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Alex Bilowitz put in the elbow grease to create a thriving career as a record producer, songwriter, and composer — and he did it all with ADHD. He was part of the team who wrote the lyrics with BTS for the hit song “Butter.” In this episode, Alex talks about what led him to his career, and what it takes to break into the music world.

Though he was diagnosed in the third grade, ADHD sat in the background for Alex until college. Being super organized and on time, Alex didn’t think of himself as someone with ADHD. But during his first year of college, that all changed. Listen in to learn about how ADHD looks different from person to person — it doesn’t always fit the stereotypes. 

Episode transcript

Alex: When you're working on a song in the studio, it's not like you're jamming. It's way more often that you have, like, four bars of a song on loop and you are fine-tuning and fine-tuning and fine-tuning. Like, let's just take "Butter," for example. If we're working on the verse, right, "smooth like butter, like a criminal undercover." And then you loop just that: "Smooth like but — " and then you have that loop going for, like, hours. It would make a normal person go mad.

Eleni: From the Understood Podcast Network, this is "How'd You Get THAT Job?!," a podcast that explores the unique and often unexpected career paths of people with learning and thinking differences. My name is Eleni Matheou, and I'm a user researcher here at Understood. That means I spend a lot of time thinking about how we find jobs we love that reflect how we learn and who we are. I'll be your host.

So if you don't know what BTS Korea is, do yourself a favor. Stop the podcast for a second and search "BTS butter" on YouTube. BTS is a Korean boy band. They're one of the most popular music groups worldwide and in the United States. Our guest Alex Bilowitz was part of the team that wrote the lyrics with BTS for their hit song "Butter."

Alex is a producer, songwriter, and composer. He's written and produced for artists like Megan Thee Stallion, Keith Urban, Gavin DeGraw, Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes, and more. I invited Alex on the show to talk about his ADHD, creativity, and his career in music. Welcome to the show, Alex.

Alex: Thank you.

Eleni: I think that we should start off by talking about the BTS Army, since that's such a popular thing. I will out myself to say that I know nothing about pop music in general, let alone Korean boy bands. And I don't think I fully understood, like, how famous this band is until I mentioned it to people that are, like, not into pop. And they were like, "Oh my God, that's huge." And I was like, oh, OK. Um, so I have, I have listened to "Butter" and I now know the lyrics basically just from listening to it one time ever. So that's how catchy it is.

Alex: Perfect. That means we did our job well.

Eleni: Exactly. Um, so do you want to tell us a little bit about working on the song, what that was like, why you chose the lyrics you did?

Alex: Sure. It's, like, kind of the picture that you have in your head when you're starting a career of what you want a pop project to be, it's this massive spectacle where every lyric has to be perfect, every melody has to be perfect. They're the best performers basically in the world. So every single thing has to be at that level. And every single person that's working on it is at that level. So, you know, it was, it was a blast — and it was also COVID. So we were all inside and the, the guys were, you know, they were involved on Zoom and like on WhatsApp and, and they have, you know, people whose job it is to handle.

So, like, we were never in the same room as them, but we were with them on the internet and, and it was, it was wild. Just based on what you're saying about the fans, I mean, they are the greatest fans in the world, truly. I mean, they make Beatlemania look like a, like an open mic at a coffee shop. These fans love BTS more than anything on Earth and I know that I'm grateful for them, and I'm very positive that BTS and everyone who works adjacent to BTS is grateful for them too.

They really are the reason why that band is just the biggest and best band in the world. Um, and you know, I can't speak as to why every demographic of BTS fans loves BTS. I know why I love them, but you know, the thing that's so interesting about it is that, and I didn't know this until I started working with them until I was fortunate enough to work with them, you know? I kind of assumed that most BTS fans would be young. And because when I grew up, boy bands of my era of the '90s Backstreet Boys and NSYNC and so on and so forth, it was young fans. They were fans at the time. They were, it was my age. It was, you know, let's call it 9 to 14 and that's just sort of what I assumed. I didn't realize that it was like, oh, there are 50-year-olds that live for this band, that like camp out and to buy tickets. And there there's 5-year-olds that it's really, really wild and amazing and extraordinarily rare. In any form of entertainment, you know, if you think about a movie that is universally loved between 5-year-olds and 50-year-olds, there's maybe one every few years. Same with television shows, same with books. It’s very, very rare that there's something that just touches everybody.

