Plan Your Career
Career Planning 101
Your Berklee education should align with the work you hope to engage in after you graduate. If you don’t know what that is yet, don’t worry; you are not alone, and the Berklee Career Center is here to help you. The five-step plan below includes some tools and ideas that may be useful as you give careful consideration to this important decision.
- Know yourself. Understanding your skills, interests, work habits, and values can help you figure out what kind of career would best suit you. Explore our Self-Assessment and Defining Your Goals pages to more fully explore these foundational questions.
- Know your field. Once you understand your skills, interests, priorities, and values, the next step is to find opportunities that align with them. For those interested in careers in the music or performing arts industries, explore our Career Communities site, which has information on many of the more common jobs within the music industry.
- Connect the classroom to your career. With your goal in mind, select a major that will prepare you for success in that area. Meet with Berklee Career Center advisors and academic advisors to be sure that your course of study will help you gain the skills you’ll need to advance in your chosen career path.
- Do your homework. Attend professional development programs and events. Use the Berklee Hub to subscribe to announcements from the Career Center and your personalized areas of interest, and check it regularly to see when there are events that may help enrich the knowledge you plan to leverage into a career.
- Get started. Don't wait until after graduation to start looking for opportunities. The Career Center staff can help you explore internships tailored specifically to Berklee students. Look for chances to learn more about your chosen field from professionals at clinics and master classes, or via participate in college-sponsored trips to industry hotbeds like Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Nashville, Atlanta, and New York City.
Career Planning Timeline
There isn't a one-size-fits-all path to career planning, so if you are an upper semester student just turning your attention to career plans, don't panic. You still have time, and there is no time like the present to get started.
No matter which semester you're in, we recommend that you read through the timeline for all of the undergraduate years below. If you are an upper semester student, you may want to tackle some of the tasks suggested for earlier semester students to make your next steps more rewarding. If you're in your first or second year, it's helpful to look ahead; that way, you can establish a roadmap for yourself so that you can move forward knowing what you'll need to carve out room for further down the road.
- Log in to the Berklee Career Manager, and set up your profile.
- View Career Center events, request appointments, and locate resources.
- Search the Career Center website to familiarize yourself with the resources. Come by for a walk-in to explore what you have learned.
- Meet with your academic advisor to discuss majors and your four-year plan.
- Identify your personal and professional networks by getting to know classmates, your student academic mentor, resident assistants, resident directors, and Berklee faculty and staff.
- Explore student clubs and organizations.
- Keep a list of your activities to guide the creation of your resumé and future scholarship applications.
- Attend the Majors and Minors Fair, Internship Expo, and Career Jam to continue to discover and explore your opportunities.
- Familiarize yourself with industry resources such as professional organizations, festivals, and conferences, and read about industry trades in the Career Center section of the Stan Getz library.
- Participate in student clubs, volunteer work, workshops, industry events, and networking opportunities.
- Consider working on campus through student employment to build your administrative and professional skills.
- Network with professionals and alumni by attending events and conferences.
- Search and apply for internships or part-time industry jobs throughout the year to gain valuable experience.
- Update your resumé with your latest experiences.
- Connect with a Career Center advisor to discover additional career paths.
- Apply for a leadership role on campus, such as resident assistant, orientation leader, or student academic mentor.
- Research graduate school and advanced degree options, and prepare to take entrance exams.
- Participate in Berklee-sponsored industry trips to Nashville, Silicon Valley, Atlanta, New York, Los Angeles, and more.
- Schedule a regular meeting with a Career Center advisor to define your career goals for the remainder of your time at Berklee and after graduation.
- Request informational interviews with alumni to explore careers and life after Berklee.
- Ensure that your resumé is up to date.
- Apply for internships by finding listings on the Berklee Career Manager, utilizing Career Center website resources, and checking with your department for recommendations.
- Cultivate your professional network, including former supervisors, past professors, and classmates.
- Research and apply to graduate school.
- Meet with a career advisor to refine your resumé and cover letter to ensure that your professional materials are ready for applications.
- Write an elevator pitch about yourself and your goals as an artist, and practice pitching it to a Career Center advisor.
- Join professional organizations and associations in your field.
- Project your financial needs, and plan a realistic budget for post-graduation living.
- Fine-tune your networking, interviewing, and other professional skills.
- Seek informational interviews with your personal, professional, and alumni networks to get advice on your career plans and post-graduation life.
- Polish your online presence, including your website and LinkedIn profile.
- Connect with Alumni Affairs, and attend the Career Center's Network before You Move series to gain insight into relocating to a new city.
- Begin your job search.