Successful Berklee Alumni #174: Jacy Anderson

Jacy Anderson

Listen to the interview (approx. 50 min.) or download it.

Graduated in 2016 with a majors in Songwriting and Professional Music. Principal instrument: guitar.

Position: Senior software engineer (web developer) at Transamerica, a very large investment firm, part of an even larger global investment firm. They do investing, particularly for retirement, working with both individuals and corporations. Jacy is one of two software developers on the ten-person visual design team. His team makes sure that all company websites have similar styles, functionality, etc, while at the same time making sure they comply with regulations and function as designed.

Overview: For 9 months after graduating, Jacy touted with a minor Americana artist as her lead guitarist, and when not on tour he stayed with her and her husband, working in a warehouse and teaching lessons for extra money. But he was barely scraping by and feeling bad about his situation, and decided he wanted a change in direction and to move to Colorado. Investigating the job market in Denver, Jacy observed that there was a high demand for people in technology. He dabbled a bit with , teaching himself the basics, then enrolled in General Assembly‘s 3-month “boot camp” to learn web development.

While still doing the boot camp, Jacy got an unpaid internship, then soon after finishing he got an internship that paid, albeit modestly. That turned into a job which paid better, but still on the lower end of what web developers were paid, and with no obvious way forward, so after close to a year there Jacy started looking for other positions. Friends from the boot camp, who worked in design and done projects with Jacy, were working at Transamerica and recommended him for a position. He was hired as a contractor. The project he was hired for was delayed, so he was transfered to the design team. After 4 months as a contractor, he was converted to a regular employee with his current job title.
You can see Jacy’s LinkedIn profile here.



Choice Quotes: “I’m a songwriter. When you work on a song to make the lyrics hit when it gets to a certain point, it’s a type of problem solving. In a sense, software engineering is the same thing. You try to problem solve to figure something out. It take a lot of creativity, and thinking outside the box to get to the solution.

“We’ll receive design files with explanations, but our job is to make sure we have the same information that developers from other teams need, so we can incorporate all that into what we’re developing. I’m in constant communication with other teams — it’s a communication-focused job for sure, and Berklee helped make me good at communication!”

“Taking on more student debt on top of my Berklee debt and going to that intense program at General Assembly was nerve-wracking. But in a sense it was a motivator. I didn’t have the flexibility to not succeed in the program and find a job . And General Assembly provided us with a lot of professional development and how to get hired.”

“I’ve seen people who got a college degree in Computer Science and still had to do boot camp to learn how to code. As a Berklee grad, I got to the same career and though a much more fun way.”

“There’s so much pressure on college grads to stick the landing. People are too hard on themselves. Failure is part of the game. At the end of the day, your mental health is important. Get to a place where you’re content. You’ll be kinder to yourself and will invest more in yourself and passions. It’s totally normal and OK to not work in music. And sometimes you have to go follow your gut and take a leap of faith.”




See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.

Presentation #6: What Berklee Did Well & Advice

This presentation, similar to #5, is being given fall, 2019 to multiple sections of the Career Development Seminar (LHUM-400).  It features many direct quotes about what Berklee is doing well to prepare folks for careers outside of music, as well as advice which these folks have for current students.  The presentation also summarizes data about careers and career paths.

In addition to updated data,  a direct student quotes is used in each of two other sections (how their music careers related to their current ones and their current relationship with music.

Download the presentation.

Data from everyone class of 2005 or later interviewed in 2015 – Aug, 2019 was tabulated and used: interviews #1 – 176, except for #7.

Successful Berklee Alumni #173: Jordan Lenhoff

Jordan Lenhoff

Listen to the interview (approx. 45 min.) or download it.

Graduated in 2009 with a major in Professional Music. Principal instrument: drums.

Position: Financial Assistant (staff accountant) at ACAS (Atlantic Coast Aircraft Services), a small company which operates three aircraft designed for custom flights to out-of-the-way destinations that often don’t have regular airports. Relatively new to the company, Jordan spends much of his time observing and learning, as well as preparing for the CPA exams. He also helps clean up the books and with payroll.

Overview: Prior to coming to Berklee, Jordan did four years in the Army. He finished Berklee in three years, and spent the next four touring with a band living with and helping take care of his grandparents when not touring. By the fourth year the band was slowing down, and Jordan needed to make more money, so after a long job search he took a job as a nursing assistant at the hospital where his mother worked. Jordan like the work and considered going back to school to be a Registered Nurse, but he hurt his back and, unable to lift patients, realized he needed a different career. By 2014 he was exploring other options and the more he learned about accounting, the more interesting it sounded. He was accepted into the Liberty University Online program for a Masters in Accounting and, after almost three years, completed his degree in the summer of 2017.

In 2015 Jordan got his first accounting-related job, working in the music industry for a company Rockit Cargo that handles freight for touring musicians and mostly doing accounts payable/receivable. It was a good job, but with no room for career growths, so by 2019 he was looking online for new opportunities. He applied to the position at ACAS, and his military experience plus experience in logistics made him a very attractive candidate, and he was hired into his current job in April, 2019.

You can see Jordan’s LinkedIn profile here.

Choice Quotes: “I enjoy business. I enjoy learning the ins and outs of how businesses work. Accounting was something every business depends on — providing a service they all rely on. There’s a demand for it, and it’s a way to provide a stable career, and it makes a valuable contribution and keeps a business accountable and honest.”

“If you’re not 100% ready to do whatever you need to do for a music career, find another career to make a living while you’re doing music. I’ve seen people do music only and be successful, which is great, but many others don’t get that opportunity. Figure out early on, ideally in college, if music really is for you. And if not, figure out what your career can be.”

“At the end of the day I can confidently know that I don’t regret going to Berklee. I loved being there. I’m a better person for it. It was such a great experience. Life is a journey. Things can turn out very differently from what you planned for.”



See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.