Eleni: Honestly, even after listening to the song once, like I watched the video clip, and I was like, "Ooh, I'm into this." I never thought that I would be into this.

Alex: Yeah, yeah. I mean, honestly, that's sort of how I felt. Having nothing against, uh, pop — I obviously love pop music. I made a career in pop music and there, there was, you know, I wasn't, I wouldn't call myself a big K-pop fan before I started working with them, but I wasn't not a fan. There were K-pop songs that I knew and liked, and obviously K-pop's explosion in America, this was sort of like the last frontier. It was huge all over the world. And now it's huge in America. And, and you know, of course we know what the entertainment industry in America does to things. It just, you know, multiplies it by a hundred. And yeah, it was very, it was surprising to me when we were working on it and with the guys and working with their label, I was like, "Wow, this is just so awesome."

Eleni: Well, do you want to talk a little bit about what you did specifically with, on the song "Butter"?

Alex: Yeah, sure. So, my contributions to that song were lyrical. I was a lyricist. I'm a producer and a writer, equal parts both. But on that song, there were other producers. I was one of the lyricists on it.

Eleni: And why did you choose the lyrics that you did?

Alex: I mean, we and the guys chose them because it, you know, it felt like a smash. Like it really, we just, I mean, we all thought it was going to be a hit. It obviously was a monster hit, and there were many other versions of that song before the version that, you know, the world knows. There were different titles. There were different sequences, there were different lyrics, and yeah, it was not like a group of people sitting in a garage with guitars and candles, like, jamming, and then we wrote a song one day. I mean, it was weeks of rewrites and we would tweak every single, every single word, every single phrase, it was just perfected.

And, you know, frequently we'd get to a point where we thought we were done, and then one of the guys would have an idea and then we'd switch it and go back. And they were usually right. There was only one part of the song that I really fought for. I wanted it to be different than the final version. And now that I've heard the final version, like everywhere on Earth, in every car and supermarket ever, I'm like, "Yep, they were right. This is better." Like, way better. Mine was not better.

Eleni: Well, it's funny that you talked about boy bands of the '90s because, uh, well, my first concert as a kid was Asha, so I heard that Asha reference and I was like, "Oh yeah."

Alex: Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Eleni: So yeah, as you said, you're a lyricist and a producer and a composer. Was music always part of your life?

Alex: Yes. My parents are both musicians. So my father was, um, a clarinetist and he played in orchestras around New York City and then became a music teacher. And he was, he was like the band director in a middle school in New York for 30 years. Career New York City Board of Ed school teacher.

And my mom was an opera singer, and she was constantly touring around the world and, you know, doing productions and, yeah, rehearsing and vocalizing and wearing wild — like an opera singer, like wearing ridiculous costumes and yeah, and she did that, she did that for her entire career. I believe ages, I think she debuted when she was 19, and she stopped singing professionally when she was 60.

Eleni: Wow.

Alex: Yeah. Whole career.

Eleni: And then were you always interested in pursuing a lifelong career in music?

Alex: No.

Eleni: What was your path?

Alex: No, I wasn't. The writing was absolutely on the wall. I'm sure that everybody looking in at my family was like, "This kid is doomed to do music. There's just no chance it's not going to happen." I mean, I went to, I had the greatest piano teachers and, and I went to performing arts camp and I was in All-City, and I practiced, and this was my whole life. I didn't play sports or anything like that. But my parents were very adamant about me not making a career in music, 'cause obviously it's very difficult. It just, it is. There's no way around it. And so, when I went to college, I went to Skidmore College, in upstate New York. And I went there basically because they were known for having a very good business program and a very good music program.


My folks wouldn't — they didn't pay for all of college. They paid for some of it, and then I took a loan for the rest but they were not going to pay for me to go to conservatory. They were just like, "That's out." No, I wasn't good enough to go to Juilliard. And, and like the Berklees of the world, they were just like, "Nah, that's not happening. You're getting a real degree in something from a real college." And so I went to Skidmore with the idea that I would be a music and business double major, and that when I graduated, I would go and I would work for a car company because I'm equally as interested in, I mean, I'm obsessed with, with cars, German sports cars to be precise.

