Career Services and Alumni: Building Community
Building meaningful connections is at the core of a Berklee education. The accomplishments of Berklee alumni surround us in the sounds we hear every day, in the music we listen to on the way to work, and in the venues we seek out for theater, dance, and music. A network that connects our student body, specifically to internships and industry careers, is the cornerstone of our global presence as an institution. These experiences assist students in developing skills, gaining knowledge, and forging the connections that will shape their futures.
After program review conducted in 2015–2016 and reimagining career services at the college, the Berklee Career Center has undergone a transformation. During the last two years, we worked to provide a more holistic model of career preparation for our students as they prepare for life after Berklee. The work has included a shared vision and partnership with the Alumni Affairs Office to increase alumni activity and engagement with the Career Center. This relationship will also enhance this year’s continued focus on Berklee Career Communities. Built around seven areas of interest—business, composition, design, education, health and wellness, performance, and production—the community model will enable students to better align their academic interests with their career paths. It also engages more students across all majors and programs, and provides deeper expertise to meet their needs.
The communities model has already strengthened our connections across campus, facilitating close collaboration between Career Center advisers and academic faculty who, as industry experts, have informed the content and direction of the communities. Within each community, we highlight successful alumni whose career paths provide inspiration for the work our students will pursue after graduation. The specialization of communities will allow us to engage in more targeted employer outreach to increase experiential and post-graduation opportunities for students and alumni.
Building on a collaborative model with the Berklee Center in L.A., as well as with partners and alumni teams in such areas as Nashville, New York, and Silicon Valley, we have worked to create more formal opportunities for our students and alumni to gather, learn, and network together.
These efforts have substantially increased through such events and programs as Berklee’s summer in L.A. internship program, the Network before You Move series, and spring break industry trips. Additionally, numerous Berklee interns are being supervised and working alongside our alumni globally. This fall, our Boston staff added a partner from the Alumni Affairs team tasked with strengthening the transition from student to alumnus or alumna. This partnership will build connections for students and alumni through a robust mentoring program while helping us to understand the unique needs of our alumni and how we can continue to assist them in developing their careers beyond the walls of Berklee.
Berklee alumni are ever-present in the work we do. In October, we hosted our first annual Internship Expo, and many of the employers in attendance were alumni who understand the value of a Berklee education. As we look forward to Career Jam, our annual spring conference on April 6, 2018, we hope to continue the trend of alumni involvement to provide advice, expertise, and mentorship.
Engagement with the Berklee Career Center provides students with the tools and skills they need to sustain a life in the arts by broadening the scope of their arts education. As we engage our students in the work we are doing, I look forward to our growing partnership and community building with our alumni. To get involved, seek career support, or to learn more about us, visit us at berklee.edu/career-center.