Listen to the interview (approx. 1 hr. 7 min.) or download it.
Graduated in 2007 with a major in Music Business. Principal Instrument: voice.
Position: Support Engineer at Avizia, a tech firm specializing in tele-medicine. Phil mostly resolved issues that customers have with problems encountered with their software, though maybe 20% of his time is dedicated to his own development projects.
Overview: After graduation, Phil worked at Warner music in licensing for a bit over a year. He voluntarily left his job and moved back home to Virginia, intending to go to law school and go into entertainment law. However, before he even applied Phil quickly figured out that law school was not for him. He then searched intensively for jobs, both in and out of music, getting a job locally underwriting loans at a commercial real estate firm. He worked there for two years before getting laid off, then worked at a similar job in Maryland for a year, then a similar accounting-type job at Aptify back in Virginia.
Phil had always been interested in computers and technology, so six months later when a computer system administration job opened up at Aptify he asked to switch into that position, knowing that it would involved him learning a lot of computer skills on his own time. They agreed, and he switched into that position, later shifting to customer support. After two years, the management changed and it was time to look for a new job. Using Indeed, Phil found the posting for, applied, and got his current job in late 2015.
You can see Phil’s LinkedIn profile here.
Choice quotes: “Support engineering means dealing with the issues people see in the software–with what’s not working. Finding solutions is really rewarding–improving features and rolling out new features. Plus it feels good to know that I’m part of a company that helps people access health care they otherwise wouldn’t get. I also enjoy playing with and learning a lot of new technologies–my company wants support engineers capable of resolving a lot of issues without going to the developers.”
“A support engineer has to have a thick hide because most of the time your’e dealing with unhappy people. Few excel at it, But if you’re technical but also extroverted and enjoy talking to people this is an excellent career choice. The pay is good, and nearly every software company has a support team.”
“The diversity at Berklee helps us live in a society and relate to different people and cultures–which is especially important in my career where I’m working directly with all sorts of clients!”
“It’s important to go for a career you can enjoy and have a bit of passion about, but remember that it’s OK to have more than one passion. Music remains a passion of mine but I’m just as passionate about technology. Once I realized I could be passionate about both, my career did better. ”