by Stephanie L. Carlin
Class of 2018, you’re out and free of the confines of the essay-based, jazz fest known as Berklee. Congratulations to all of the graduates! Now on to the scary, life-shattering question that has haunted us since freshman year: where can I get a job? I’m sure you might have guessed, there are some things that you may not be able to have access to when you’re gone. One of which is the Career Center, a place that you can still contact to set up an appointment and evaluate your resumè, cover letter, and gain access to numerous contacts with just a few links on their webpage.
But even if you miss the cut off for the time you can access everything you may need, there are still job postings EVERYWHERE, and don’t worry. It’s nothing like a “social media manager” or “for exposure” job. I’m talking real places with real company heads that want to see people fresh out of college who care about music.
Companies specializing in advertising
Okay, okay, okay. I get it. Not everybody wants to work at a desk their first time out. I understand that we went to a music school because we like music and not because we want to sit for hours staring at a screen and sending funny GIFs to Linda in accounting. I am so with you, but having at least a little of that experience can and will help you in the long run. We, sadly, do not live in a society where just putting out music will get us money. It’s about how we brand ourselves and how we brand the product. You can apply that idea in any field, but it is important to learn hands on because there is no a class labeled “How to Get All the Music Jobs and Be Happy Forever,” much to my family’s dismay.
Literally any composer you admire
For writing students, finding a job in the field of composition can be especially difficult when everything seems to be in music business. For a lot of composers who take on assistants, there are usually two ways in which the job is acquired. One: see a job posting that was buried under social media and graphic design internships or two – meet with the composer. Still, the question remains, how do you meet said person? Well, while I can’t vouch for all composers who might be a little picky about their candidates, it’s a matter of being just a bit stalker-y. Look into events they’re at, like them on Facebook, and if they came to Berklee at some point for a masterclass or interview, all the better because you can maintain that contact with them afterwards.
Find jobs in cities with a scene for you
If you are an artist with a specific brand of music in mind or a representative who wants to represent a specific type of music, you might having difficulty finding a scene for hard rock in the middle of Kansas. Okay, maybe you’ll find a scene, but it may not lead to the connections you need to reach to bigger places like Nashville or Los Angeles. So much of the music industry is based on connections in these concentrated places which, I’ll be honest, is annoying especially if you can’t afford it. But people might remember you from that one internship you did for them in New York and might want to bring you on board or connect you to people that will allow you to do freelance work.
Know what you need, not just what you want
We’ve all heard the miracle stories about the graduate out of college who signed a contract with Pharrell or played with Garth Brooks or worked for a company that just suddenly wanted them. We can’t all have that. If we could, we’d probably have a better economy. While it’s important to have dreams and to set goals to achieve them, sometimes life takes us somewhere else completely and that’s okay. Class of 2018, as you walk onto the stage this weekend, I hope you keep this idea in mind.