Listen to the interview (approx. 1 hr, 19 min) or download it.
Graduated in 2014 with a major in Music Business. Principal instrument: guitar.
Position: Technical Writer (officially “Technical Communications Consultant”) at U.S. Bank, a large national-level bank with over 3,000 branches, Rob being one of several hundred people working at their corporate headquarters in Minneapolis. Working as part of the Retail Business Lines (mostly home mortgages) Team, Rob is in charge of Closings manual used company-wide. All documents are updated regularly to stay in-line with federal requirements as well as company procedures and changes to the software. Rob also reviews older documents to make sure the information all remains accurate and relevant.
Overview: Rob’s initial plan for after graduating was to be a tour manager by day and play in a band in the off-hours. But he quickly discovered that tour managers’ hours were long and variable, so he couldn’t do both. He moved home to Minneapolis and looked for music-jobs, getting a part-time job teaching guitar, and looked for a 9-5 job in the entertainment industry, later broadening his search in order to find something. His now-fiancee knew someone at a technical staffing firm, which considered his music background a plus, and Rob worked there for just over 6 months before getting laid off.
Rob went to a temp. agency, which placed him in an entry-level position at Wells Fargo Bank as a “loan document specialist” dealing with loan paperwork after closings. After 4 months he was hired full-time and transferred to a different team. Finding himself without enough work to do, Rob asked his boss for another way he could be useful, and this boss suggested that he create some documents for newly hired employees that describe various processes. He shadowed employees being trained, and started to sense that technical writing could be a good career path. By early 2018 he was looking for the next step up, and got in touch with a recruiter, while also doing a part-time coding boot camp in his off hours. The recruiter put him in touch with U.S. Bank, where his experience made him an extremely good fit for his current job.
You can see Rob’s LinkedIn profile here.
Choice Quotes: “I think the biggest thing I enjoy about my job is knowing the work I put in is helping people in real time. U.S. Bank has a great work culture in general and is very customer-focused. People always think about how thing affect customers. Even things that seem mundane have a meaning to them because it directly impacts customers and carries through that mission”
“Even a few years ago I wasn’t aware that this job was something I could do with my life.”
“One of the things I got from Berklee and have applied directly is scheduling and holding myself accountable. When you’re performing, you either put in the work or you don’t, but that once/week when you see that professor you’ll deliver or you won’t. That skills set has served me well. Everything is deadline/project based. Also, having a writing-intensive minor–I minored in History–if you can make that work i’d absolutely recommend it. Language skills are key in the real world. So many non-music jobs want effective communicators. Honing my writing and researching skills at Berklee was really key.”
“Persistence is key. Recognize that cliché that there’s no such thing as an overnight success. There’s a log of really hard, unglamorous work that goes into a developing a career. Even if you’re not working in music, don’t get discouraged–it’s usually not a straight path, so just hang in there and keep at it.
“One nice thing about tech writing is you have people from different backgrounds and that’s considered a strength. If you’re interested, build that skill in a role you currently have–even do some sort of skill share, or work on classes to develop those skills. A lot of tech writing is communicating in a clear and succinct manner. Even in the music industry there are these roles.”
See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.