And that was always the bond between my dad and I, it wasn't really music. We don't listen to the same kind of music. We don't like the same kind of music. So really the thing that we had in common was cars, and sort of like mechanics and engineering and racing and things like that. And so, yeah, he was like, "Go to this college, you can be in bands, but get a business degree. And then after that moved to Germany for a few years and do the BMW or Porsche executive training program." That was really the path that he saw.

Eleni: Which is also super specific and niche.

Alex: Yeah, well, I mean, he was a teacher, so he was very good at sort of like figuring out a thing that would get a kid interested. And I had ADD and, and, like, I had a hard time focusing and staying on task with school and studying, but I didn't have a hard time staying on task with music or car-related things, you know? So, I think he said, "He likes these things," and, and I actively did. So why not do that? I mean, it, it sort of, in theory, it made more sense than every kid going to a liberal arts college to sort of, you know, quote unquote, feel it out.

But in actuality, you know, then you have to go sit through macro- and microeconomics and, you know, if you have a learning disability and your passion is not sine waves, sine curves, like, good luck.

Eleni: Yeah, on that note, do you want to talk a little bit about what challenges came up when you were in college? And as you said, when you're studying something that, you know, you're not necessarily interested in, like, it sounds like the ultimate goal was there and, like, the drive was there, but not necessarily, like, you know, the, I don't know, present.

Alex: So basically what happened is I went to college, like every one of my friends. And so I got to school and I basically failed out my freshman year. Not because I was partying or, or doing drugs or, it wasn't anything like that. I wasn't skipping class. I was at class on time with my computer open, ready to go, with all my materials. And then I would go to the library at 5 and stay there till midnight. But to simplify the whole thing, basically what was happening is I was just staring at the screen. It was as if I was asleep. And I don't really know why, uh, I, I think it was because of my ADD or maybe my lack of interest.

And so at the end of freshman year, I had to go in front of the dean of studies and they were basically like, "We don't know what to do with you because your grades," I had 1.7 GPA. They were like, "Your grades are so bad. But, but you haven't, like, there's no infractions. You didn't like miss — " I don't think I missed one class. I mean, literally not one. I was there. They're like, "But you, you haven't gotten in any trouble. And, like, the RA, the person in your dorm, says that you don't, like, make noise or there's no smells of weed coming out of your room. And you're just, like, not doing anything, but your music professors think that you're this, like, great talent and they, and they like you."

And I had a band, and we would play and the whole college would come out and, and they were like, "So we don't really know what to do." I was like, "I don't know what to tell you." So they, they kind of came up with this formula with a professor who had really taken a liking to me that I would take a semester off.

So I took a semester off. I went back to the city. I had like a very sort of, like, manual labor kind of job. I was basically a doorman in a building, like, take, load up packages and take out trash and things like that.

And then I went back to college second semester, sophomore year. Not only did I have to make up the fall semester that I missed, I basically had to make up all the freshman year, because the only credits that I had from freshman year that were transferable or applicable were my music ones. And so when I went back to college, I had this loan, Andi wanted to graduate on time with my friends. So in practicality I had to do college in basically two and a half years. And I had said to my parents, I was like, "I'm not going to make it as a business major. I’m just not like, it will be so unbelievably impossible. And I, I just don't think I'll be able to do this. So I'm going to be a music major, fully."

And that's what I did. And I graduated on time. I ended up graduating with, like, a 3.4, 3.5 GPA. And I was in bands too. I would, like, play out every night. That's how I made money. Um, I would have, like, three or four gigs a week. I’d play, like, jazz piano in restaurants. And then on the weekends I had, like, rock bands.

Eleni: What a contrast.

Alex: Yeah, yeah. And so, yeah, I graduated in time with a music major, and in between my junior and senior year, a different professor had really taken a liking to me and said that there's this alumni named Scott Jacoby. He’s a very well-known producer, record producer, in New York. Every music major is going to try and get an internship with him. In so many words, they were sort of like, "You're the one that should have it."

He gave me the internship. And from day one of walking in that studio, I was, I was like, "This is what I want to do." It was so abundantly clear. And then I went back to school, finished my senior year. He had come up to visit me a few times. We were like brothers, we still are. And then I graduated from college and he hired me full-time.

And I ended up working for him for five years. We had a studio in the city, an indie label. We had an artist with a Grammy nomination, and yeah, I really just sort of clicked one day. I'm very fortunate.

