Successful Berklee Alumni #154: Wellington Netto

Wellington Netto




Listen to the interview (approx. 43 min.) or download it.


Graduated in 2011 with a major in Songwriting.  Principal instrument:  bass guitar.


Position:  Desktop Support Specialist at FS Investments, an investment firm with over 300 employees, mostly in Philadelphia.  Wellington is part of of a small IT department which supports the other employees at the business and makes sure all the technology is running smoothly.  In addition to troubleshooting problems that arise across the systems, Wellington sets up  new computers for employees.  He specializes in Macs, but does a large variety of tasks beyond that.


Overview:  Wellington’s father familiarized him with computers before he came to Berklee.  At Berklee, he informally helped folks on his dorm floor with computer issues that arose, then did classroom tech support as his work-study job at Berklee for his last two years.  Wellington liked Boston, and was determined not to move back home to rural New York, so he needed a job right away.  He applied broadly for jobs and got one at a large shoe store on Newbury Street, staying there close to 3 years while working his way up to shipping manager (and, informally, IT support).  He heard from a friend that Berklee was hiring for CTMI (faculty support/training) Lab Monitor, and applied.  Wellington’s combination of IT skills, direct management experience, and Berklee degree made him a good fit, and he got the job in March, 2014.

However, there was no real way to move up at Berklee, so by late 2015 Wellington was applying to other jobs.  He got Desktop (computer) Support Administrator positions at Wellesley College, then Boston University.  In the summer of 2018, his fiancee completed law school and got a clerkship in Philadelphia, so Wellington applied for IT jobs in Philadelphia, lining up his current position before they moved.


You can see Wellington’s LinkedIn profile here.


Choice Quotes:  “I generally enjoy this line of work, mainly because I like helping people use their computers more effectively in ways that make them happy. It’s gratifying and a good feeling when you can solve a problem and someone is appreciative.”

“You really have to approach this kind of work is in a client-oriented manner, rather than give canned answers. I try to tailor solutions to the person. If I know them I know how they like these things taken care of. Some people want to learn to do things themselves., some want it done right away. ”

“As a Berklee grad, you have way more marketable skills than you give yourself credit for! Think about experience you have, inclinations on what you want to do. I’ts all about spinning what you have to find the job you want.  Don’t sell yourself short–really spin all your skills and talents and make then work to get you that job you want.”


Wellington as a Berklee student.  “Music education in general helps you be personable–you’re working with people, you’re playing in ensembles, working on group projects. You’re creating something together fairly often. That group-mindedness and focus benefits a whole host of careers. I’ve super-introverted and have a hard time meeting people, but working I learned to switch into an outgoing client-friendly mode. Berklee had a lot to do with that.”






Wellington having fun with friends.  He has some advice for new IT people.  “Keep moving forward. It may not feel like you have huge enough experience to move on to the next position, but you often can. A skill which took you 2 minutes to learn may be very attractive to employers. On the flip side, find a company you like to work for and a role that you actually like. It’s a combination of coworkers, company culture, and the actual work. Go find the right fit.”




See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.

Successful Berklee Alumni #153: Kristin Corpuz

Kristin Corpuz


Listen to the interview (approx. 1 hr, 7 min.) or download it.


Graduated in 2017 with majors in Music Business and Professional Music.  Principal instrument:  voice.


Position:   Staff writer and freelance writer.  Kristin writes articles, mostly about lifestyle, beauty, and entertainment.  Mostly her articles appear in online publications.  She works part-time for both Elite Daily and My Life Out of Office, where she is expected to work certain days writing several articles each day.  However, a decent fraction of her articles are published elsewhere, as Kristin has working relationships with many editors and publications.  You can see many examples of her writing at her professional website,

Included among these articles is one written in September 2018 (shortly before this interview) for Elite Daily, titled, “My Career Has Nothing to do with my College Degree & Here’s Why I’m OK with it.


Overview:  While at Berklee, Kristin great enjoyed learning about the music business, but gradually realized that she didn’t necessarily see herself working in it. “I couldn’t picture myself at a desk, doing it. It wasn’t me. I didn’t fall out of love with the music industry, I just didn’t see myself in it.”  In late 2016 Kristin moved to New York City and looked for an internship or job, enduring several frustrating months of rejection and seemingly-solid offers falling through.  Eventually, someone at Billboard, whom she had interviewed for a previous Music Business class, wrote her back and got her a well-paying internship at Billboard, where she both completed her academically-required internship and continued to work for several months.  While helping with music charts, during this time Billboard was trying to establish a lifestyle branch of its website, and part of her job involved writing articles.  Sadly, that position ended in August, 2017, and Kristen couldn’t find another position at Billboard, but she realized she enjoyed writing lifestyle articles and was determined to make a career of it.

