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.