Eleni: Well, I want to come back to, like, why it clicked and, like, why that felt like the right thing for you. Like, when you took that semester off, or when they were like evaluating your first semester, you know, they knew that you were present and you had been, like, working but the grades weren't necessarily reflecting that. Did that lead to your diagnosis? Like, were they able to identify it was ADD-related.

Alex: Yeah. I think that they advised to my parents that I go see a specialist. They were like, "This kid just has all the signs of somebody with, with a learning disability." And I never knew this, but my parents told me later that when I was in third grade, the teacher thought I had a learning disability. And this was in the '90s, and they had somebody come sit in the back of the class and evaluate me. Of course, I had no idea that they were there for me. Neither did any of the other students. The evaluator or the therapist or whatever their title was gave my parents a diagnosis that was like, "This kid has ADD." And my parents — and I don't blame them for this, they're great parents and very smart — but they were like, "No, he's just a 9-year-old boy."

I wasn't like the type that was bouncing all over the place. I was just staring into space or, like, at girls or whatever I was staring at.

Eleni: Thinking about cars probably.

Alex: Literally thinking about cars. I always make this joke with my wife where she's like, "Well, what do you think about when you're, like, going to sleep or trying to relax?" I'm, like, "James Bond." She's like, "No, no, seriously." I'm like, "No, seriously. Like, I pretend that I'm in Monte Carlo, driving an Aston Martin, in, like, a perfect tuxedo, and, like, drinking Champagne, like, I, that's what I think about. I'm, like, "Oh, one day I'll be James Bond."

Eleni: That's so funny.

Alex: So yeah, so they advised that I go see this specialist, and I did, and she was, she was very helpful. She was really good. And we sort of worked on, like, concentration tactics I guess you would call them, and exercises, and more so she was just somebody to sort of talk to.

You know, I had no problem putting in the work. Like, I started working in a garage when I was 15. I've been doing manual labor my whole life. Like, I worked at a garage. I was a contractor. I was a doorman. As a matter of fact, other than being a record producer, the only job I've ever had are, like, dirty manual labor jobs.

I never, like, had an internship at my friend's dad's law firm. Like, it was always, like, get your hands dirty and make the most money you can. So, like, I never had a problem putting in the hours. It was just in school, I just, I wasn't interested. And I mean, I don't think I could tell you what any of the books that the assigned reading, like "The Scarlet — " no. I can't. I, I don't remember. I think I remember one, I think I remember the plot of "Catcher in the Rye" and that's about it.

Eleni: Well, let's go back to talking about the studio. I'm curious, when you say it clicked for you, like what felt so good about being in the studio and did that continue to feel good?

Alex: Yeah. There's a lot of different reasons why people love being in the studio. I mean, but the first reason is that being in a recording studio is fun. It's fun. Like, it is, it's fun. It's definitely cool. It's way cooler to work in a recording studio than to work like, you know, in a cubicle somewhere. And it's obviously a lot harder to make a living, but it's fun, and there was this feeling of — and it's still, to this day — if you make it into the room, like, if you're in the room, you're at some level of talent or coolness. So I like that. And I also like the feeling that, there was a little bit of, like, an "army of one" aspect, 'cause, like, if you're in a band and the drummer is not any good, you're like, "Oh, well, our band's not going to be good because, like, Frank isn't good at drums. “And then you have to, like, kick him out. And when you're a producer, at least in pop music, you know, everything's done on a computer, basically. You're doing it all yourself. So I was like, "As good as I — as good or bad as I am able to get, it's all up to me." It's like, it's all up to me; I'm not relying on anybody except for, you know, maybe people that teach you a few tricks, but, like, at the end of the day, it's kind of like practicing the piano. You're only going to get as good as the time you put in or, you know, tennis, it's — you know, basketball is not an army of one. You can be on, you can be bad and be on a team that's great. If you play tennis, it's just you.

Eleni: Yeah. So I know that you talked about, you know, the days that you were in class, that, you didn't feel, like, physically present and, you know, I think the last time we spoke, you said something like, "Oh, the library is the kiss of death." You know, and you've talked about struggling with reading and books and things like that. So I'm curious, what's so different about the studio? What captures your attention and keeps you present in the room?

