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, www.kristincorpuz.com/writing.
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.