Successful Berklee Alumni #207: Mike Hernandez

Mike Hernandez
Listen to the interview or download it.

Graduated in 2014 with a major in Electronic Production & Design. Principal instrument: guitar.

Position: Software Quality Assurance (“QA”) Engineer at Runway, a start-up software firm that makes video editing software that uses AI to so edits such as easily deleting something from every frame or inserting a green screen behind a character. Roughly twenty employees spread over different countries; Mike is their first QA engineer. He has been creating and implementing new processes in their software development to ensure ensure high quality the whole way through.

Overview: Mike got his first computer at age 7 and always liked tech. He majored in EPD as it combined his loves for music and technology. After graduation, he moved back home to PA and looked for a job in music or audio, having several near-misses but no success. After about six frustrating months he got an internship at Electric Lady music studio in NYC, and his hustle helped that turn into a full-time job as an assistant engineer a few months later. But after two and a half years there Mike was feeling burned out by the long hours and low pay. He looked for other opportunities and soon an old Berklee friend who was working there got him a job at Squarespace, doing tech support.

After a year and a half at Squarespace, Mike found a better opportunity: working as a tech support manager at Vimeo. 1.5 years later he applied internally for a QA position and got it. Mike worked in that role for roughly a year and very much enjoyed it, then took his current job in early 2022, as it was an exciting opportunity to build Quality Engineering from the ground up.

You can see Mike’s LinkedIn profile here.


Choice Quotes: “I enjoy collaborating with the different stakeholders, to ensure we have a good product from beginning to end. There are all these different people and perspectives. I learn a lot about psychology and how to work with different types of people.”

“QA is a job that’s based on a lot of organization and thinking ahead.”

“I was more of a singular-focused person at Berklee–all into technology. I was reluctant to go to ensembles, but I learned great people skills there, communicating with people form all around the world. We’d have to find ways to make things make sense together in a high-pressure environment. I apply all those people skills today, working with peole in India, Israel, Australia, etc. Also, those composition/counterpoint classes, where you have to think about how you’re structuring something before you start to write–I do that constantly in my job!”

“Find what your passions are and think outside the box about how you can form a career about them–possibly creating a brand new role for yourself.”

“Don’t become a QA engineer for any company where you wouldn’t want to deal the product every day. All my tech roles have been toward the creator focus. It makes doing the job a lot easier and you’ll be excited about it. Reach out to a QA you know or someone who works with them; feel free to reach out to me. Ask questions about the role. Try to learn as much as you can before going in. There are definitely entry-level tech positions that pay a very livable wage, and then many career directions you can go. Getting your foot in the door is a big step.”





See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.