Alex: I mean, well, first of all, it's, I mean, it's private. So you feel like you're sort of, like, the master of your domain, you know. You're in your own space. Um, you're in control of the music that's playing most of the time. And the people that are in the room are like-minded. You know, it's, it's no one's coming to a studio that's not a music maker. I'm not, like, inviting, like, stockbrokers to come over here. I'm like, "You, you have Wall Street and all your money. You don't get to come here, and I don't get to go there." That's totally fine. Um, so I think that there's also a little bit of a feeling of like, you feel a little bit like a superhero when you're in here, you know. There's, like, a lot of buttons and there's a lot of, you know, when you make something really good and the room is, like, you know, people can't see me right now, but I'm bopping my head like we're listening to Jay-Z. Like, when they're doing that, it feels real good. It feels the same as going out and finding out that somebody has a crush on you. You're like, "Ooh, they like me. I'm good."

Eleni: So you kind of get that dopamine hit.

Alex: Yeah.

Eleni: Have you thought about how your ADD brain contributes to you being really good at this skill? Like, do you think that it makes you, you know, more creative or — ?

Alex: Yeah, maybe. I don't know if it makes me more creative. I mean, I know that there are a lot of people in music that have learning disabilities. There's a lot of, there's a lot of people here that didn't do well in school. It's sort of, in many ways the industry kind of encourages that. It's for the misfits. You know what I mean? Like, you don't need to, you don't have to have gone to college to do anything in music. As a matter of fact, sometimes it's a disadvantage, because you've lost four — you're four years older than your competition. I don't know if, I don't know if the ADD contributes to me being more creative. I mean, I really don't know the answer to that.

I do know that I get fixated on things when there's something I like, I just get completely consumed with it. And I remember thinking at the time, I mean, we're going back, I guess I was 19. So we're going, oh, I don't want anyone to know how old — I'm in my 30s.

So, but, like, let's call it 15 years. Like, I remember thinking to myself like that people with ADD were messy. There's something about that. Like, oh, people that have ADD, like, their rooms are messy and they're not organized. And, like, they can't be places on time. And that's obviously not the case.

There's, there's so many forms of this and that's not the case for me. I'm like hyperorganized and extremely reliable. I don't think I've been late to anything, like, ever. But yeah, when there's something that I'm really interested in, I get just obsessed with it.

Eleni: Yeah. So it has to be something that you're interested in and have — yeah. So, yeah, because I guess, you know, when I think about producing or editing, I imagine that it's quite, like, tedious, and you have to have a lot of patience, which I do not have. So it's interesting how, you know, you've talked about struggling to, like, focus and persist with certain tasks, but when it comes to this particular, um, skill set, it's the opposite. Just thinking about tasks that might seem tedious or repetitive for some people, for you, you are able to, like, really focus, when you're in the studio and when you're producing music,

Alex: Yeah. Well, I mean, I assume that most people know this, but maybe they don't. Like, when you're working on a song in the studio, it's not like you're jamming. It's way more often that you have like four bars of a song on loop and you are fine-tuning and fine-tuning and fine-tuning. And, you know, it would make a normal person go mad.

You're, like, how have you listened to — like, let's just take "Butter." For example, if we're working on the verse, right? "Smooth like butter, like a criminal undercover." And then you loop just that "Smooth like but — " and then you have that loop going for like hours. Hours and hours and hours and, you know, and apply that to any section of the song. They’d be like, "Well, I like this song, but I don't like it that much." And that's very common. So I don't know. It's just part of the job. Frequently in songwriting sessions, the method is that you sort of get a little loop going of, whether it's piano, chords, or beat that already exists, and then you loop it for hours while the lyricists, one or multiple lyricists, come up with lyrics to it and just looping and looping and looping, um, frequently with a metronome in the background, like, just going like click, click, click, click. I can see why people would hear that and be like, "This is adjacent to torture."

Eleni: Totally. Um, well, I know that we talked at the beginning of the conversation about, you know, the music industry being notoriously difficult to crack and, you know, your parents thinking, well, there's no way you could do this as a career, 'cause it's really tough. Do you want to talk a little bit about, you know, like, what were the factors that contributed to your success? And you talked a little bit about your five-year internship, but, you know, what happened from there to land you to where you are now?

Alex: Yeah. So, sure. So that internship — well, just to clarify, it was not a five-year internship. It was a one-summer internship, and then I was hired. I was an employee, like, hired out of college. So basically one summer of internship, four years of full-time employment. And I lived at that studio basically. I mean, not literally. I had an apartment with a bed in it, but —

Eleni: I mean, it's New York, so it could've been literally. Good clarification.

