Successful Berklee Alumni #235: Dustin Meadows

Dustin Meadows
Listen to the interview or download it.

Graduated in 2021 with a major in Music Production (Berklee Online).

Position: Customer Service Team Lead / Administrator at Coastal Waste & Recycling a trash (and recycling) removal company with roughly a thousand employees in Florida. Residential, commercial, temporary dumpsters, etc. Dustin oversees the customer service team (him + 4 people), deals with escalations, billing/service issues as “level 2” support. He helps make sure stuff gets done and everyone stays happy. 46 – 52 hours/week. 99% in-person. Dustin deals with homeowners, commercial accounts, condos/property managers, construction companies.

Overview: Dustin graduated high school in 2010, then “made some bad choices” for a few years. He tried college twice, but dropped out both times. Dustin’s wife suggested he try Berklee Online, which he did and enjoyed, hoping to do music afterward. Then week before he completed the program he and his wife had twins and a reliable paycheck became far more appealing. His old job at an administrative office in a church was going to end at the end of 2021, so Dustin searched Indeed for opportunities. He found a customer service job at his current employer and was hired, starting immediately after his old job ended.

Dustin really enjoyed the work. “There was room to grow, stuff to do. Problems to solve. It was fun! I’d see gaps in systems, would try to figure out solutions to make things more efficient.” After only a few months he was promoted to sales coordinator (point of contract for commercial/industrial customers and responsible for data entry, coordinating with operations side.) Dustin did that for a while, got some side opportunities, such as helping being the contact point for a post-hurricane cleanup, working at corporate levels. They’d throw more stuff at him and he’d do it. They offer him a gig for a new department, but then he got in a car crash, and he didn’t want to be the one remote person, so they offered him this position. In the local office he also has had opportunities to optimize process, such as by turning paper into aps and creating new user solutions.

You can see Dustin’s LinkedIn profile here.

Choice Quotes: “Being able to solve a problem is fascinating in a way I can’t fully describe. I find the actual trash industry absolutely fascinating, the amount of pieces that go into it. All the routs and facets of the operation. I had no perspective on how big and complex the industry is. I took the job becuase I needed a job, but there’s so much more going on than I expected. I love the dance of all the different things working together for the operation to succeed. I find it invigorating when every piece is firing on all cylinder, in synch with the others.”

“At Berklee Online there were no multiple choice tests. It was all problem solving. You had to think critically and get to the answer-defining the path that got you to the solution is as important as the answer. Knowing HOW to solve a problem. That has translated directly into my work.”

“Start somewhere! There are so many different options. We pull up InDeed and there’s 4,000+ jobs. Pick something, try it. If it doesn’t work out, try something else. Be willing to fail forward. Eventually you’ll get to where you’re going–those experiences will help point the way.”

“If you enjoy problem-solving and finding abstract ways to get to the finish line, this would be a good career path for you. Customer service has a lot of room for growth. Don’t be afraid to start at the bottom, then go your best. Good talent will rise to the top quickly in a sea of mediocrity. So really TRY. You will be noticed.”

“It’s crazy how much money is to be made in the waste industry!”
See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.