Successful Berklee Alumni #193: Rio Longoria

Rio Longoria
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Graduated in 2014 with a major in Music Business. Principal instrument: drums.

Position: Corridor Manager at Union Pacific Railroad., a major railroad covering the western half of the United States, operating freight trains and also providing rails for Amtrak passenger trains. Rio works in the operations room, overseeing 3 – 5 train dispatchers — giving advice, helping out in emergencies or finding the right people to fix problems. Her very-intense job involves watching both people and tracking trains in real time, and her area is most of Arkansas and bits of other states.

Overview: Unsure of exactly what she wanted to do after graduation, Rio moved back home to Omaha, Nebraska. She got a part-time job as a receptionist in a funeral home while unsuccessfully looking for a music industry job. At the funeral home she was promoted to directors assistant and took on more hours, but it wasn’t a real career. About a year and a half after graduation, Rio’s father, a retired railroad employee, suggested she apply for a railroad job. She did, and after a long wait, was told to start training.

Training was very intense, with biweekly tests where a single failure to hit the high required score meant you were let go. But she made it through the 3-month program. 3 months of supervised on-the-job training followed, where she had to learn the details of every position. Rio then started as a dispatcher at the “emergency desk” ready to fill in for anyone else. It was a high-pressure job, but she handled it well. In January 2020, after about three and a half years, she took a promotion from dispatcher to her current position of corridor manager.
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You can see Rio’s LinkedIn profile here.

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Choice Quotes: “It was refreshing to learn something new and then really try to perfect my own management skills as a craft. In my new position I get to meet new people and create positive relationships, which I enjoy. Networking (with others at Union Pacific) has been a really nice part of the job.”

“The standard that Berklee held me to and the amount of work I put myself through. — I took many credits per semester and finished a semester early. I learned to buckle down, what works for me and doesn’t work to help me learn and retain material. I credit Berklee with that process of learning things that were foreign to me. I started that crash course at the railroad and the constant tests. That work ethic and handling the stress prepared me for this in the best way possible.”

“Folks in this career find they’re making a lot more money than average. But if it’s not working for you, don’t be discouraged. It’s a very rough field of work. A lot of folks say “BNSF (another major railroad) stands for Better Not Start a Family”. It’s both the work and the type of hours you work. It’s physically draining. After a stressful night a lot of people walk out of the building and can’t remember where they parked or realize they forgot to eat lunch.”

“After Berklee, I was like, ‘What if I don’t do something with music?” it almost made me feel guilty about going to Berklee and getting the musical education that many would kill for. Yet I was still able to learn good skills and apply them to my field now. I don’t feel it was a wasted education. I don’t think so. I feel like I was able to get something out of it. I do have that accreditation that I went there and I’m proud to be a Berklee Alumni! I want to come back to Boston sometime and bring my husband and kids and say hi to my old professors and show them where I went to school.”

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See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.

Successful Berklee/BoCo alumni #192: Joanna Chen

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Joanna Chen

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Graduated in 2018 from the Boston Conservatory at Berklee with a major in (classical) Percussion Performance.


Position: Software Engineer at Metal, a company allowing its users to easily trade blockchain-based cryptocurrencies. Joanna works remotely on a team of four, using agile methodology. She is focused on front-end development, meaning turning mock-ups into working webpages and working with the designer to come up with new idea to improve customer experiences.

Overview: During Joanna’s time at BoCo she worked a student-job in concert production. In her third year at BoCo, Joanna developed performance anxiety and felt that her work/life balance was unhealthy. She audited a class at MIT with Berklee Ice and became interested in technology, before continuing on with classical music. She graduated in 2018, and hoped to go to a graduate school in Germany. They told her that she was too old (at 22!) to pursue a career as a classical drummer, but she should try marimba. She spent the year after graduation preparing for her audition at the same school as a marimba player, while working a variety of jobs. Although she got into the school, she decided that she valued being with family and friends more than where a classical music career would lead, so she declined admission and moved back to California.

Back home, Joanna briefly considered a career in teaching music, but wanted to try something new. A friend and former duo partner at BoCo recommended the coding boot camp App Academy, and Joanna moved to San Franciso and stared the program in August 2019, finishing up that December. Soon into her job search, the pandemic hit and many opportunities dried up, but Joanna noticed that App Academy was looking for a course materials developer. Her excellent performance there as a student and an equally excellent cover letter that showcased her people skills got her the position, which went well, but wasn’t really being a software engineer, so as opportunities started to come back in the summer of 2020 Joanna started applying for jobs, and was hired into her current position in October.

