services sales position, which was paid, but India wanted to move away from sales and into something that paid better than that position.  She got an investment analyst position, which she loved, but after six months the company was having financial problems, so she started looking for another job.  A recruiter from Citigroup led her to her current position.

You can see India’s LinkedIn profile here.

Choice quotes:  “I have this duality:  I have a passion for math and am good at it, but I have a creative side as well.  My finance job also has both  As an analyst, I do a lot of math, using metrics to rate investments based on suitability, rate of return, and so forth.  But I also do creative stuff, such as putting together presentations & reports and talking to people.”

“When you put your resume out there, know that Search Engine Optimization is used by companies on resumes.  Software looks for key words and will filter 1000 resumes online down to 50.  Put the job title and key words from the job position in your resume.”

“You can love music, but don’t ever feel like you’re stuck because music is all you can do….  You can still be happy, find your passions, do stuff you love and have meaningful experiences even if what your ultimate dream doesn’t work out.  What you end up doing can and up being your dream without you even realizing it.”

See the full index of Successful Berklee Grads.

“Make a really strong resume highlighting your achievements and your math and academic classes.  Join industry associations, which will show folks you’re really interested in this.  Also, have a thick skin–I’ve been to SO many interviews where I didn’t get the job.  Don’t give up!”

There are so many ways to make money and support yourself. You can leverage the skills you learned at Berklee in other areas; it’s all in how you present yourself.”