Listen to the interview (approx. 37 min.) or download it.
Graduated in 2012 from the Boston Conservatory with a major in Voice Performance.
Position: Executive Assistant at Chicago Software Solutions, a small software company that does mostly contracted development work. It’s her, the founder, two other technical people, and sometimes a few temporary contractors. Samantha is the one non-technical person tehre, and handles the billing, books, marketing, all clerical and office-related tasks, including coordinating travel human resources functions.
Overview: For much of high school, Samantha made money working in offices, having been introduced to that sort of work by her mother, a paralegal. During her four years at BoCo, she was a student-employee in BoCo’s HR office, sometimes helping in the President’s Office and the Admissions Office. Graduating in 2012, Samantha went straight into a 2 year Masters program in voice performance at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Her experience at BoCo led to her employment in their President’s Office during her time there.
Completing her Masters Degree in the spring of 2014, she spent the summer performing and working a side job at a Segway touring company. But by August the performance program had wrapped and the tours were winding down. She needed an income, so looked for an office/temp job. In October she got a 3-month temp job, and applied to jobs online. She found her current job through craigslist, applied, and was hired in early 2016 right as the temp job ended. Samantha continues to do many musical projects on the side.
You can see Samantha’s LinkedIn profile here.
Choice Quotes: “I enjoy the administrative aspects of work. Especially when I started and as the first admin person instituted a whole lot of procedures. I like making my boss’s life easier and having a say over things–setting my own pace in an independent work environment. ”
“A lot of musicians are good at admin-type jobs. We need to know how to present ourselves and our materials well, and know how to organize out own lives. Because I auditioned for strangers I’ve been more comfortable in job interviews. Being a performer made me more comfortable speaking on the phone.”
“Working in music is still the goal, but I need to pay the bills and I need to eat. The work can be enjoyable and I appreciate what it brings. I couldn’t imagine not having a stable, salaried position. You can make good money doing office work, and if ultimately music doesn’t work out I’ll probably be doing this.”
“While you search for that music career, be honest about your talent and prospects–a career in music is very uncertain and can you compete successfully? If not, how are you going to survive? Focus on your strengths, make connections. Little service gigs are fine, but office work is pretty easy, comfortable work that pays pretty well, and a lot of folks can start in that. It’s stable, not taxing on my voice or body, and my work-life balance is respected, so that works for me. Find what works for you.”
See the full index of successful Berklee/BoCo alumni.