Listen to the interview (approx. 50 min.) or download it.
Graduated in 2011 with a major in Music Business. Principal Instrument: Drums.
Position: Patent Paralegal at Harvard University’s Office of Technology Development, which helps patent and market new inventions by Harvard faculty and post-docs. Ryan assists with the patenting process, and also works with computers to upgrade their database.
Overview: In late 2011, Ryan interned in L.A. at artist management That experience taught him that the music industry, at least that part of it, wasn’t for him. Long hours, low pay, and with luck and being at the right place at the right time playing such a large role determining one’s career path. He moved back to Massachusetts, and started applying to large numbers of mostly non-music jobs. A friend of a friend got him a job at Heritage Marketing and Incentives, where he used templates and their software to build promotional websites and performed other administrative duties. It was good experience, but the pay was low, so after a year he searched for a better job.
Ryan founds the Harvard job on their website and applied, getting the “patent coordinator” job. Others on his team had paralegal certificates, so Ryan enrolled in the program, the equivalent of one full semester of work (spread out over a larger time period) and was promoted to patent paralegal.
You can see Ryan’s LinkedIn profile here.
Choice quotes: “Technology transfer is the convergence of business and law, which is essentially what music business is. It’s the same principles, though related more to intellectual property as a whole rather than just specifically to music.”
“I like being part of the tech-transfer environment. The culture is like that of a a startup company. Just seeing something coming out of a lab turning into a real product or company is exciting and I like to contribute to it as I can. ”
“I got my job at Harvard because my AEG Live internship in L.A. had me going through contracts and doing some clerical stuff for the legal dept. I combined that experience with the skills I’d picked up at my first job (Heritage), and emphasized the ability to do many things at once with attention to detail.”
Ryan as a Berklee student, playing his drums. “One thing I got out of Berklee was being around people who did things at such a high level, and seeing all the time and effort behind-the-scenes that they had to spend to get that good. It made me realize the level of commitment and work that would be required for me to succeed in whatever I wanted to do.”
Ryan is feeling good about his life and the path of his career so far, and is contemplating his next steps. When I commented that he found his path very quickly all things considered, Ryan replied, “It’s weird to hear myself talk about it. At the time my path did not seem clear-cut by any means, but I knew the situation I wanted to be in and the opportunities I wanted to have to get the quality of life I’m striving for. But at the time I was wondering what I was doing with my life.”