Listen to the interview (approx. 1 hr, 27 min.) or download it.
Graduated in 2011 with majors in Music Production & Engineering and Electronic Production & Design. Principal instrument: vibrophone.
Position: Product Manager (officially Avionics Engineer) at Boeing, a 150,000-person aerospace company operating mostly in the defense industry. Henry works on the EA18G Growler, an Electronic Warfare fighter. New, embedded software products are developed and put into the jet. Henry supervise that process from beginning to end, from the initial estimates, to working with aircrew to specify the feature, interface, and functionality to writing up the requirements, then a supervising process dealing with any problems that come up while engineers are building and testing it.
Overview: At Berklee, Henry most enjoyed post-production and sound design, so after graduation at the end of 2011 he moved to L.A. and within a couple of months got a full-time job as an assistant engineer at a post-production company with roughly 30 people. In barely over half a year Henry was promoted to engineer and received a large hourly raise. However, the hours were sporadic and variable based on the needs of the shows they were working on, so his income stayed the same. By 2014 he was starting to feel disenchanted with the work, disliking the emphasis on speed over quality and the feast-or-famine schedule where you might not work one week and then have to work overnight or holidays the next. He started to think about careers and was inspired by the video Humans Need Not Apply and the encouragement his mentor to seriously consider switching careers to computer science.
While visiting St. Louis, a professor at Washington University encouraged Henry to get his masters, and gave him some work to do on his own. Henry spent the fall learning more math and computer science via websites and courses, then moved to St. Louis in the spring to do the last prerequisite for the program while continuing to work remotely for the audio post-production studio. Henry officially entered the program in the fall of 2015 and by August 2016 had his Masters in Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis. During the spring semester, many recruiters came to campus to interview candidates, which led to a job at Boeing all lined up for after he graduated. Henry was interested in product management, but was initially hired as a developer, but after a few months indicated his interest in product management and was allowed to switch after a year.
You can see Henry’s LinkedIn profile here.
Choice Quotes: “I’ve always felt between two worlds. I have this technical/engineering instinct but at the same time I’m a creative person who loves arts and working with people. Sometimes I work with very technical people and have to translate that to speak with pilots and others who may not be non-technical. It’s very hard to find folks like me who are technical but also have those strong interpersonal/ communication skills. If you’re good at that, there’s a lot of career potential.”
“Getting the job at Boeing was night & day different from being in post-production. When I left that post-production job they put a post online and got 450 resumes in 24 hours! Then at Wash U there were job fairs–companies weer coming to me trying to hire me! I loved it!”
“In L.A. I survived; in St. Louis I thrive. I have a work-life balance, I enjoy my work and like my colleagues (more). I have time and $ for hobbies and trips and a fulfilling life that I wanted. Now my job is just one of many things I do that fulfills me–I also am a triathlete and rock climber, plus still do some music.”
“I started as a software engineer, but do no coding whatsoever. You really need an engineering background, but beyond that it doesn’t really matter. You have to understand the process.”
“In my job you have to learn to work in teams with other people–working in a music studio at Berklee was very similar. You get a sense of how to get everyone on the same page–and quickly as you only have the studio for so long–or have to meet a hard deadline in a studio. Preparing for a recording session is a lot like preparing for an important meeting.”
“If you decide to do a different job from what you studied, that doesn’t make it wrong, and it doesn’t make you a failure. You have no idea what these jobs are going to be like until you’re actually doing them. If you’re learning that the actual job doesn’t fit your skill set or make you happy for any number of reasons there is nothing wrong with trying to do something else–I know tons of people who are doing something other than what they studied.”
“I still do some paid post-production work on the side–my website is henrymoyerman.com. The projects I work on now bring me so much more happiness than when that was my full-time thing and sole source of income. Now I have the luxury of saying yes or no to projects, and it’s not about the income, it’s about the pleasure of what I’m doing–this is much like how I fell in love with post-production back when I was going to Berklee.”
See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.