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You can see Joanna’s LinkedIn profile here.

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Choice Quotes: “Software engineering is really creative, making different wireframes / mocks come to life. And when I was a classical percussionist it felt like I wasn’t allowed to be creative and had to stick to rules in music. But coding feels like this whole forward-moving thing where there are no boundaries and the focus is on the future rather than the past. Also, in a performance you can’t undo an error, but with a software project you just add a bug fix to do later, which makes things much less stressful for me!”

My Concert Services manager really shaped me into the professional I am. Communication / collaboration skills. You also need strong attention to detail. That’s completely transferrable to any field. Also, as a concert producer, visual aesthetics were always important to work with. Planning a concert stage, you’re aware of those little details–and this applies to my work as a front-end developer.”

“Just narrow things down to what do you want in your day-to-day to make you happy. Some people may find complete fulifllment with their career. But some people, including me, want stability in their job but also to have time for the people in their life. Think about how you can be happy as a human — and start from there to formulate your plan Also, try not to stress out too much about a career change. You’re very young. My friend was 30 when he did the boot camp. I thought I was so old when I did it, but I was only 23.”

“If you want to be a software engineer, find a community or a mentor. I have a friend of a friend who self-studied software engineering by using Reddit. The internet is at our fingertips. There are folks out there to help others grow. Use that to your advantage!”

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See the full index of successful Berklee/BoCo alumni.

Successful Berklee Alumni #191: Alba Rubio

Alba Rubio
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Graduated in 2019 from Berklee Online, with a major in Professional Studies.

Position: Administration and Communications Specialist at Urban Health Partnerships, a non-profit organization with about twenty employees based in South Florida. Urban Health Partnerships has many initiatives, working with communities to improve people’s physical, social, and psychological well-being. Alba does a large variety of tasks, doing graphic design and website work, contacting community partners, and acting as secretary to the board of directors.


Overview: Alba had been interviewing musicians since she was a teenager, and had been heavily involved in music. She started her college career studying film production at Miami Dade College, but wanted to study music, focusing on the business end to maximize opportunities, so she switched to Berklee Online, going part-time while she worked full time, for for one nonprofit, then, starting in 2018, for Urban Health Partnerships (Initially she was hired into a different position, but they quickly created a unique role for Alba that matched her skill set.).

Immediately after finishing her degree in the spring of 2019 Alba did a full-time online Masters in Global Strategic Communications from Florida International University, getting through the program in one year while still working full time! She continues to work at Urban Health Partnerships.
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You can see Alba’s LinkedIn profile here.

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Choice Quotes: “My job makes me appreciate that the work we put into it is translated into the community. We communicate in a way that’s accessible and co-designed with community members. The work is very rewarding.”

Figure out what you’re most passionate about / what makes you happy. How you can connect with a community. Even if it’s not in music. There are many careers out there. You’d be surprised to see how what you study can help you in those. If you are looking for an administrative job, it really helps to have a thorough knowledge of programs like Adobe, Photoshop, Illustrator, even digital marketing programs/websites. Also have good office management skills.”

“Berklee always encouraged an outlet for creativity. As part of my role I create social media posts & content. Just as with music, it has to make sense to the listener. I translate those creative skills in copy, graphics, and storytelling.”

“I still find myself surrounded by music. This year I’m getting into music licensing. I’m writing songs and plan to collaborate with others on it and will see how that goes. My partner went to Berklee as well, so we make songs and music together.”

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See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.

Successful Berklee Alumni #190: Yordani Awono

Yordani Awono
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Graduated in 2019 with a major in Music Business. Principal instrument: bass guitar.

Position: Product Designer at Thesis, a digital marketing firm which specializes in building webpages in which consumer interest is converted to sales. As a designer, Yordani lays out these pages and optimizes them to to maximize sales potential, with many small changes being the norm.

Overview: While at Berklee Yordani was initially interested in EPD, but the experience of getting stiffed financially after working on a hit song convinced him to study business. He worked with Berklee ICE and was also doing tech-based side projects while in college. After graduating, he moved home to the DC area. got a job which claimed to be “digital marketing” but in fact was just selling cables on commission. Searching online, Yordani quickly got a different job, at a company that built websites for car dealerships. The pay was low, but it was good experience–until the pandemic hit.

