Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

6 Ways to Get Yourself Ready for Career Jam

Berklee senior Jane Evancio shares her tips for getting the most out of Career Jam 2018 (April 6). 

By Jane Evancio

Student blogger Jane EvancioOnce again, it’s almost time for Berklee’s annual Career Jam. What exactly is Career Jam, you ask? It brings together more than 50 industry professionals, artists, notable alumni and musicians to campus so that they can share their expertise and guide students towards pathways that broaden our scope of career possibilities. Along with these guest speakers, Berklee offers several auditions, workshops, mentoring sessions, employer recruitment tables–as well as professional headshots. Whether you’re a fifth-semester or an eighth-semester student, this event provides enticing possibilities for everyone.

Last year was my first Career Jam. Although I really enjoyed myself, there are several steps I wish I had taken in order to better prepare myself for the day. Here are the necessities for a happy, successful Career Jam 2018:

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Thinking ‘Big Picture’ in Nashville: Drummer John Rodrigue ’09

In this interview, alumna Shantell Ogden sits down with alumnus John Rodrigue to talk about his road to Nashville success.

By Shantell Ogden B.M. ’05

Nashville drummer John Rodrigue

Drummer John Rodrigue ’09

Born and raised in Houma, Louisiana, John Rodrigue ’09 was raised on classic rock and roll by two music-loving parents. Rodrigue received a drum set for his 11th birthday and that was just the beginning.

By the time he was 13, he was playing on the club and bar scene in a punk band with his older brother. Through high school he played in marching, jazz, and concert bands before starting Berklee in the spring of 2006 after being awarded a partial scholarship.

John took a moment out of his busy touring schedule to answer a few questions.

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From Grief to the Opry: Jenn Bostic ’08

In this post, singer-songwriter, author, and alumna Shantell Ogden sat down with fellow alumna Jenn Bostic to talk about Bostic’s musical journey. In this profile penned by Ogden, Bostic discusses her road to the Grand Ole Opry and beyond.

By Shantell Ogden B.M. ’05

Country music rising star Jenn Bostic

Jenn Bostic

“I threw myself into music to grieve,” says artist and songwriter Jenn Bostic ’08.

The Nashville-based Berklee alumni lost her father at age 10 and music became a place to process the loss she felt. It wasn’t until entering Berklee in the fall of 2004 that she really became a fan of country music.

“I studied music education at Berklee and while there started doing weekend gigs with a local country band called Digger Dawg with fellow alum Charlie Hutto, singing all the country hits,” she explained. “I would attend classes all week and play shows on Friday and Saturday nights. Sunday I would do all my homework, and the process would start again.”

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Real World: Nashville (Part 3)—Don’t Run from an Imperfect World

In early 2018, alumna Eva Cassel answered the call of the muse and left a steady restaurant job in Nashville in order to take her songwriting skills and habits to new heights. What follows below is part three of a series chronicling her experience. (Read parts one and two)

By Eva Cassel B.M. ’17

Eva Cassel and band rehears before filming a music video

Gearing up to film the video for “Don’t Run.”

In a perfect world I would report a successful week of writing a song a day, inspired and uplifted. But if the world were perfect, I’d have nothing to write about. I’m going to be real with y’all, I did not write a song a day. I could make excuses, but life will always get in the way if I let it. Wallowing in guilt is just an easy way out; I constantly have to stop myself from diving head first into that whirlpool. Having the energy to forgive myself has been an essential part of getting my butt to the chair and writing. One verse, chorus, or idea is better than nothing. It was hard not to feel defeated, but feeling defeated isn’t the point—writing is.

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Famed Keyboardist Greg Phillinganes Puts It All in Perspective

At a recent master class cosponsored by Red Bull, keyboardist Greg Phillinganes worked with students in real time to help their performance skills and musicianship, as well as offer career advice. Berklee blogger Chandler Dalton shares her reflections about this special event.

Greg Phillinganes (center) poses with the student performers who participated in his Red Bull master class.

Greg Phillinganes (front, center) poses with the student performers who participated in his Red Bull master class.

Before anyone even stepped out onto the stage, there was an air of childlike excitement in the David Friend Recital Hall. Greg Phillinganes, the charismatic Toto keyboardist with a history of working with household names such as Stevie Wonder and Bill Withers, was about to impart knowledge onto an audience of hopeful composers and performers, and play in a full band of Berklee students. I couldn’t help but feel the pure thrill from some of my classmates that were about to watch their hero play alongside their peers, and it was yet another reminder of the symbiotic relationship between performers and their audience.

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