Successful Berklee Alumni #81: Braydon Nelson

Braydon Nelson

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


Graduated in 2007 with a major in Professional Music.  Principal Instrument:  guitar.


Position:  Director of User Experience (“UX”) at StackCommerce. a company that partners with major websites to provide them with online stores and things to sell.  Braydon designs the pages, features, and enhancements that make these stores simple and enjoyable to use, which the development team then builds.

Overview:  For a number of years after graduation, Braydon did music professionally.  First making an album and touring with a Dutch band, then with a band in San Fransicso with had been signed to a major label.  However, being with a signed band felt creatively stifling and by 2012 he was ready to do something new.  Braydon and his brother designed an IPhone App which, while not a commercial success, was great experience–Braydon credits it with getting him that first 7-month contract job.  When his band broke up in the summer of 2012, Braydon moved to L.A., planning to get into composing as a profession, but also planning to do some sort of design as a “day job.”  Quickly he found himself really enjoying the freelance design gigs and within a couple of months had decided to pursue a career in design.

Lacking in connections, relevant experience, and a specialized degree, Branton spent over six very stressful months and over a hundred applications pursuing that first design job.  However, during that time he focused intensely on building his portfolio, doing challenging project after project in many area across design to raise his skills and show what he could do, and the bigger his portfolio the more interest employers showed.  Finally he got a 7-month contract job.  As that was ending, a much easier job search (4 applications, 4 interviews, 2 job offers) he took a much better paying job at a company, which he stayed at for a year and a half until it was clear that company was failing financially. He applied for other jobs, getting his current one at StackCommerce.


You can see Braydon’s LinkedIn profile here.   Braydon encourages folks interested in the design field to reach out to him.  ” I have a folder with great sites/tutorials and when someone asks for advice I send them that folder.  Reach out and I’ll send it to you.”


Choice Quotes:  “I taught myself product design using google, youtube, and other free resources that exist.   When I started getting interested in user-centered design, I researched everything I could, figuring out best practices. When I got my first job I peppered the engineers with questions, and eventually got to know what I was doing.”

“I come up with the features, and my team of developers builds them. It’s very different from music, but it involves a lot of similar improvisational skills.'”

“I never thought I’d be here. I feel really grateful and blessed that I’ve been able to find two passions and do both of them for a living. A lot of folks don’t find any passions. I spend a lot of time trying to help other folks find their passion–talking about what they’re interested in.

“At Berklee, surrounded by so many brilliant musicians and given such great challenges, I had to figure out how to make things happen and rise to the level of what was expected of me, to learn as much as I could as fast as I could.  I’ve learned to apply that pretty much everywhere else in my life.”

“In tech, just get your foot in the door! If you’re in the industry at all, it just helps so much when you want to do the job you really want.”



See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.