Listen to the interview (approx. 1 hr, 12 min) or download it.
Graduated in 2010 with a major in Professional Music. Principal instrument: piano.
Position: Vice President of Business Operations / Partner at Coridea, a business incubator specializing in producing new medical devices. They come up with new ideas, or partner with those who have ideas but lack the business skills, build a prototype, and seek investors to create spin-off companies. The core business is only 8 people, but when you include their 8 spin-off companies, where they maintain partial ownership / control, it’s around 100.
“Everything that’s the business part of what we do, I take care off. The design/engineering stuff, the other 3 partners take care of.” Adam handles meeting with investors and answering their question, legal issues and investment details when closing a deal, Human Resources, and setting up offices and managing budgets for the spin-of companies.
Overview: Adam moved to New York City after graduation, and an old friend from Jewish camp connected him with a part-time job teaching music after school in the public schools. In early 2011 he was “discovered” by a music manager and lived in his place in L.A. to do an album, but the manager didn’t like the result, so Adam returned to New York. Another old friend from the same camp invited Adam to produce her album. For the next few years Adam (barely) cobbled together as a producer and music teacher.
Meanwhile, Adam wanted to travel the world, and he started studying how certain credit cards gave points to be used for travel. He researched this intensively and “hacked the system”, figuring out how to take many overseas trips, even flying first class and staying in 5-star hotels, effectively for free! By late 2013, Adam had started a blog, and he’d make money when people signed up for a credit card. In late 2013, Adam decided to start a consulting business, helping companies save on travel expenses by using the right credit cards. His first customer, the then-boyfriend of an old friend from the same camp, was a founder of Coridea. The founder was so impressed with Adam’s work and presentation that he offered Adam a full-time job, which Adam refused, then offered Adam a well-paying part-time job with flexible hours handling the administrative end of their work. Adam accepted, which ironically meant the end of his consulting business.
Adam worked part-time, continuing to teach and produce music, for roughly a year until 6 months later Coridea made it clear that they needed him–or someone else–full-time as an office manager, at considerably higher pay. He took the job. Since then, he has been constantly learning more and more aspects of the business, which lead to greater responsibilities and promotions, ultimately to full partner in 2018.
You can see Adam’s LinkedIn profile here.
Choice Quotes: “I am a producer. I work with creatives with a vision and make it happen. I did this after Berklee as a music producer — working with creative people who don’t like to dive into the details to make things actually happen. I’m still the get-stuff-done person, basically doing the same thing. New lingo, but helping creatives do amazing things is what I think I’m supposed to do on this planet.”
“At the end of the day, each business deal has its own unique set of challenges. That makes it fun, but also gives me an advantage–when things are new, me being a creative problem-solver means I don’t get scared when confronted with a new challenge. There are a million things like that which can be possible solutions.”
“It’s tough for me to give advice, as I’m such an outlier.. I got lucky, fell into something, and worked really hard. Look for those opportunities. But the easiest path to a career like mine is more school.”
“At Berklee I wasn’t a top player, couldn’t get into elite ensembles, and didn’t get the music opportunities I really wanted. That experience at Berklee trained me that when an opportunity does come you give it your all and maximize it!”
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