Successful Berklee Alumni #44: Max Pohl

Max Pohl

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Listen to the Interview (approx. 1 hr, 9 min.) or download it.

 

Graduated in 2013 with a degree in Music Business.  Principal Instrument: (acoustic) guitar.

 

Position:  Product Manager (“Specialist”) at Wayfair, a large Boston-based online retailer of furniture and home goods.  Working on a team that develops and refines interally-used software and using “agile” methods of 2-week development cycles, Max meets with others in the company to assess desired improvements to the software, writes specifications, does mock-ups, analyzes data, and tests the results.

Overview:  Max spent much of his last year at Berklee looking for a music-industry job without success.  As graduation approached, a non-Berklee friend who had worked at a Business consulting and software company Eze suggested that Max apply.  Very much wanting to have a job, and also wanting to stay in Boston if possible, Max applied and got a well-paying job doing customer support and software installations.

One year later, Max searched for a new job, he liked the technology, but not the business consulting, and he sensed that his company wanted to promote him to a business consultant and move him out of Boston.  A friend at a ClearCompany, a small (at the time) software-startup, helped get him a job where he wore many hats, including sales and customer service.  Max realized that, while he had though he wanted to interact with customers, he really wanted to work more with technology.  He interviewed for several positions at Wayfair, but was told that they were all too junior-level for him and they’d get in touch if they had a more appropriate opening.  Months later, they did!  He interviewed and got his current job.

 

You can see Max’s LinkedIn profile here.

 

Choice Quotes:  “Creative types will appreciate this:  at my job I can conceptualize something, design it, go through the process of building it, and see it being used.  I never anticipated that this job would have  such a large creative aspect, but I really enjoy it.  I also like the social element, being in contact with so many accomplished people, which has helped me grow professionally.  The tech side of it also is really interesting.”

“One great thing about working at a small startup, my previous job, is you’re forced to wear a bunch of hats, which exposes you to, and makes you skilled in, many areas.”

“At Berklee you have to perform in front of others and get judged/graded on it.  That’s stressful and hard, but it helps prepare you to perform in front of others.  It taught me how important it is to prepare and try to be perfect.  This applies just as much to performances in the workplace:    a job interview, a presentation.”

 

 

See the full index of Successful Berklee Grads.

 

935571_10152817296755221_1447603257_nMax (left) with as a Berklee student with other members of Berklee’s Music Business Club.  “Don’t feel discouraged if you’re looking for a job.  It’ll work out.  Berklee did an awesome job preparing you, the community is great.  Don’t fret too much, and whatever you end up doing you’ll never lose your passion for music.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Max this year, with a friend. ” I’d still love to have a career, or at least a stronger voice, in music.  But my goal for the next while is to set myself up so that that becomes a realistic possiblity.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

942412_10201087869869689_1734950274_nMax graduating Berklee, weeks before he got his first job offer.  “I really loved my time at Berklee.  I stayed in Boston because Berklee helped me fall in love with the city.  Every time I walk through the Back Bay I just want to hang out there.”

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