Berklee Music Network Connects Students, Alumni
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Berklee's online school, Berkleemusic.com, has unveiled an exclusive professional networking site to connect all 75,000-plus members of the Berklee community, including students, alumni, faculty, and staff from the online school as well as those from the brick-and-mortar institution. The Berklee Music Network allows these creative professionals—from aspiring students to established music industry greats—to find collaborators, search for jobs, promote their music, and much more.
"There isn't a college or a university that has anything like the Berklee Music Network," says Berkleemusic CEO Dave Kusek. "It's not necessarily an alumni connection platform, although it has that element. It's not necessarily a job board, although it has that element. It's really about, 'How are you going to work?' It's a benefit for your whole life."
Some of the biggest advantages of coming to Berklee, alumni say time and again, are the people they meet on campus. The opportunities for collaboration—both while in school and later in the real world—make a Berklee education greater than the sum of its classes. Now this growing online network allows students to continue making those connections well after graduation.
"Berklee has always been about a practical education in music," says Kusek. "The Berklee Music Network supports that mission of giving people the opportunity to practice their craft."
In designing the network, Berkleemusic approached students and alumni to ask what they wanted, and the overwhelming responses were jobs and gigs, equipment and software deals, self-promotion, and connection to other musicians. So that's exactly what the network is giving them: Fellow alumni and companies such as Live Nation, Sony, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra post career opportunities. Partner businesses such as Guitar Center, Cakewalk, and CD Baby offer exclusive discounts. Individual profile pages give members the ability to post music, videos, and photos. And discussions grouped by specialty, instrument, or educational level give members with similar focuses a place to connect. Local alumni groups even share opportunities to meet up in person with nearby Berklee grads.
Kusek says, "It's a way of collaborating. It's a way of meeting people. It's a way of sharing information. It's a way of hiring one another. You can post an opportunity or you can get an opportunity."
Many members use their profile pages as de facto résumés. In fact, freshmen in the college's core Artistry, Creativity, and Inquiry Seminar learn to promote themselves online with an electronic portfolio on the Berklee Music Network.
For now, the network is limited to just the Berklee community and a few handpicked outside partners. However, it can be a resource for anyone looking for Berklee-trained musicians.
"Anybody anywhere can come to the network and look for talent. If your profile is public, which is the default state, anybody can contact you and hire you. Anybody can also post jobs or opportunities to the network," says Kusek.
In this way, the Berklee Music Network can be a valuable tool not only for members of the Berklee community, but also for anyone in the music industry looking for the next generation of talent.