Berklee today

JUN 2015

Berklee today is the official alumni publication of Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a forum for contemporary music and musicians.

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Summer 2015 19 2. Computer and Media Skills • Basic Web creation and editing skills • Profciency with Microsoft Offce suite software • Basic media (audio and video) capture, editing, and distribution for YouTube, SoundCloud, ReverbNation, etc. • Content creation and manipulation (Adobe Creative suite or comparable programs) 3. Professionalism and Integrity • Respect for self, coworkers, frm, customers, and the marketplace • Self-awareness and sense of purpose in professional endeavors • Ability to manage self-image (personal branding) and make decisions based on personal integrity and core values • Critical thinking and follow-through 4. Industry-Related Knowledge and Practice • Structure of music industry and the varied relationships within it • Social media theory and practice • Entrepreneurial theory and practice • Business marketing Notice that there is no mention of specifc skills relating to a particular job. These four broad areas help form the basis of what makes up the underpinnings for your industry-spe- cifc career path. The frst two areas, communication and com- puter skills, will generally evolve over time throughout your career. The third area, professionalism and integrity, is one that is largely learned by observing those around us. Lessons learned throughout our lives help to inform what our code of pro- fessional conduct will be. This requires being thoughtful and refective not only regarding your own actions but also the con- sequences of those actions over time as your career unfolds. There are many creative and passionate individuals in the music industry seeking like-minded professionals with a sense of pur- pose and values. By identifying and adhering to your own sense of what's right, you will go a long way toward joining the ranks of trusted and steadily employed music industry pros. Team Players Needed Talent, perseverance, and people skills are required for mak- ing it in the business. A colleague who worked as a tech manager at George Lucas's renowned Skywalker Sound once said, "Fifty-one percent of my job is getting along with my coworkers, and 49 percent of my job is knowing how to keep all of our technology running." Her statement may be one of the most important pieces of information music industry ca- reer seekers must understand. Climbing to the Top Perseverance is obviously a big asset. Depending on the op- portunity, there may be somewhere between 25 to 2,500 people knocking on the door for a single industry job open- ing. You've got to be willing to persevere or you'll run out of gas in your quest. Look at your career as if it were a long-dis- tance event such as a 26-mile marathon or a 10K open-water swimming contest. Succeeding at such competitions requires training, mental toughness, and understanding the critical factors for any given event. The same applies to your pursuit of a music industry career. Imagine your career as you hope it will unfold, but be realistic about the time, training, skills, ex- periences, and connections you will need to gain in order to be successful over the long haul. Just about everybody starts out at the bottom in this business, even today's top dogs. Books penned by record label executives, such as Follow the Music by Jac Holzman, the founder of Elektra Records, or Ian Copeland's entertaining bio, Wild Thing, are recommended reading. Knowing that just about every top executive started out as a mail clerk, gofer, or assistant will help you strengthen your resolve to climb the mountain ahead of you. The beneft of starting out at the bottom of the company's organizational chart is that you meet a lot of people on the way up, see how a company works, and learn about every function in an organization. It's helpful to note which parts work effciently as well as which parts do not—and, more importantly, why. Competition is central to many roles and functions in the in- dustry. There's always new blood coming in—new bands, new songwriters, new musicians, new app developers, and new artist and repertoire staffers. It's the nature of the game. For many jobs in the music industry, it's helpful to have a competi- tive nature. Radio, television, and websites all rely on a formal rating system. That's the way much of the entertainment industry works. The statement that recording artists are "only as good as the sales of their last record" is true in an economic sense. Competition is always going to be there, so you have to have the drive and an intense desire to be successful to stick with your dream and push yourself to make it a reality. Create a Career Portfolio Set up a digital portfolio that you will maintain as your mu- sic industry career develops. You may choose to store it on your computer desktop, a fash drive, or use one of the online cloud-based services. Organize your music industry career portfolio in sections, as noted below. It's also useful to have access to a future calendar, either online, as an app such as Outlook or iCal, or the old standard, an annual planner note- book available at any offce supply store. Use the calendar to mark important events, deadlines, and tasks for which you have set a target completion date. Career Portfolio Folders: • Jobs. Compile job descriptions, open job listings, references to specifc positions, or internship opportunities. Download a PDF of any interesting job descriptions you see to build a library for study and reference. You can also save screen grabs or scans. Set up a subfolder titled Job Applications to keep track of every position for which you apply. • Target companies. Whenever you hear or read about a new company that interests you, start a document in this folder to compile information. Include the company's name, key products or services, spokesperson, and URL in it. Fill in more information as you discover it. • Industry articles. Whenever you come across an article that interests you, especially those that identify specifc com- panies, save it as a document, HTML fle, or PDF, and add it to your portfolio. • Correspondence. Keep electronic "soft" copies of letters to and from the various people and companies you will encounter in your career development. • Events. Record information on industry conferences, conventions, charity events, or any other type of function that may provide you with the chance to meet and learn from others. • Reference. Include notes, handouts, and other classroom/ conference handouts or lecture materials that relate to your industry career journey. Knowing that just about every top executive started out as a mail clerk, gofer, or assistant will help you strengthen your resolve to climb the mountain ahead of you.

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