Featured Interview: BIRN Station Manager, Pooja Aggarwal

Pooja Aggarwal is a Professional Music major at Berklee and the current station manager at the BIRN. She is in her last semester of Berklee and graduating in December. I got the chance to sit down with Pooja a couple of weeks ago and asked her a few questions about her time at Berklee, her goals, and her post-grad plans.

Pooja is from Montville, New Jersey and is a voice principal. She has been singing all of her life, and always knew singing was something she was passionate about. Her parents signed her up for voice lessons when she was eight, and after that, she continued to sing and perform all throughout middle and high school. She was in her school’s theatre program and both a cappella and choir groups in high school.

Berklee actually wasn’t Pooja’s first choice for after high school, she started off her college experience at Boston University studying nutrition. Soon after arriving at BU she realized that she missed having music in her life and that studying nutrition wasn’t what she was most passionate about. Pooja then applied to Berklee as her only transfer option and got accepted. She transferred to Berklee during her second year in college.

What do you think is the most valuable lesson you learned during your time here?

“Always have an open mind,” Pooja said. “Not just about music, but about people too.” She emphasized the importance of not judging people based on their appearance.  Berklee is an extremely diverse place, and that is one of the things she believes makes it such a great school.

If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting at Berklee what would it be?

“Talk to everyone, don’t be afraid to get to know everyone you talk to.”  Pooja mentioned that networking at Berklee is a huge part of being successful and using your time at the school wisely. “Just because someone has their headphones in doesn’t mean they’re scary,” she added.   

What are your post-grad plans and goals?

Pooja wants to go into radio and eventually host her own show about music where she would interview artists and musicians and host live performances. She plans to stick around Boston for a bit after graduating and possibly get an internship. Her long-term goal is to move to New York and settle down there.

Are your goals and plans different from what they were in your first semester? If so how did they change?

“Yes, in the beginning, I thought I was going to be a singer-songwriter and performer.” Although performing and songwriting is still one of her goals, she realized that having her own radio show is what she would be happiest doing. She still plans on writing and performing on the side, and hopefully releasing her own music down the road as well. Working at the BIRN is what made her realize her passion for working in radio and that she is really good at what she does.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years Pooja wants to be financially stable, while also still living out her dreams of being a musician and having her own radio show. “I want to hopefully be hosting a show about music, living in New York, and making money.”