I am used to answering a particular question that comes in two forms, depending on who is asking. My reply is usually something like this, “No. I am not a musician. Well, I played the oboe until I went to college, but…” The question’s two forms come either from somebody who works at Berklee or from somebody who asks me where I work and is surprised by my reply. The next question is usually, “If you’re not a musician, why did you choose to work at Berklee?”
In January of 2007, when I began my career at Berklee, I knew little about the institution. Sure, I had done my homework before interviewing and after receiving a job offer; however, it is not until I became a part of Berklee that I was able to appreciate the institution’s rich, unique qualities. I started working here because I love working in higher education and wanted to share my skills with and learn from the students and staff at Berklee. At the time, to me, Berklee was just one of many colleges in the Boston area where I could continue my career in higher education.
Four years later, I am glad that I have spent this time at Berklee, specifically. It is an institution that affords students the chance to not only develop incredible musical talent but also expand their worldview. The lectures, visiting faculty, clinics, concerts, and other extracurricular experiences available for students provide exposure to significant pieces of our world. I value working at an institution that touts the importance of civic engagement and a global perspective. The role of the arts in social justice is not lost on Berklee students.
In addition to all of that, the specifics of my own job allow me to work directly with students as they embark on internships. Whether it is a student’s first internship and he or she is exploring possible career paths or a student decides to spend a semester in our Summer Internship Program in London, I am fortunate to provide support throughout this process. Providing students the chance to work and learn outside of the classroom in order to fully prepare for life as a civic minded musician or businessperson is rewarding.
So, while I am not a musician, I love working among them. I am glad to be a part of Berklee College of Music.
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- Adriel Tjokrosaputro: Make Them Glad They Hired You - June 21, 2013