Listen to the interview (approx. 1 hr, 18 min) or download it.
Graduated in 2009 with a major in Performance. Principal instrument: drums.
Position: Product Marketing Manager at Allego, a fast-growing software firm in Needham, MA that acts as a training-platform (“an internal-use YouTube”) for companies. Allego hosts corporate training videos and allows for coaching/discussion to be packaged with the video. One of around ten people on the marketing team, Jake is in charge of messaging, positioning of new products/features in the market, and competitive differentiation. He’s also Allego’s primary creator of content, writing blog posts, white papers, business briefs, and case studies. About a third of his time is spent studying the market.
Overview: Jake was passionate about experimental jazz, but late in his Berklee career sensed that the market was minimal. He moved to L.A. after graduation, hoping to get famous doing more popular music and acting, but his heart wasn’t really in it and after two years of bartending to make ends meet he moved back home (to Massachusetts). He needed a job, and his mother sold furniture, so she knew someone at another store and he got a job selling mattresses. Initially he didn’t make much money (low 30s), but then Jake saw selling as a skill he needed to develop. He passionately studies the art of selling, reading books and asking questions, and within a year his income had almost doubled! He also applied to the more-elite Jordan’s furniture, and by late 2012 got a job there and his income rose again by amost half.
However, Jake felt like ultimately he’d like to have his own company one day, and felt he’d benefit from business school. He spent over a year studying for the GMAT, did well, and got a 3/4 scholarship to Babson’s MBA program, which he chose because of its focus on entrepreneurship, starting in the fall of 2015. Almost as soon as school started he was looking for an summer internship; at some point the career center suggested he check out Allego. He hit it off with the founders, who offered him a sales job. Jake said he wanted to learn marketing, so started interning (unpaid) 30 hours/week in January 2016. This became a paid position by the summer> He stayed there after the summer, and the following January he was told that the Product Marketing Manager position was being created in March, so he started his current full-time job while finishing up his MBA.
You can see Jake’s LinkedIn profile here.
Choice Quotes: “I went from avante-garde jazz drummer and trying to sell mattreses–a huge change! I’ll talk to old friends who are like ‘dude, how could you do it?’ The funny thing is it’s the SAME DAMN THING. When you put your passion into something you can do it in other things that seem different.”
“Don’t underestimate the power of minor adjustments. Often people get discouraged and want to totally redo everything and radically change their direction. But maybe it’s one small change that’s all that is needed. Maybe there’s an adjacent industry, or maybe a slightly different job or company. ”
“My experience as a musician gives me an edge that no one else ha. Creativity is a skill, and I’m able to think creatively to a degree greater than most folks who just haven’t had the practice.”
“If you get an internship with a lot of boring tasks, definitely do those tasks, but keep your eyes peeled for something better. I showed the chief marketing officer that there was a .59 correlation between blog posts and website traffic, then offered to write most posts. As an intern I became the main writer at the company, and that led directly to my job.”
“If you want to work in marketing, Develop and appreciation for, and even a fascination with, markets. Too many folks think they’ll do it because they’re creative and can write. But at the core is economics and markets. As a Berklee grad you’re good to go on the creativity. But dig deep into the economics and the concept of value that and you’ll be able to apply your creative fascination with music to this as well and you’ll have a lot of success.”
See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.