Successful Berklee Alumni #98: Michelle Pugliese

Michelle Pugliese

Listen to the interview (approx. 42 min) or download it.


Graduated in 2008 with a major in Performance.  Principal instrument:  flute.


Position:  Educational Administrator/Manager (finance &  marketing) in the Languages Division of Temple University’s College of Liberal Arts.  (Temple is a large university with many different colleges.)  She handles accounts payable, purchases, website updates, a monthly newsletters, video productions and special events (including around 200 lectures per year!).  Michelle also works closely with department chairs, and she directly supervises four full-time staff.


Overview:  After graduating Berklee, Michelle gigged around the Boston area in a wedding band and a jazz trio and had several students, but her income wasn’t enough to support herself and after a year she moved home to Philadelphia and sought employment.  Wanting to stay within music, Michelle looked at Temple’s website–their music college had an opening for a part-time music marketing position, which she applied for an got.  Within 2 years student enrollment in the music college had doubled, which meant more work for her, and her position became full time.  Michelle also took advantage of working at a Temple University by taking classes to get a masters degree, earning her M.Ed. in Higher Ed. Leadership and Administration in 2014.

In early 2013, Michelle her boss at the music college left, and she hoped to get their position.  She applied for multiple positions at the university in order to buff up her interviewing chops.  Sadly, she did not get her boss’s position at the music college, but her “practice” interview at the College of Liberal Arts ultimately turned into a job offer for her current position.


You can see Michelle’s LinkedIn profile here.


Choice Quotes:  “Foreign languages attracted me because I think of music as a foreign language. Also, at Berklee it was amazing how you would sit with so many folks who may not speak English but you could start playing music together and figure it out. We can take classes here for free. When I have time to take a lunch break you usually can find me in a Spanish or Italian class to keep my brain sharp.”

“Berklee always stressed the importance of marketing our skills and having an online presence & press kit, and I promote myself professionally similar to how I did musically.”\

“I took my position because it would round out my resume–web design, finance, supervision. It’s a stepping stone to my next position in education.  One day I’d love to be a dean of a music or art school.”

“Take a side job until you’re financially on your feet. You’re not giving up on music, but that extra financial padding helps you enjoy life and do music on the side.”



See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.