Successful Berklee Alumni #28: Jonas Bergmann-Bjornsson

Jonas Bergmann-Bjornsson

Jonas 4

 

Listen to the interview (Approx. 36 min.) or download it.

Graduated in 2013 with a major in Film Scoring.  (Jonas also was President of Berklee’s Music Business Club.)  Principal Instrument:  Guitar

Position:  Executive Director of Gudrun Corp, the American branch of the Iceland-based Gudrun Publishing Group.  A family business with roughly twenty non-family employees, Gudrun produces books, websites, apps related to Vikings, as well as resources for tourists in Iceland.

Overview:  Jonas grew up with the business being part of his family life.  He start to work there when he was 11.  For a year before he came to Berklee, Jonas worked in London as a salesperson for the business.  After Berklee Jonas moved to New York and hoped to make a career composing, but it was taking too long to get established and after six months he was out of money, so he moved back to Iceland and joined back up with the family business, helping with marketing, then with product development.  Jonas moved back to the United States in 2015 in order to be with his now-wife, working remotely and setting up the American branch of Gudrun.

You can see Jonas’s LinkedIn Profile here.

Choice Quotes:  “I really enjoy the entrepreneurial aspects of my job.  A lot of effort goes into figuring out what else can we do.  I’m developing apps.  We’ll be coming up with websites.  I come up with new ideas; we do feasibility studies.  If it looks good we put it into production.  It’s very exciting to see an idea developed into a product.”

“The family business a lot more flexible than a standard job.  I don’t have to work exactly 9-5, but I’m thinking about it on weekends, evenings, etc.  I’m a co-owner, so I know that I’m going to do well if the company does well.”

“Don’t get hung up too much about the idea of what you wanted to be.  Do a lot of stuff–throw 10 things on the wall and one will stick.  That said, be very careful of ‘intern mills’ — internships which don’t pay anything.  Those can be a trap if you’re not careful.”

 

See the full index of Successful Berklee Grads.

 

Jonas 1Jonas at Berklee.  “Music is all about producing something and coming up with new ideas.  That’s what I do every day.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jonas 2

 

Jonas with his wife, whom he met in New York before moving back to Iceland.  “In 2014 I didn’t touch my guitar–with my long distance relationship and new job I had other priorities, but I’m getting more and more back into it.  I listen to music a lot, play a bit, and have started composing again.”

 

 

 

Jonas 5Jonas (right) representing the Music Business Club at a Berklee event.  “I think I was the only non-Music Business person ever to be president of that club.  That experience was great in preparing me for my career.  Not only did it teach me a lot about business. but it also taught me about American culture and how Americans communicate.”

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