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Graduated in 2013 with a major in Film Scoring. Principal instrument: piano.
Position: Marketing and Development Associate at the Edlavich Jewish Community Center of Washington DC. The majority of Valerie’s job involves development work: processing donations, organizing fundraising events, helping write grant proposals and solicitations to donors, but she also does administrative work, including helping promote their programs and writing their weekly electronic newsletter.
Overview: Valerie finished Berklee skeptical that the standard move-to-L.A. path for film scoring majors was for her, so she moved home to Maryland, and spent a couple of years working some part-time jobs (mostly teaching music and waiting tables) while researching what she wanted to do. During this time, she got involved with Valerie decided she wanted to be in the performing arts world, but on the administrative end, so in mid-2015 she enrolled in the Roosevelt University’s Masters in Performing Arts Administration program. A very busy year involving classes, work, and two internships later, she had her Masters degree.
Initially unable to find a job, she reached out a former professor, who advised her to keep busy with another internship while she looked. She got a (minimally) paid internship with a small theater in Baltimore and applied to many positions, including “Theater J”, which was affiliated with her current employer. She didn’t get that position, but they passed her resume along and she was hired into her current job , and she was hired in October of 2016. In January 2019 Valerie received a raise and a new title (“Associate” rather than “Assistant”).
You can see Valerie’s LinkedIn profile here.
Choice Quotes: “This Jewish Community Center (JCC) has lots of arts programming: music, theater, film, as well as a communiity service program and other forms of Jewish engagement. I really enjoy still getting to be involved in the arts. The arts are really important to me; I feel like I’m directly contributing to arts and culture. I’m doing something that matters to me.”
“I’m not part of the Jewish Community myself, so working at a JCC was a bit of culture shock and a huge learning curve for me. We go home early on Fridays because of ‘Shabbat’ and at first I had no idea what ‘Shabbat’ was. But it has been an awesome experience, though. I realy like learning about other cultures and have learned so much. Plus me being non-Jewish has been valuable, as I’m able to suggest broader outreach to folks who may not know about of our organizations resources, which are open to everyone.”
Valerie at the Philadelphia Marathon. “After college I got into running, and got involved with Team In Training, where runners raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma society. That was my first experience fundraising., which became a large part of my career.”
Valerie as a Berklee student. ” Just because your degree is in music means you have to do exactly what your degree is in. Be aware there are lots of options, including ones to be involved in music, albeit in a lesser capacity.”
Valerie with her dog. She’s in a good place, but it took time. For those who are interested in a carer in the nonprofit arts world she says, “It’s hard to get your foot in the door, so get LOTS of experience. You’re going to have to volunteer you time a lot, and not get paid for a while (and the starting pay will be low). I did 3 internships and got a masters before my first position. Start now, and start volunteering. Any organization would love to have you.”
See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.