For several months Kristin worked a variety of side jobs to support herself while attempting to get articles published, with minimal success.  Finally in November Teen Vogue published a piece by her.  Once she had pieces published by two well-known publications, it became much easier to get additional articles published, as editors took her seriously as a professional writer.  By January, 2018, she had stopped working side jobs and was supporting herself full-time as a freelance writer.  She accepted the staff writing positions that August; while the income was comparable, they made both her income and her weekly routine more reliable.  Kristin recently moved to L.A., but kept the same  jobs, as writing can be done from anywhere.


You can see Kristen’s professional page here.


Choice Quotes:   “My creativity is being pushed, in a different way from music, but still in a way that I’m contributing something positive. A lot of publications speak to experiences I wish I’d seen when I was growing up.   More diverse voices are being heard these days, esp. in beauty and lifestyle. Also, I have found a great online community with other journalists–we follow each other, support each other, read each other.”

I’m always on the hunt for a good story. Someone says there’s something they wish they knew and I say ‘Aha!’ and put it in my notebook.

“Berklee puts a huge emphasis on interpersonal relationships with musicians, otherwise known as networking.  I had to reach out to people, get them to play for me by pitching myself. Those qualities transferred over, with me often making a case, ‘This is why you, publication editor, need to take a chance on me.'”

“Often I don’t write anything until it’s assigned to me officially, as I don’t want to waste time. I’ll reach out to editors I know with an idea for a piece. They know me, so once they green light it I’ll write the article and get paid.”




Kristin as a beauty product writer.  “A lot of publications put an emphasis on the voices of minorities. As an Asian American and a first-generation American, I bring a rare perspective. Also, as a performer growing up, I used make up. I also have eczema, a skin condition, and have a lot of knowledge of what beauty products work well. I love de-stigmatizing the condition, which can have a positive impact on someone’s life.”



Kristin reflects on the business being a writer:  “In my staff writing positions I’m paid by the hour.  For freelance articles, the pay rate is very interesting and reflects the diversity of the industry. Print usually pays $1 to $5 per word, but digital can be less. When I started writing I took any assignment, but now I’m comfortable asking for more money. That said, if I’m taking on a new publication and want to build a relationship with an editor I might be willing to write an article for less. It’s less a set rate than a conversation that involves many factors.”




See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.

Successful Berklee Alumni #152: Omar Perez

Omar Perez


Listen to the interview (approx. 42 min.) or download it.


Graduated in 2018 (left Berklee in 2017), with a major in Music Business.  Principal instrument:  Percussion.


Position: Payroll Operations Specialist at Whole Foods, the large grocery chain, working at its corporate headquarters in Austin, Texas.  Part of a six-person team that covers the entire country, Omar’s job involves lots of troubleshooting and making sure everything is running smoothly for the local “Payroll Benefits Specialists.”  Omar deals with issues that come up–missing paychecks, incorrect amounts, pay for terminated employees and the like.  Omar also audits payroll information, verifying accuracy and looking for errors to correct.


Overview:  Omar applied to Berklee while in high school and was accepted, but he ended up staying in Texas and worked, mostly in temp jobs, for about 5 years, getting married during that time.  He did some work in a payroll department.  The birth of his daughter made him want to get his degree, so he went to the University of Texas at Austin initially, then transferred to Berklee as that had been his dream.  By late 2017 he was near graduation and he and his family moved back to Austin, and while he looked for a position in the music industry he signed up with a temp agency to get some work right away.  They placed him at Whole Foods, in a different administrative position.

After several months of working there and being impressed by the positive work envirnoment–and no luck finding a good job in music–Omar decided that a career at Whole Foods was a good option.  His boss, meanwhile, wanted to hire him as a regular employee.  They gave Omar a 4-month leave of absence to finish his degree (online); once that was complete in the spring of 2018 he gave them a call and in less than a week he was working at his current job.


You can see Omar’s LinkedIn profile here.


Choice Quotes:  “I love working with numbers–I’m a numbers guy. It’s natural to get lost in doing the work and have the day just fly by. . I like knowing that you can depend on me that you’ll get your money on time to pay your bills, feed your family or whatever you need. It’s a great family to know I’m part of that.”

“When I get to work in the morning, it’s always a ‘surprise’ to find about 200 emails with questions from paychecks to upcoming checks to people going on vacation and making sure it’s in the system. I spend those first one or two hours answer emails and putting out fires. ”

“I was a major introvert pre-Berklee. Berklee got me out of my shell. It helped me with public speaking, with collaborating with others. To work on projects on other people, learn to work together as a group. It did wonders.”

“Don’t be afraid to go and look beyond what you’re comfortable with. Don’t settle just because something is what think you should be doing. Think about what toher ways you can contribute. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket–there are so many possibilities as to what you can do!”

“Going to Berklee was a dream come true to me. Even though I’m not in the music industry, it helped build relationships I’ll cherish the rest of my life. It prepared me to go out there and deliver and make sure I give a top product and not just go through the motions. I’m grateful to have gone through that.”


See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.