Successful Berklee Alumni #95: Ernie McMillan

Ernie McMillan

Listen to the interview (approx. 45 min.) or download it.

Graduated in 2013 with a major in Professional Music.  Principal Instrument:  drums.


Position:  Assistent V.P; Salesforce Support Analyst (Product Manager) at City National Bank, a national level bank, headquartered in L.A., which specializes in loans to the entertainment industry.  Ernie is one of ten people on the Salesforce team, supporting that Customer Relationship Management software,. but the one person doing his exact role:  assisting with data migration, training, and making sure the software used to its best, improving the platform to meet the bank’s needs.  “I communicate with business-side users to find what they need and then translate that in technical terms to the development team, which builds it.”


Overview:  Ernie grew up in the San Francisco area and always liked technology, though he was a history major before transferring to Berklee.  His last semester at Berklee he did an internship at Echonest (now part of Spotify), which combined music and technology.  After graduating, he ultimately wanted to move to L.A. and pursue a music career, but decided first to move home to work and save up money in order to “fund the dream.”  He applied for a contractor job at Yelp, which he got in part because of his tech-based internship.  He started by reviewing user “flagged” user content, but quickly moved up and took responsibility for building pages, which involved interacting with Yelp’s Salesforce team.  Ernie worked at Yelp for a full year, the last 6 months remotely after he moved to L.A.

Ernie was gigging, but when his contract ended, he again needed more income, so he applied and got a job at a start up, PTTOW, which needed someone with Salesforce experience to run their database.  He worked there for close to two years until he heard that City National Bank was going to be putting together a Salesforce team, which would be a great opportunity to move up.  He applied for his current job, didn’t hear back for a few months, then they responded and he got it in May, 2017.


You can see Ernie’s LinkedIn profile here.


Choice Quotes:  “In my role, every day has a new challenge that keeps me on my toes, thinking, expanding my horizon.”

“A cool thing with Salesforce is there’s a number of ways you can solve a given problem. It’s fun to have to try to figure out the best possible solution.”

“When I have a passion toward something I can pick it up quickly.  I was self-taught on drums coming into Berklee; it was similarly easy for me to pick up Salesforce. ”

“Music has taught me not only how to focus on a task at hand, but also how to work on a team. As a drummer I’m a solid foundation that carries a group.”

“There’s pressure to come out of Berklee and think you’re going to have a great music career. But it helps to look at Berklee as a great college experience. Learn about yourself, your strengths, how to learn. Be open to other opportunities and career paths. Understand your skill set–see what works for you, keeping you happy and keeping the bills paid. But keep that passion for music, which you still can do on the side.”



See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.