Listen to the interview (approx. 51 minutes) or download it.
Graduated in 2009 with a degree in Professional Music. Principal instrument: bass guitar.
Position: Account Executive (Sales) at Reddit. Will works in their small L.A. office, seeking business for Reddit among the entertainment industry. “It’s advertising, but it’s also about partnerships with show runners/directors about collaboratively develop intellectual property by using Reddit to find good people and promote events.”
Overview: Shortly after graduation, when it was clear that his band wasn’t going to make it big, Will looked on BerkleeMusic’s job board for a position. He applied and found at job as “product line manager” at Source Audio which makes effects pedals. He helped with product development, marketing, and demonstrating the products, but after a couple of years he felt that opportunity was limited in this niche market. Friends convinced him to move to LA and recommended him for a job at Spin Media, where for several more years he worked for Spin Media, receiving multiple promotions from Account Coordinator (filling in spreadsheets) to Acct Manager (designing spreadsheets) –> Integrated Marketing Manager (getting brands to participate in their space/events) –> Acct executive (sales), but the company was doing poorly “I felt like a farmer in a drought,” and he left, planning to start his own creative business.
Before the business got underway, however, a former colleague from Spin recomended him for the job at Reddit. Will put his own plans to the side and took the job, “I was able to take all the thinking I was going to apply for my startup and apply it to this already-huge business.”
You can see Will’s LinkedIn profile here.
Choice Quotes: “The bulk of the work comes in establishing a relationship, which can take up to six months. Once that relationship is in place, you work on both the deals already closed and opening up new opportunities. It’s both inbound and outbound, and the whole machine is just humming and rolling.”
I’m very much in a flow state where my creativity is being challenged. It’s thrilling every day to come up with the best, most articulate, creative, presentable version of myself. I didn’t anticipate doing this at all, but it feels like a flowering of the work I did at Berklee training myself as a musician.”
“Music is just a fundamental version of pattern recognition and manipulation, and that applies to all other ideas and identities. Few folks have training in creating new ideas and that training has made a world of difference in my career…I went from being a musician to being a creative–not just thinking about what stages I want to be on, I’m building those stages!”
“I have about a dozen work-streams in any given moment. How often am I working? I’m always on! Even when I’m socializing it’s in a grey area between play and work.”
“The most successful folks I’ve seen are the ones who care the most about cultivating good relationships with the people around them. Friendship is a combination of passion and purpose, and when you have both folks will want to be around you and you’ll be successful.”
Will got semi-famous while doing demo-vidos for Source Audio. He put out an album in 2013, and got a significant audience. His song What Fills the Gap has well over 100,000 views! His latest song came out in early 2016 (a year before this conversation), and he still jams and plans to put out more music in the future.