Successful Berklee Alumni #162: Adam Rosenwach

Adam Rosenwach


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!”



See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.

Successful Berklee Alumni #161: Shawn Mills

Shawn Mills


Listen to the interview (approx 1 hr, 3 min.) or download it.


Graduated in 2010, with a major in Performance.  Principal instrument:  guitar.


Position:  Systems Engineer at General Dynamics Propulsion Systems.  General Dynamics is a large military contractor which builds both military vehicles and communications equipment, with private clients as well as government contracts.  As an electrical engineer there, Shawn is expected to work on many different projects to round out his experience.   He works on a team that analyzes different designs and pieces of new communications equipment to make sure they will meet all specifications to do their assigned task.   This involves a lot of tasks, including communications, programming, and troubleshooting.


Overview:  Prior to Berklee Shawn completed a 4-year enlistment in the U.S. Air Force, and earned an associates degree in electronics, but he really wanted to be a musician and came to Berklee with help from the G.I. Bill, while remaining in the reserves  Afterward, still in the Boston area, Shawn tried to join the army band, but as it was a different services he was only allowed to join a reserve band, which was very part time.  For five years Shawn played in this band while supplementing his income mostly by teaching guitar and some bartending.  But he started to sense that he wasn’t on a good long-term career path.  Then he had a terrible accident with a long recovery during which he wasn’t able to teach or play guitar, and he decided that he wanted to pursue a degree in Electical Engineering (“EE”), at least so he’d have a backup plan is music didn’t work out.

He took some classes at Bunker Hill Community College, did a semester at Texas A&M but didn’t like the program, then transferred to Arizona State University, where veterans all pay (lower) in-state tuition.  While at ASU, companies recruited people for internships.  Shawn did internships at both Raytheon and General Dymanics, received job offers (contingent on receiving his Bachelors degree) from both, and he decided to stay in Arizona and work at General Dynamics.


You an see Shawn’s LinkedIn profile here.


Choice Quotes:   “My job is broad like an undergrad degree and gives you a taste of many things so you can figure out what to focus on. There’s never a shortage of jobs or possibilities for EE, and the pay is good.”

“If you can prove yourself in EE there’s always something else to learn or to do.  If you want to stay in music, you could find work designing instruments, or whatever. ”

“Better to have an EE degree and not need it because I’m a rock star than need it and not have it.”

“Stay true to yourself, but keep an open mind Don’t just isten to yourself–take advice from friends, family, and mentors.”

“Coming out of Berklee you have a famous people.. Berklee is a culture, it’s a thing. I wish it well. It’s not easy, but you have to be the change you want to see in the world and have to be happy with yourself.”



See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.