By this point, Yordani decided he wanted to go into product design. He did a 5-month “boot camp” at Thinkful to get a certificate in UX/UI Design. Aware that it’s hard to get hired straight out of the program, Yordani was sure to do lots of side projects, as well as to show the confidence that he could do the job. He applied very widely, getting many rejections and two interviews–one of which led to his current job.
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You can see Yordani’s LinkedIn profile here.

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Choice Quotes: “I enjoy working in e-commerce, and learning about how to improve the experience for people. A connection to music was it was good to make people smile or cry with your music. It’s cool to help determine how people interact with their next purchase or medical experience.”

“If you want to go into product design, first learn the fundamentals. Start with proximitydesignschool.com There’s a 9-day course “theory sprint”. Figure out how to judge a design and understand it’s more than just art, and it’s more than just tech. Don’t get too bogged down in all the buzzwords. Get the fundamentals down first and realize a design is a design–you are using specific tools and mental frameworks to accomplish business goals. Also definitely real out to someone who’s doing it, including me!”

“At some point in my education I realized that I’m not just a musician, I’m a creative person.”

“When you’re onstage at Berklee and playing and the keyboard player changes the chords you need to be able to respond quickly to that. That creative framework serves me well every day. I’ll get a ticket and it might be unclear how to approach it, but those improvisational instincts are there to catch me before I fall.”

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See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.

Successful Berklee Alumni #189: Rev. Robert Bloodworth

Reverend Robert Bloodworth
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Graduated in 1991, with a major in Professional Music. Principal instrument: voice.

Position: Pastor at Highrock Lexington, a Protestant / nondenominational church in Lexington, Massachusetts. It’s affiliated with roughly ten other Highrock churches, and they often collaborate on services and other functions. Rev. Robert Bloodworth is the one pastor at his church, providing the full range of support and ministerial services for his congregation.

Overview: Robert has a positive religious experience growing up, including receiving music instruction from his pastor and the pastor’s wife. Robert came to Berklee, and met his now-wife in the Berklee Christian Fellowship. Graduating during a recession, he moved home to Florida, working several jobs, but came back to Boston after a couple of years. He got a job at Berklee in the Admissions Office, and worked various staff jobs at Berklee for the next 15 years. He also got a side job as music director for Part St. Church’s Sunday service, which featured more contemporary music. This lasted a long time and eventually led to Robert leaving Berklee to become a full-time music minister in 2008. He ended up as one of 15 ministers at a very large church, and the only one without an advanced degree. Realizing he probably should get one, he entered Fuller Theological Seminary’s MA in Global Leadership program — it reminded him of Berklee, being very international and diverse.

In 2019, as Robert was nearly done with his program, his church was having financial difficulties and he and some other ministers were laid off. Robert questioned whether he could have a viable music career in the church, or whether his age would increasingly become an impediment. At the same time, he reached out to a senior pastor of High Rock church who informed Robert that the Lexington church needed a new pastor and he thought Robert would be perfect for the role. Robert took the role and has been there since, though he also plays a music role within the broader church.

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You can see Rev. Robert Bloodworth’s LinkedIn Profile here.

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Choice Quotes: “Over the last 8 years the most compliments weren’t about my music but about how appreciative of my pastor role I didn’t anticipate how quickly I would come to love the people in this church. I love being with these people. They go through struggles I’m privileged to be with people in situations, be their pastor, and to remind them that God is with them. (Not to help them avoid difficulties, but to be with them through it all.)”

“At this church I’m serving, we all have two areas of expertise. I’m community pastor, but also worship arts production. I do music every week. It’s not that my music has diminished, but it and my pastor duties have become like partners. I’m living the dream!”

“Things can change, but it’s important to have a goal. Start your career the first day of college, not the last.

“If you want to be a minister, there’s one thing I would advice you to never compromise on: It’s incredibly important to work at a place that feeds your soul. if the senior pastor is either not connecting well or is a bully to the church staff, run as fast as you can, even if it looks like a good opportunity on paper or the money is good. “

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See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.

Successful Berklee Alumni #188: Chelcie Gette

Chelcie Gette
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Graduated in 2016 with a major in Music Business. Principal instrument: voice.

Position: Senior Associate (recruiter) at IQ Talent Partners, a recruitment agency, thought she’s on a multi-person team who is contracted out to work long term for Splunk, a large tech firm. Chelcie does multiple phone screens of candidates each day, as well as search for candidates for open positions. She also works with the Splunk-employed hiring managers and lead recruiters who handle the final steps in the process.

