Successful Berklee Alumni #87: Chris Franzen

Chris Franzen

Listen to the interview (approx. 1 hr, 12 min.) or download it.


Graduated in 2008 with a major in Songwriting.  Principal instrument:  drums.


Position:  Account executive at Spot Hero.  Spot Hero is an app like Fandango or hotels dot com, except it works with parking garages–with the app, consumers can pre-purchase parking as well as find good deals and accurate directions.  While Spot Hero is based on Chicago; Chris is currently the one person representing the company in the San Francisco Bay area.  Chris’s job is “70% account management (keeping things working smoothly with current clients), 20% new sales, and 10% other administrative tasks.”


Overview:  While at Berklee, Chris worked restaurant jobs for extra money, and had a band.  Graduating, in the spring of 2008, Chris was tired of restaurant jobs, so that when a Berklee friend and roommate who worked for Zipcar as a “brand ambassador” suggested that Chris work the same job at Zipcar, Chris took advantage of the opportunity, as it offered better pay and a more pleasant work atmosphere.   Chris stayed with Zipcar nearly 8 years, working his way up to marketing coordinator, then account manager, and finally account executive (a similar position to what he has now).  This included a move from Boston to San Francisco in early 2015 where he was able to do the same work–by now the band had fizzled out and Chris wanted a change.

In the spring of 2016, Spothero was looking for someone to be based in the Bay Area full-time, while Chris was feeling like his career at Zipcar had hit a plateau andready for new challenges.  When Spothero’s head of sales reached out to him about the opportunity he responded positively.  Several interviews later to make sure it was a good fit for everyone, Chris took his current job.


You can see Chris’s LinkedIn profile here.


Choice Quotes:  “It’s a very unique position that I have. ‘ Tech is very new to the parking industry, so there’s a lot of relationship building, a lot of trust. Parking lot operators are nervous that we’ll be like Uber to the taxi industry, so there’s a lot of hanging out, drinking beers, making sure we’re on the same page.”

“I love how we’re talking an industry and making it more efficient, seamless, moders. Now people won’t have to cruise around looking for parking, which will reduce traffic and pollution. I love that our product gives consumer confidence that they’ have a spot and are getting the price and location they want–like when buying something on Amazon. I enjoy the relationship with our operations. A lot of them are really appreciative the way we’re modernizing the industry and making it just a bit cooler.A lot of these people are my friends now.”

“Spot Hero’s corporate team/culture is incredible–driven, intelligent, kind. Ther’es not one person I wouldn’t go to war with–or have a beer with! All those relationsihp and support make me really enjoy the job. Though I do look forward to getting another person on my team and hopefully not having to work 60 hours/week.”

“Having Berklee on my resume was very impressive to Zipcar’s marketing team. They knew I was a hard worker due to all that practice, but also that I was creative, laid back, and a good teammate from all the working with bands which we all do.”

“I became more optimistic about my music after becoming financially stable.   With a good day job, I had the $ to buy the gear i wanted, and to go into a professional studio if I wanted to. That job opened up more opportunities, and it also reduced anxiety, which can get in the way of the creative process.”

“I got to where I am professionally by starting at ground zero as a brand ambassador at Zipcar.  That introduced me to corporate clients and my knowledge of the consumer sector was great preparation. By starting at the bottom I really knew all about the company and felt really empowered–better than 95% of acct. executives because I really knew the company & product.


See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.