Classes are over, directed study completed, senior recital a success. Finally finished with Berklee. No more ear training, harmony, counterpoint (thank gooness!), or conducting. All of it in the past. But, what are you going to do now? What comes after Berklee? Many plan the big move to LA, NY, or Nashville. Some move back home. A handful of us consider graduate school to further our education. To be honest, most of us have no idea what we are going to do!
Get In It
For me personally, this topic hits home. I participated in May 2010’s commencement ceremony and will be completing my time at Berklee in December 2010. Like many, I considered moving to Los Angeles in hopes of finding work related to my studies and passion. The good news is there are opportunities to work (even in this unstable economy). In my short time in Los Angeles (about two months now), I’ve heard about several interesting job openings, all of which match my skills. And I haven’t even been actively looking for them! They have come my way because I am present, participating in the industry.
Berklee has a vast alumni network that wants to help out. I recently attended a workshop where the speaker stated that “Berklee alumni run (Los Angeles).” Make sure to be in contact with the alumni community no matter where you end up. Berklee alums look to hire someone who can get the job done, and a lot of the time they prefer other Berklee alumni.
Try It On For Size
If you read my last post (“Why Everyone Should Intern”) you already know that I feel strongly about interning. One of my main reasons for participating in the Los Angeles Internship Program was to feel out LA and decide if relocating here permanently was feasible. A warning to those of you considering making the move to Los Angeles – you will find it is nothing like Boston, New York, Chicago, or any other major city. If you can’t intern, at the very least, I recommend visiting the city you are considering moving to and trying to get a feel for as much of it as you can. Experiencing Los Angeles this summer has confirmed the possibility that I’m able to pursue my career here after Berklee.
Another option after graduating Berklee is to continue on and complete graduate studies. For a contemporary writing and production and film scoring dual-major like myself, pursuing a master’s degree in composition or theory may be the way to go. I do realize that in today’s music business, a degree is not something you need in order to advance and be successful. However, it is my opinion that continuing your education makes you more valuable to potential employers in the future. Also, for me personally, having a master’s degree brings my dream of teaching at the collegiate level one step closer.
Everyone leaves Berklee with the hopes of doing great things. Whether you choose to go to graduate school, move to New York, LA or Nashville, or decide to pursue other avenues, always remember to have fun. None of us would be the talented musicians, business people, songwriters, composers, engineers, or producers if we didn’t have a deep love for what we are doing. Never lose that!
Next Up: “Dinners, Mixers, Parties and Shows: Why Networking is Important”