Overview: While at Berklee Chelcie worked for over a year at an affiliated nonprofit, gaining valuable office work experience. After graduating in December, Chelcie moved to Nashville, and found work in the music industry as a director of client services at an artist development agency. It was good experience, but the pay was terrible and she started bartending–first as a side just, then as her main thing. She notices a group of guys who would be working on their computers all day, and asked who they work for. They replied IQ partners, Chelcie suggested she’s be interested in working at a job like that and they invited her to meet their boss at an “open hour”. Chelcie was hired as a (recruitment) associate in early 2019. After a year working for many different clients, she was promoted to senior associate and paired with Splunk.

You can see Chelcie’s LinkedIn profile here.

Choice Quotes: “I like the aspect of talking to people, including phone screens with candidates. I also enjoy the searching aspect. Also, I’ve learned a ton about different industries–sales organizations, security clearances, etc.”

“Partially I was lucky to fall into tech recruiting. But I also made sure my resume was good and I had as much experience as possible.

“You had to work really hard to do well at Berklee. That helped get me good habits.”

“Recruiting is a people industry–you’re working with people. I got in through relationships. Try to reach out to as many people as you can. Find a recruiter and ask to talk to them. Networking is so important!


“I started wanting to work in Music Business and be a singer. In Nashville I became more of an artist, and wanted a job that supports that. Especially a good job for a good company that has work-life balance and has flexible hours.”

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See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.

Successful Berklee Alumni #187: Emma Fairholm

Emma Fairholm
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Graduated in 2017 with a major in Music Business. Principal instrument: flute.

Position: (In-house) Counsel at Key Capture Energy, a firm that develops, builds, and operates utility-scale storage systems (typically battery based) for clean energy projects. She is one of two lawyers at this company, which has a bit over 40 employees. Emma attends meetings, proofreads documents, approves which documents can be shared internally, and also makes sure finance-related documents are in order.

Overview: Her interest piqued by law-related classes in the Music Business program, Emma started considering a career in entertainment early in her Berklee career, and got more serious by her third year. She did a marketing internship at a law firm, took the LSATs and applied to law schools in her 4th year, getting into the University of New Hampshire’s Law School, which she liked because it was small and had a highly-rated intellectual property program. She graduated from Berklee in the spring of 2017, and started law school that fall. At law school, she did some good internships, including for the Smithsonian Institution, dealing with performances and art acquisition — by the time she was halfway through law school Emma was less focused on music than working with creatives in general.

Her final semester, spring 2020, Emma got a legal internship at a small personal-injury law firm, and she found she enjoyed that very much too. She was in a special program that let her pass the bar before graduation, and her internship became a full-time job, but between the pandemic and the company being reorganized Emma was let go in June. She reached out to a faculty whom she knew, hoping for any job leads. The faculty had recently heard from Emma’s now-boss at Key Capture Energy, who wanted an intern, and encouraged Emma to apply. Emma interviewed and really liked it. Initially hired as a contractor six-months, Emma worked really hard and was offered a full-time position and a pay increase in October, 2020.
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You can see Emma’s LinkedIn profile here.

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Choice Quotes: “Being an in-house corporate attorney is less stressful than being at a big law firm. You’re managing projects, not juggling clients who each have a different set of expectations and are in crisis. At my company, everything is interesting. I learn something new every day. The people here are great and always willing help me. The company started in 2016 and they’re trying to run like a startup and keep a community feeling. When I started, people made time just to talk and say hi.”

“Law school is a lot, it’s not what you think it’s going to be. That scene in Legally Blonde where you’re being called on day 1 of class and are expected to have done the reading and be able to explain it, that’s how they teach. Very Socratic method. You really need to study and be ready for that.”

“My first two years of law school I had to stand up and argue a case in front of a judge. If I hadn’t performed at Berklee I never would’ve been able to do it, but thanks to Berklee I was able to switch into my performance-mindset and make it through.”


“Follow your gut. I questioned myself every step of the way, and still do. But if it’s what you want to do, go for it. The worst that can happen is it doesn’t work out and you find something else to do.”

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See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.

Successful Berklee Alumni #186: Gustavo Beaujardin

Gustavo Beaujardin

Graduated in 2017 with a major in Professional Music. Principal instrument: Percussion. Note; Gustavo received his diploma from Berklee in 2001.

