Nico Ruggieri studied music business and entrepreneurship at Berklee College of Music.
How did you discover your passion for music?
My father was a local band director who shared instruments, CDs, and technology with my sister and I. We danced and sang to old marching band videos, sometimes playing along with instruments. I spent time after school in different ensembles or helping my father with work, which told me I should be pursuing a career in music.
Why did you pick Berklee College of Music?
Berklee College of Music is like a candy store. I couldn’t find another college that offered 12 unique musical majors, contained over 4,000 talented musicians, offered studies in contemporary music, and had such a holistic application process. Berklee’s faculty and coursework were relevant to the current music industry, and its alumni are active internationally. Berklee was the only chance I had to make my musical dreams come true.
What’s your favorite part about studying at Berklee?
I share the stage with students from all over the world. When music is a universal language that we all know and speak, barriers are broken and friendships are made. Performing with my best friends from places like Poland, Malaysia, Tahiti, and India showed me the uniting power of music.
What’s the hardest part about studying at Berklee?
When so many opportunities are offered, I feared that I was missing out on opportunities that other students were taking. All Berklee students are at different stages in their musicianship, and we should focus on the “stages” where we perform best. Berklee has a magical effect that directs students to their best stage.
What has been your favorite part of Berklee?
I attribute most of my favorite times at Berklee to the student employment and work-study opportunities. I started working my first year as an usher at the Berklee Performance Center. By the end of my second year, I worked for Live Nation as event staff. The hands-on, “real life” training I received at the performance center qualified me to work for the leading promoter for concerts worldwide!
How do you think Berklee will help in what you want to do next?
Berklee expanded my knowledge in many outlets of the music industry. I have a workable resume, cover letter, website, portfolio, and connections to alumni/recruiters working at various industry leaders like Live Nation and Apple Music. I feel prepared to pursue a job after college and confident that I have a chance to land one.
Where do you imagine yourself in 10 years?
After studying Music Business/Entrepreneurship, I have a strong business plan and marketing tools to start my own business. I hope to someday bring the magic of Berklee back home to Ohio, providing less-privileged students with the musical opportunities I was given via a musical training school. No matter what I do, I plan to give back to the places that gave me so much.