World-renowned as a “singular institution for the study of the performing arts,” Berklee College of Music is the largest contemporary music college in the world. With an illustrious alumni roster, Berklee serves 7,000 undergraduates by cultivating artists on their main campus in Boston, MA and since 2012 at their campuses in New York City and in Valencia, Spain. Looking for a way to support its unique group of students, Berklee adopted Symplicity CSM in 2013 and has grown and stayed with CSM ever since.
At Berklee, students are learning to better their craft on a practical level by working in a studio, attending ensemble performance classes, and honing their skills through practicing and lessons. For this reason, employers and talent managers hire from Berklee because their students graduate with 3-5 years of real-world, hands-on experience. With a unique student population that doesn’t have a “traditional” academic or career trajectory, Berklee didn’t want to use just any platform—so they turned to Symplicity CSM because of the platform’s unique configurability.
Robust Support for Students
As the Director of Berklee’s International Career Center in Valencia, Stine Glismand was, together with a few other colleagues, tasked initially with looking for a platform that could help streamline the office’s operations all in one system. This included support for advising, events, reporting, internship and experiential learning tracking, and job postings. In addition, because of Berklee’s global campuses, career services members are able to pull reports specific to their institution allowing them to filter by country, major, type of art, and more to provide them with a high-level overview of all of Berklee’s students and granularly at their Valencia campus. “We can easily create reports that work for each department with optimal filtering to find exactly the data we are trying to get,” said Glismand.
In the summer, at the end of each academic year, Berklee analyzes the data to report how many job offers were made and what students were applying to. This has enabled Berklee to focus on where the office should increase engagement and where to expand their office’s efforts.
Customization Fit for Unique College of Music Students
Berklee’s unique student population required a system that could be customized. “When we started looking at our unique needs, we needed something more than a typical platform,” said Glismand. “We needed something that on the backend could be customized and tailored enough to use it for all Berklee learning environments, different campuses, opportunities, and more. We saw the opportunity to do that with Symplicity.”
Additionally, at Berklee’s Valencia campus, being able to simply filter job seekers by international students and non-international students was essential. Since they’re not looking for traditional 9-5 jobs, Berklee students needed a customizable system to navigate the arts career landscape.
With Symplicity, Berklee can do just that by customizing the system for audition notifications, offer gigs, internships, and co-ops specific to their campus’ needs and places specifically looking to hire Berklee talent. “All the customization has really been key,” said Glismand. ”The fact you can do that makes it easier to use for a unique institution like ours. We can customize types of jobs, types of advising or topics of advising, and we can filter per students per program, per campus, per whatever.”
"We needed something that on the backend could be customized and tailored enough to use it for all Berklee learning environments, different campuses, opportunities, and more. We saw the opportunity to do that with Symplicity."
Director of Berklee’s International Career Center, Valencia, Spain
Enhanced Experiential Learning
With students spread-out across countries, it was critical for Berklee to have a system that multiple users could customize and that students could easily navigate. For Berklee, utilizing CSM has ensured that students can add what they plan to learn and how they plan to advance or gain knowledge. This also includes connecting with employers, who can send customized messaging through CSM and send student evaluations all within the platform. With the variety of experiential learning opportunities at Berklee, CSM can customize the system for their particular student experiential learning opportunities unique to their campus population, instead of just a one-size-fits all system.
To support students exploring experiential learning opportunities, every career services staff member can utilize CSM’s advising module means and quickly meet with a student. They can easily pull up their information to see what a student has been working on and at a glance easily understand the student. “The student experience is cohesive, even though our office changes,” said Gilsmand. “It’s a fairly smooth process and allows us to easily guide and advice students.”