Entering the Silicon Valley Trip, I knew I would be networking but my experience surpassed just exchanging of business cards. At Facebook, I learned that they were hiring artists and paying them to create songs on behalf of Facebook which were directly credited to them. Through these partnerships, Facebook is giving these musicians a platform of 2 billion people at their disposal. My disheartened state towards social media was completely revamped through talking with the team members directly working on Facebook’s music department.

Another enlightening moment was when it became known that Spotify is not the enemy; it’s just the Tony Stark of our Avengers crew also known as the music industry. Spotify was fearlessly honest when answering our questions and the panelists clearly resembled the company’s hunger for honest innovation to benefit all parties of music. Much like Tony, Spotify is not afraid to partner with companies for building beneficiary relationships and had an underlying charismatic tone when answering challenging questions, especially when we asked about their thoughts on Spotify’s limited iPhone developments due to Apple Music.

When we visited Apple Music, the panelists were Berklee Alumni who studied a wide range of majors. Being a music business major, I was very much encouraged when Jackson, a Berklee Music Business Grad, spoke about his internship which eventually led to his full-time position and travelling all over the world with Apple Music. Not only did I become social media official with these professionals in San Francisco, I found my business partner during our SV Trip. During a bus ride, I mentioned my music community startup idea I have been harvesting for two years to another fellow student who told me he can create the physical platform. It marked the birth of our partnership.

We had the chance to witness both the glitz and glam of Silicon Valley and the existing realities of San Francisco. I realized how blessed I have been to be with a school with endless flood of connections and opportunities but I also realized how selfish I have been. I came to the BerkleeICE SV Trip  hoping to figure out my career but instead I figured out my future as a person, as a woman, and as a citizen who gives back to the community. Limiting myself to just traditional music industry is unsustainable especially if I want to directly impact those not given the opportunities that all of us on this trip have been given. The two overarching lesson I learned on this Berklee ICE SV trip 2018 is that 1) the pain of regret is greater than the pain of discipline therefore, my discipline starts now and 2) there is still hope for music and even room to flourish.

Serin Oh

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