Successful Berklee Alumni #62: Jonathan Schwarz

Jonathan Schwarz

 

Listen to the interview (approx. 33 min.) or download it.

 

Graduated in 2011 with a major in Contemporary Writing & Production (CWP).  Principal instrument:  trombone.

 

Position:  Front End Web Developer at Priceline.com, an online retailer of discount travel and travel-related packages (airfare, hotels, etc.).  Jonathan is on a team of developers, working with the Agile-based system of two week “sprints” to build and refine their websites.

 

Overview:   During his last year, Jonathan figured a cool profession would be build a company that would enable distance-learning of music lessons.  To get the technical skills necessary, Jonathan went immediately from Berklee to getting a Masters in Music Technology from NYU.  Graduating in 2013, Jonathan worked full time at his dream startup, Jukubox, which he and some Berklee friends co-founded, living at home and making very little money in the hope it would grow rapidly.  Six months later, the hoped-for growth wasn’t happening, but his alma mater (NYU’s music school), knowing he had a good camera and experience with videos, hired him as a video person.  He did that while doing freelance film composition and DJ jobs on the side, making OK money and working extremely-long hours–essentially two full-time jobs!

After a year, Jonathan started to grow weary of that lifestyle.  He learned about coding “boot camps” where in only three months you could get the skills to get a well-paying job.  He went to one offered by Fullstack Academy,   Finishing in mid-2016 and looking for a job, Jonathan reached out to a Fullstack Academy grad who was working at Priceline.com.  That person was impressed, and put in the good word, which ultimately led to Jonathan getting his current job six weeks later.

 

You can see Jonathan’s LinkedIn profile here.

 

Choice Quotes:  “I’ve always enjoyed being in creative projects, and puzzles.  Coding is like a puzzle that has a really creative solution.  I like building cool things and working with great epople who are supportive and help me learn more and be a better developer every day.”

You need to figure out creative strategies for getting your foot in the door wherever you want to be.  Be persistent.  Reach out to people–use your connections and make new connections.

Prior to Berklee I’d been kind of shy and was just passively following the academic path and getting good grades, but not thinking about more than that. Berklee gave me a strong entrepreneurial spirit, encouraging me to go out and get what I wanted.”

“I got to have these really cool experiences in music that I got to cherish and relive and tell my grandkids about one day. I love the shows I played, the parties I DJ’d, the film music I composed. I also love what I do now, but I’m glad I got to pursue my music passion for a while.  No regrets.”

 

 

See the full index of Successful Berklee Grads.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *