Listen to the interview (approx. 50 min.) or download it.
Graduated in 2016 with a major in Electronic Production & Design. Principal Instrument: guitar.
Position: “Customer Operations Adviser’ (Customer Service/Support) at SquareSpace, a company with over 500 employees (roughly half in customer operations!) which serves as a do-it-yourself website and blogging platform. “We handle everything from billing issues to helping people design their websites.” Alexander helps people via live chat and email, but during parts of the day he’s also learning to code.
Overview: Two years into Berklee Alex left for a year to do music full-time in New York, but decided he wanted to get more into the business end and got involved with Berklee’s Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship (ICE). For two years he and a partner worked on starting a new tech-based music business, hiring people to write code. However, after graduation Alexander wanted to move to New York to be with his girlfriend, and the prospects for the start-up were tenuous, so they wrapped it up.
A couple of weeks after graduation, Alexander was at a party in New York, and he bumped into an engineer who had done a project for his startup the year before. The engineer was working at SquareSpace, and suggested that Alexander work there as well, in the entry-level position of customer operations. Alexander applied, and four interviews (one with a robot!) later, got his current job.
You can see Alexander’s LinkedIn profile here. Alex also invites folks to email him at Alexander [at] bercow [dot] com.
Choice Quotes: “I’m on a wonderful team with great people. Like with a band, everyone does their thing. It’s also fun to chat and connect with people, help them out. What drove me into tech, other than being from Silicon Valley, is I love innovation and progress. I always appreciated innovative music and that love carries over to what Squarespace does.”
“Customer service is a good entry-level thing that can lead to something else. I have a lot of ambitions in tech besides just customer service, which is why I’m learning to code. One great thing about my company is there’s a lot of opportunity to grow and develop professionally–I didn’t want to leave music unless my job offered a really good career path.”
“One thing I didn’t like about music was the instability. It’s nice to get a paycheck every couple of weeks. My job has good pay for a first job out of college, and the benefits are excellent, including flexible paid time off and a company lounge with free alcohol after 6!”
“Berklee taught me is learning how to be collaborative. Being in a band you have to learn to work together and be a team player–that and being able to communicate in a team–how to take criticism and guide others productively. ”
Actions really do speak louder than words. You want to work with people who act on stuff—and be that person! I didn’t know if my start-up would work out–and it didn’t–but it led to great stuff. A friend recently said he really wanted to make candles, and I was like, ‘Do it! Make a candle. You’ll learn things, and maybe it’ll ultimately turn into something that can support you.'”
See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.