Successful Berklee Alumni #170: Arielle Guitar

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

Graduated in 2010 with a major in Performance. Principal instrument: voice.

Position: Event Coordinator (Project Manager) at David Stark Design and Production, an event production company in New York City with close to 100 employees. They put of events ranging from large weddings and celebrations to nonprofit galas and corporate parties and store openings. As the event coordinator, Arielle works on a team of 6 or 7 and handles all of the team’s administrative details: finding and lining up vendors such as furniture rentals, caterers, audio-visual services, etc. Also communicating with the graphic designers to make sure they have everything they need, and maintaining the budget for every project. On actual event days, she’ll work 18+ hours, coordinating the set up and take down and making sure everything goes smoothly.

Overview: Arielle finished Berklee in 3 years and moved home to L.A., feeling burned out on music. She quickly found a job at a restaurant working as a hostess and helping with events, staying for two and a half years because was very comfortable. Finally, she was ready to work in music, and through a referral got a job at CAA (Creative Artists Agency), where she assisted an agent who booked famous musicians for private parties/events. Arielle worked there for two years, but knew it wouldn’t be her long-term career, as she didn’t want to be an agent and wanted to live in New York City. So in 2015 she left her job and got a sublet in New York.

It took her under two weeks to find a job, as someone she’s known as CAA helped her get hired at an agency that hires musical acts for events. It was a good job, except that it was located in Westchester County, with a 2-hour commute each way! After 8 months, Arielle was ready for something new. Again through someone she’d known at CAA she got a job at an event production company, but it was freelance and after the busy season things started to slow down. A colleague referred her to a private club to be an event coordinator there, putting on parties, trips, etc, which she did for over two years, until a chance meeting with a family friend led to a referral to David Stark. They met and discussed her career prospects, and Arielle took her current job as the company has a top reputation and a position involving more creativity and the potential for growth.

You can see Arielle’s LinkedIn profile here.


Choice Quotes: “The biggest part of my job is being very organized and staying on top of all the details until the event happens. We’re constantly revising our pitch decks, from graphic designers having to tweak things, Communicating with the venue, scheduling site visits, making sure graphics are up to date. Sorting through products and noting our inventory. It’s a lot to keep track of, and no two days are the same, but that makes it fun.” “Beyond the variety, there’s nothing better than being part of a team that plans these evenings. Start from nothing and build and exciting even for people. It’s a lot of work and hours, but it’s really rewarding to see these events come to life.”

“It’s totally OK to not have that music job or that ‘perfect’ first job. It’ll inevitably lead to other experience and learning other stuff. If yo’re willing to break away and learn new things you can do well in a new field.”

“If you’re considering this as a career, an internship is really helpful. It’ll give you that experience and also help you figure out if it’s really what you want to do, including if you can deal with the occasional extremely long day. You have to get the bug for it. I find it very fulfilling–you’ll quickly figure out if it’s for you.”

“The biggest skills in my job are being organized and detail-focused. Graduating early made me good at time management and figuring out all the details on what I needed to get done. That felt similar.”

“I rent rehearsal space and still take voice lessons. That is my time to focus on music and practicing and stay connected to that part of my life.”

See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.