Successful Berklee Alumni #68: Will Stettler

Will Stettler

 

Listen to the interview (approx. 1 hr, 20 min.) or download it.

 

Graduated in 2010 with a major in Professional Music.  Principal instrument:  guitar.

 

Position:  Finance and Operations Manager.  Will works part-time at a “permanent contractor” for two different small financial firms in the Boston area:  Mediphase Venture Partners and Kendall Investments. The resident “jack-of-all-trades,” Amone other duties, Will compiles information, prepares financial reports, handles many legal forms, tracks fund performances and cash flow, and estimates the value of new companies.

 

Overview:  Partway though his Berklee experience Will realized that a career in the music industry wasn’t for him, so he shifted the focus of his education toward business classes.  After finishing Berklee, he taught private guitar lessons for money, while interning both a a cultural non-profit and for a family friend who started his own stock market investing firm.  Will liked finance, but didn’t feel that he had the desire or temperament for stock-market investing, so decided to study accounting.  He took the GMATs and got his Masters of Science in Accounting from Boston College, taking a brief time after graduation to become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), as that would open up more opportunities.

Recruiters from the “big four” accounting firms helped set him up with both an internship while in school and a job afteward at the major accounting firm Deloitte.  It’s a prestigious place to work, and the variety means he learned a ton, but the hours were extreme “During the busy months, you never stop working.”  After a bit under a year, Will left to work for a music start-up firm, but that didn’t work out.  At this point, the investor Will had interned for learned that a neighboring business needed an accountant.referred him to one of his current jobs, and referred Will.  That company then referred him to their client, which also needed someone.

 

 

You can see Will’s LinkedIn profile here.

 

Choice Quotes: “I like the people I work with–that makes huge difference!  Finance is an exciting industry and it attracts passionate people because of the opportunity available.”

 

“It’s an interesting industry!  You’re plugged into the startup world, learning how money gets made & spread around–it’s applicable to a whole lot of industries.  I read and write about what makes a company competitive.    I also have an analytical mind and enjoy the number crunching. ”

 

“It’s good to take more risks when you’re young, but make sure it meets your life’s needs and what you want.  Your dreams can mix with what’s pragmatic.  Take the leap, but have a fallback plan.”

 

“Being a Berklee grade made me stand out a lot in a crowd.   It helped me get into grad school, where they want diversity of backgrounds; and helped me get jobs, as it was a very valuable conversation starter.”

 

 

Will on vacation.  “It’s a great niche, helping firms too small to need full-time staff.  I enjoy the flexible hours & working remotely sometimes.– it would be obvious very fast if I weren’t doing my job right, so the companies give me a lot of autonomy about when & how to work.”

“The work-life balance is good, and that’s important to me.  I work 30-50 hours/week (The higher end is uncommon.), but as a contractor if I work more i”m paid more.”

 

 

See the full index of Successful Berklee Grads.

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