Position: Retail Store Manager at Conn’s Homeplus, which sells furniture, appliances, and electronics with almost 200 locations across the United States. Gustavo manages roughly 15 employees at his store location.

Overview: When Gustavo first went to Berklee, he chose to do music courses exclusively in order to start his music career as soon as possible. After graduation, he gigged around for years in different locations and ended up in L.A. doing many corporate and jazz gigs. But he battled a drug addition, having been in bands with people who used drugs, and in 2008 he “hit bottom” He spent the next few years focusing on himself and recovery, moved back home to Florida and worked a variety of non-music jobs, eventually ending up at a music retail store working his way up into a leadership position. Gustavo really enjoyed sales, and wanted to go into a retail managerial position, but that meant getting an MBA, which in turn meant finishing his bachelors degree.

Gustavo kept working at this store, while in 2013 he started Berklee’s Degree Completion Program part-time, taking classes through Berklee Online as well as remote one-on-one lessons. He applied to business schools as he was finishing up, and went straight from finishing Berklee into a 2.5-year part-time MBA program at Florida International University., which he finished in March, 2020. He had discovered Conn’s and had been interviewing for a while, so went straight from finishing business school into a job as an assistant store manager. After six months, Gustavo indicated that he wanted a promotion, and was wiling to “go anywhere.” He was promoted into his current job.
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You can see Gustavo’s LinkedIn profile here.

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Choice Quotes: “It’s quite a fun job that’s mostly face-to-face interactions with employees and customers. Running operations, managing people, managing the inventory that comes in and out.”

“A lot of my success is because before I get to the store I’m[ already checking emails, making sure things are running properly, so that when I get to the store I’m already caught up and am not bombarded or blindsided, so I’m not distracted from making it a great day.”

“At Berklee you’re surrounded by creative people 24/7. I try to use that creativity in my current role. It makes me a different kind of leader and thinker.”

“Whatever you decide to do, persistence and determination and focus are paramount. Failures will turn into opportunities — the mistakes that I made redirected my career. The bottom line is you’re going to make mistakes and may not end up where you thought. You’ve got to keep an open mind. Be humble, and be flexible.”

“If you want to be a retail store manager, know that at the end of the day it’s people leadership, so a strong focus on interpersonal communication, conflict resolution, people development — study these things! Take some public speaking courses to get the communication skills you’ll need to communicate your vision to your team properly. Also, it’s a demanding job where the work/life balance isn’t the best. Don’t put too much on your plate.”

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See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.

Successful Berklee Alumni #185: Dr. Sam Wood

Dr. Sam Wood

Graduated in 2012 with a major in Music Production & Engineering. Principal instrument: guitar.

Position: Emergency Room Resident Physician at Reading Hospital in Pennsylvania, which has one of the busiest emergency rooms in the country. As of the interview, Dr. Sam Wood is halfway through his 3-year medical residency, “medical school 2.0” as he calls it, after which he will have his physicians license and expect to be hired, and compensated, as a full physician. He sees patients 45-50 hours per week, and also does a lot of medical lectures with the other residents at the hospital.

Overview: As he finished high school Sam got extremely sick and was all but incapacitated. Eventually doctors diagnosed him with lupus, and he recovered gradually. Feeling that life was short and he wanted to pursue his dreams, Sam transferred to Berklee and studied MP&E. However, by 2012 he started to question whether he really wanted to rely on music for money, and at the same time thought about how those doctors had made him so much better and his interest in physical fitness and how the body works, so Sam decided that he wanted to be a doctor.

The first step was doing an intense 10-month Post-Baccalaureate Pre-Med Program at Goucher College, where he took all of the required science classes. After completing that, he moved back to Boston where he worked at a guy and as a resident advisor while applying to medical schools, and was accepted at the University of New England. He liked many of the medical fields, but wasn’t in love with any of them, until in his fourth year he did a rotation in an emergency room and loved how it was a bit of everything. Sam chose to apply to ten Emergency Room residencies, and match with Reading Hospital, his top choice. He received his M.D. in the spring of 2019 and stared the three-year residency a couple of months later, after a well-earned European backpacking trip.
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You can see Dr. Sam Wood’s LinkedIn profile here.
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Choice Quotes: “What I’m attracted to about being an emergency room doc is you have to be a jack of all trades but a master of none. You might go to 3 rooms in 15 minutes — one heart attack, one person who’s short of breath but doesn’t know why, and a woman having a baby. You have to quickly triage and treat them and make sure they’re stable and then figure out where they’re going to go. A surgeon is a master of their field and knows their patient well and has plenty of time to prepare for the surgery. An emergency room physician is more of a generalist. But we’re trained to handle the worst-case scenario. Another thing I love about being an ER doc is that I have a very broad set of skills that would be relevant in a random emergency.”

