Successful Berklee Alumni #166: Henry Leitzinger

Henry Leitzinger


Listen to the interview (approx. 1 hr, 6 min.) or download it.


Left Berklee in 2012 (officially graduated in 2014) with a major in Professional Music.  Principal instrument:  piano.

Position:  Managing Director of Homebrella, a home insurance company in France selling renters insurance, focusing on younger people and non-natives, part of the Admiral Insurance Group.  Henry was hired to start this sub-corporation, which launched in early 2019.  He came up with the strategic plan and hired the necessary people (starting with around 12, up to 30 less than 6 months later).  He focuses on the strategic direction of the company, personnel issues, and making sure work with corporate partners is going well.  Henry has the support of the Admiral Group, but he functions much like an entrepreneur.

Overview:  After leaving Berklee in May 2012, Henry moved home to L.A., where he hung out a lot and gigged a bit, but he was feeling under-challenged and worried he’d stagnate.  He realized he could finish his Liberal Arts courses for a semester at The Sorbonne University in Paris (for 400 Euros!), where he could learn a new language and hopefully do well in the music scene, so he moved to Paris at the end of August.  He enjoyed Paris, and was doing well in the music scene, so he stayed.  For the next two years, he cobbled together a living gigging, playing in a wedding band, teaching music classes and private lessons.  But by late 2014 Henry was starting to feel burned out — it was becoming less fun, and the income was unpredictable, so he started to explore other options.  He found an ad for a job in online marketing, wanting someone bilingual, and contacted the company, asking for an internship for 6 months (with a possible job after that if everything looked good).

That 6 month internship led to a job, Over the next 3 years, Henry was promoted twice, to where he was handling the social media accounts for huge corporations.  However, Henry had risen as far as he could at this small firm, and since he liked business and strategy, he decided to get an MBA.  He applied to top schools and was accepted at INSEAD, near Paris, which had a highly-rated 1-year program.  Halfway through the program the CEO of the Admiral Insurance Group came to Henry’s Corporate Entrepreneur class as a guest-speaker.  The CEO would routinely peruse the resumes of the students, and invited Henry to have a conversation.  A number of conversations later, Henry was offered his current job, starting right after graduation in July 2018.


You can see Henry’s LinkedIn profile here.


Choice Quotes:  “The key pillar that attracts me to this job is the creative aspect. I wanted to create things that didn’t exist before and develop them. Instead of choosing the members of the band and writing the music, I now choose the members of the company and write out the strategy. At the end of the day, we get to look back at all that we achieved and created. That’s what gets me up in the morning.”

“Just hang in there. Don’t let the situation make you feel like giving up. It may sound like my path was an easy progression which just happened, but when I was in it I had no idea it would turn out anything good. At one point I was a 25-year old intern where everyone else had business degrees.  Once you get an opportunity, give it your all, and it will lead to great success.””

“When I was 18 I had had a big passion for music. If I hadn’t gone to Berklee I’d have always had some aspect of regret for not giving music a shot. I’m glad I did it. Even if today I’m not in a music-related career, I saw it through until my departure from it.”


See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.

Successful Berklee Alumni #165: Ricky Gonzalez

Ricky Gonzalez


Listen to the interview (approx. 1 hr, 8 min.) or download it.


Graduated in 2011 with a major in Music Business.  Principal instrument:  guitar.


Position:  Vice President of Content at Flyquest, an e-sports team that competes in the League of Legends (fantasy video game) professional league.  Effectively, Ricky is the executive producer of all content related to the game, such as videos showcasing the players, and team shirt designs.  “It’s like an intense movie set, except that it never ends.”  He ensures good communication between his video players and the players they showcase.  Video content can all be seen on the team’s YouTube channel.


Overview:  While at Berklee, Ricky did a summer internship for someone who got contracted to make a video for OK GO, which has millions of views.   He toured with the band and was showcased as their “video guy” (despite minimal experience) and found other bands reaching out to him to do videos.  He figured that doing videos was his ticket to success and started a company while at Berklee.  Shortly after graduation in August 2011, a studio in California invited him to move out there and work directly for them doing videos for all their bands.  He did so, but the studio folded in mid-2012.  Ricky applied and took a job with a newspaper that was starting a video channel, and at some point new management liked his ideas and promoted him during a re-org, but ultimately the station was closed and everyone laid off in the spring of 2014.

Ricky co-founded a video production company, shooting commercials as well as music and everything else.  The company was doing OK, but he was starting to get into e-sports, being a big fan/player of League of Legends, and he realized that teams were starting to do videos, but those were of low quality.   At the end of 2015 Ricky posted on a Reddit that he’s like to do better videos, and heard back right away from a team owner, which hired him on a retainer, until the team dissolved a few months later.  He reached out to the CEO of another team, The Immortals, and was hired…on the condition that he move up to Santa Monica and live in the team’s mansion.  Ricky worked there, ultimately giving up his old company until the company decided to focus on other video games.  Wanting to stay with League of Legends, Ricky reached out to Flyquest, where he was hired into his current job–pleasantly surprised to be offered the title of vice president!


You can see Ricky’s LinkedIn profile here.


Choice Quotes:  “Most of my job is managing people — the biggest par is making sure the players and my production staff have good communication and are all on the same page as to what we need to do, so when we got o make the video it’s done thoughtfully without wasting the players’ time. The players often are young and not very trained, so my job is make them comfortable being in front of the camera.”

“Music people make the best video production people. We have music in our blood–a better sense of timing and rhythm when we edit. Out knowledge of music, and what will work well, also affects how we plan the shoot.”

“There’s no way I’d have made it here in my career without Berklee.  I learned how to collaborate with people, dealing with personalities and talent.  If you’re not in a team sprot of a band, you don’t really get that.  Also I started off doing music videos, and being able to speak the music side is why I got as much video work as I did.”

“Think of the things you love about doing music–is it the creation? The audience response? Take what you like, and make THAT the priority. Often you can find that in other fields. For example, I liked the camaraderie, and found that in e-sports. Think hard about what makes you the most happy in music and if the music thing isn’t working out, start there. I pinch myself every day thinking how lucky I am, doing what I love doing and happy to go to work.”

“If you’re interested in working in e-sports, move to Santa Monica CA — that’s where the teams all are. Also, get involved with anyone you can in the field.  E-sports are growing really quickly. I’ve not stopped hiring people since 2016. Every position is open now!  Also, is worth studying and learning about.”

See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.