Successful Berklee Alumni #209: Mina Alali

Mina Alali…at work with Merlin!
Listen to the interview or download it.

Graduated in 2020 with a major in Music Business. Principal instrument: voice.

Positions: 1) Tiktok “influencer”, with over a million followers on her TikTok page. Mina creates videos featuring herself and her trained animals, particularly a pot-bellied pig named Merlin and a bearded dragon named Mochi. 2) Tiktok influencer manager at Parrotok Media, where she acts as an agent/manager for other Tiktok influencers, getting them promotion deals and other revenue. Mina is half-time in each of these two roles.

Overview: While a Berklee student, Mina was a signed artist working with a small label, but at some point she realized that she didn’t want to be a performing musician, and would rather focus on the business end. In 2019 Mina received a bearded dragon, Mochi, from neighbors who felt he wasn’t getting enough attention. When the pandemic hit, Mina spent some of her time along at home training Mochi to do some simple tricks, such as coming when called. (Later, Mina learned that she had done the impossible: bearded dragons were supposed to be untrainable!). Mina posted some videos of Mochi on TikTok and in early 2021 one got over a million views! She set her planned music business app aside to see about building a career on TikTok.

At 10,000 followers she started to receive (small) royalties. At 100,000 followers she was invited to join the “Tiktok Creator Marketplace”, where she was approached by many companies and paid video sponsorships. (This is her primary source of income. Most products relate to fashion, as her followers are disproportionately young women.)

Soon after hitting 100,000 followers, in January 2022 Mina was approached by Parrotok Media, a subsidiary of TikTok, which had opened an office near where she lives in California. The combination of Mina’s educational background, experience, and being an influencer herself made her an ideal candidate for the influencer manager position. She worked full-time at Parrotok Media for several months, before opting to go to half-time in order to put more time end energy into her increasingly-lucrative influencer career.

You can see Mina’s LinkedIn profile here.

Choice Quotes
: “It’s exciting to have a viral video, but you’re not going to turn or even 5 into a career. That first year I was on TikTok was a lot of trial and error–figuring out what people want to see, which videos will do well.”

“My niche is mostly animals / animal training and my life & bond with my pets. That’s what got me the big followin gin the beginning. A lot of people had never seen a trained lizard before. Part of that was Covid–I was at home a lot and had a lot of time, but I sensed that Mochi was exceptional.”

“I’d say it’s a pretty similar industry–TikTok, music, entertainment. It’s all social media. The potential of virality, boosting your account. Artists are often their own managers–music and here. The Music Business major helped a lot; I got a lot of knowledge that helped me do my job now: dealing with contracts etc. it all ties together really well!”

“Most of us enter Berklee at 18,19. What you wanted in high school may not be what you want to do with your life and that’s OK. Be open to changes and opportunities. I remember how disorienting it was that I didn’t want to be a full-tim artist anymore. I think as long as you have a good work ethic and keep your eyes open it’s all going to work out. IT’s OK not to know what you’ll be doing in 12 or even 6 months. I feel so much more satisfied now than before and I’m OK with that.

Mina with Mochi. “I’m a huge animal lover. Being able to take that passion that’s so wholesome and turn it into a job is just so wonderful. When I was in music sometimes I wasn’t feeling fulfilled as just an artist–it was too much about looks. Now it’s how good a pet mom can I be. I see such wonderful comments, including people vowing people to spend more time with their own pets. I love making videos with them and testing the boundaries of how smart they can be/what they can learn.






See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.