“One of my medical mentors, also a musician, said music is like any other modality. First you know nothing. then you learn the language (theory), then you combine that with stuttering (staring an instrument), then with experience the theory and playing meld into this unified understanding and new way to thing and apply thing. For me, science is like that — I still use medications that depend on the chemistry I had to learn years ago. Struggling with an instrument to the point I can play well has been big in assuring me that I will get a handle on science or whatever else.”

“My educational experiences after Berklee were like marathon. With no training if you had to run a marathon, that was Gaucher. At med. school the workload was much harder, but I was conditioned and trained to handle it.”

“If you are thinking about becoming a doctor, first off, know that it is possible. You’d be surprised how many people go into medicine from completely off-the-wall backgrounds. Also, find physicians who can understand your situation and give you guidance. I wouldn’t be here without those people in my life.”
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See the full index of successful Berklee alumni.

Successful Berklee/BoCo Alumni #184: Kelli Kay

Kelli Kay
Listen to the interview or download it.

Graduated in 2012 from the Boston Conservatory with a degree in Musical Theater.

Position: Producer at Eastham Studios, an in-house production unit of Disney+. Kelli specializes in producing 30 – 60 second trailers for the station’s programs. These trailers are played both on the station and on social media and elsewhere as advertising. She spends around 40 hours on each trailer, meeting with the marketing team for what they want, giving feedback to the editors, then going through many iterations with the higher-ups until it receives final approval. In 2020, with new production shut down due to Covid-19, Kelli has been working on a Disney+ podcast and writing articles for Disney News.

Overview: Kelli was from near L.A., and decided to move home rather than go to New York. For the next two and a half year, she lived at home and worked multiple jobs to hack away at her 6-figure student debt while doing community theater and auditions. Her main job was at a small accounting firm where she did administrative and (one class later) bookkeeping work as well as producing ads for social media. In early 2015, a friend who was part of one of these ads suggested that Kelli consider working in production as he did, and let her “shadow” him for a day. She decided that production was the career she wanted to pursue, and with her debt down to a manageable level she got an apartment in L.A.

After a handful of volunteer production assistant gigs which she found on mandy.com, people started recommending her for paid work. Kelli initially worked in music videos, starting Production Assistant but later getting hired as a Production Coordinator. Over the next few years she moved from music videos to non-union commercials to union commercials, each time taking a demotion and small pay cut in order to get better opportunities, getting all gigs by word-of-mouth. In late 2017 a connection recommended Kelli for a long-term producer position at the “Disney Digital Network” (which later would become Disney+). She did that for over a year, but it was technically freelance and at Disney freelancers aren’t allowed to work more than 18 months. She found another position, then in late 2019 a full-time producer position opened up at her old Disney unit and, many grueling interviews later, she was hired into her job.

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You can see Kelli’s LinkedIn profile here.
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Choice Quotes: “I love that I use both sides of my brain in this job — the perfect blend of creativity and logistics. Also, like in theater, I get to work with a team toward a common goad — to tell a story.”

“What I got out of BoCo that helps me the most currently is the feedback process. In many classes we gave/received feedback on scenes to/from classmates. You learn to give sensitive notes, and also not to take things too personally.”

“There are so many opportunities out there. Don’t limit your idea of yourself to what you studied in college. Throw yourself into new experiences! To make it through BoCo or Berklee you had to be a self-starter and work hard and that’ll take you many places. It’s up to you where you want to go.”

“If you want to work in production, get on a set! People say you have to know someone to get into the industry, but you can go out there and make those connections. Do a really good job on set. Keep your ears open and be open-minded. There are so many things to do on a set; you’ll start to see the opportunities. Find someone and make them your friend. The more you’re on set in front of people and willing to do that hard work, the better!”

“People don’t talk about it much. But with the student loans, there’s an end in sight. There are good resources out there–personal finance blogs, etc. If you’re deep in debt, know that every dollar counts and celebrate the little victories and stay creative. Even if you divert careers, make sure that stays part of your life as that’s important too.”

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See the full index of successful Berklee/BoCo alumni.