Listen to the interview (approx. 50 min.) or download it.
Graduated in 2010 with majors in Performance and Songwriting. Principal instrument: voice.
Position: Personal assistant to a celebrity model. Working directly for this woman, Darsell’s time is split roughly evenly between helping with business things and with personal things. She does a wide variety of tasks including emails, shopping, organization, being the liaison between anyone and her employer, and accompanying her employer on photo shoots and traveling (domestic and int’l).
Overview: Darsell came to Berklee a year and a half after getting her associates degree, and has been working front desk at a hotel in Miami, where she’s from. After graduation, she stayed in the Boston area for a year, working at a cell phone store, but tired of the weather and moved to L.A. she got some gigs, but needed more money so got another front desk job at the same hotel chain. But she didn’t like the culture in L.A., nor was she prospering financially. A friend helped her get a job at an online ticketing start-up, but after her training in New York Darsell decided she wanted to be there instead of L.A. The company wouldn’t transfer her, so she left that job, moved to NYC, and reached out to a former hotel client who had a staffing agency and needed an office manager.
That position lasted about six months, then Darsell got laid off. She applied widely for jobs; at one point a friend from her now-former staffing agency suggested she apply to another staffing agency, Quintessentially People, which placed her with her current employer. It started off part-time, but evolved into a full-time salaried position, and within 6 months Darsell was hired “permanently.”
Choice Quotes: “It’s hard work! I say I’m a celebrity assistant and people are like ‘OMG it’s SO cool!’ Yeah it’s cool, but it’s no freaking joke. It’s 24/7, and you have to be on top of everything. Your job is to resolve issues BEFORE they get to whoever you’re assisting. while they focus on what they’re trying to do (building an empire most times).”
“I enjoy working with my employer. We’re a good match personality-wise. I respect what she does and what she stands for. It’s also still in the entertainment world, which I love. She’s in that world and I love being with her from when she had a small following to now when she’s grown into a superstar.”
“A lot of the time I create my own schedule. She’ll give me things to do and I’ll get them done at my pace. But my hours vary enormously. There are 80-hour workweeks, and there are 30-hour workweeks.”
“Don’t be closed off to other opportunities in the same world. I was so obsessed with being the next Mariah Carey. That’s not realistic for me now. Priorities change–I’m older and want a family.”
“If you want to be a personal assistant, do it for someone you like, in an industry you’re interested in.”
“I’m grateful to Berklee for changing my life. Even though I’m not a full time musician I hold Berklee near and dear to my heart.”
See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.