by Quincy Cotton
Berklee College of Music’s annual career jam occurred this past Friday, in the 150 Massachusetts Avenue building. This day long event brought people from all over the music industry to the school, giving lectures, seminars and advice on how to carve out a living in the highly competitive music industry. It’s an important reminder that students at Berklee can aspire to be something other than performers, studio engineers, arrangers or composers. People often times simply don’t know how to get from where they are to where they want to be in the music industry, and the Career Jam lays out a road map to places many students didn’t know were accessible. I was able to catch several seminars for topics I thought were unique and impressive, primarily for careers outside of the performing and recording paths of music.
One of the first big events of the day was a lecture by Molly Neuman, Head of Music at Kickstarter. Kickstarter’s crowdfunding platform represents how many of Berklee’s students start funding their creative projects. Its accessibility and innovation have helped shaped the landscape of the modern music business, and Neuman’s insightful commentary on the industry’s “do’s” and “don’ts” catered to business students at Berklee in particular.
Later, Camille Colatosti, head of Berklee’s graduate studies department, addressed education after Berklee. Internships, fellowships, and secondary education are often the stepping-stones to more competitive, lucrative and secure jobs. It’s a worthwhile discussion to see if the added time, money and effort yield enough value to continue your studies at Berklee after you earn your bachelor’s degree.
Finally, I was able to catch up with the keynote presentation in the Berklee Performance Center. In a way, it represented the furthest extent of a music career; Apple Music Senior Director David Dorn and Berklee alumnus Panos Panay (Panos is the is Berklee’s Founding Managing Director of the Institute for Creative Entrepreneurship here on campus) are living proof of what applied business acumen can yield in this industry.
The Career Jam truly hit all the right nails in the right places. A career fair is exactly the type of support Berklee should include more of in their yearly events, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Berklee often makes students feel as though the school doesn’t care about the individual, but more events like the Career Jam would permanently dispel that sentiment. Offering portrait photos for resumes and business cards, having the lectures accessible to any and all students and inviting such a wealth of successful, talented individuals to the campus were all huge to show they are invested in their student body’s success. It overall makes me excited to see what Berklee has in store next.