Alex: Yeah, I'd wake up at 9. I'd be at the studio by 11. I'd go home at 2 or 3 a.m. every night and then do that. And that's what I did for four years. Um, and that's what most people that are in the studio do. They, you know, it, you're here all the time. There was a lot of years where I barely made it financially, you know, where I was just scraping by. Um, there were a lot of years where I was like looking for other sources of music-related income, you know, where, like I was scoring documentaries or working on music for commercials or working on, um, you know, writing songs for projects that let's say were not going to make it to BTS or, or artists of the absolute top echelon like they are. Um, you know, it took a long time. There are some songwriters and producers that have a hit very early in their career. That's extraordinarily rare.

And there is no telling when your first big thing is going to come. And unfortunately for most people, they never get a big one. You know, very, very, very, very, very few people get to do this as a career and even less get hits and I, and I hate to say it that way because there are a, there are a million ways to make a career in entertainment and it's as it's as fulfilling as you make it out to be — um, it's, it is not all about the money. The gift is that you get to make music every day. But if you are playing the game of pop music at a certain point, unless you are, you have funding somewhere from somewhere else, if you want to make pop music, you basically have to live in L.A. or Nashville or New York, and these are expensive places to live and, you know, life is not cheap. So, um, at a certain point, it's art and commerce, like you've got to do something.

Eleni: So, yeah, there has to be a bit of a trade-off.

Alex: Yeah. I mean, I'm lucky that I have this, but I worked really hard for this for a really long time. And I'm really good. And I spent a lot of — I wasn't always really good. It took me a long time to get to the level I'm at now. And I want to be better tomorrow and the day after that. And I wanted this. Like, I really, really, really wanted it. And I really worked hard, and I can say, I will go on the record and say this, that I worked harder at this than most people that do this. And then, of course, you know, timing and being with the right people at the right time, of course.

Eleni: Yeah. And then, I mean, I think that's a really good segue to ask, you know, what advice you have for anyone wanting to pursue a career in music?

Alex: Yeah. Work really hard. I mean, that's the only guaranteed — and that's not even guaranteed either, but it's as close to a guarantee as you're going to get, which is, um, you have to want it more than anybody. You just have to want it so, so, so badly. And you have to work, whatever your version of work, what you think working hard is, multiply it by two, three, five, 10, 20 times. And that's how hard you have to work. And you're, if you think that you're a great songwriter, I promise you there's someone out there that's better. Um, if you think you're a great producer, I promise you there's someone out there that's better. That never goes away, nor should it; it's how you have competition. That's how you get good stuff.

Eleni: Yeah. Yeah, totally.

Eleni: So I know that you said, you know, once you were in the studio, it really clicked for you that that's what you were meant to be doing. And there's a lot of other people that don't, haven't even really reached that point. So do you have any advice for people in that position?

Alex: Yeah, sure. Well, the first thing I should say is that there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. You know, there is nothing wrong with maybe not finding your absolute passion and making your career out of your hobby or your passion.

There's plenty of people, probably way more than not, that the job is just a job and it's a way that you make money and then you buy food with that money and you feed your kids. And that's great. And the amount of times that I considered doing something like that in my career in music, I don't have enough hands to count. You know, hundreds of times that I've been like, "You know what? Maybe I should just go be a real estate agent or work at a company with a desk, where I have insurance and all of this." So I don't judge people like that at all. So, if you are someone that is able to make a job out of your hobby, that is the reward; it's not the money. And if you're one of the people that's able to make a very good living or, or, you know, become wealthy based on that, that's even better. I just — I hope they're happy, you know, and I guess that's really the best that you can ask for.

Eleni: Totally. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for joining, Alex. This was really interesting.

Alex: Cool. Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Eleni: This has been "How'd You Get THAT Job?!," a part of the Understood Podcast Network. You can listen and subscribe to "How'd You Get THAT Job?!" on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts. And if you like what you heard today, tell someone about it.

"How'd You Get THAT Job?!" is for you. So we want to make sure you're getting what you need. Go to to share your thoughts and to find resources from every episode. That's the letter U, as in Understood, dot O R G, slash that job.

Do you have a learning difference and a job you're passionate about? Email us at If you'd like to tell us how you got THAT job, we'd love to hear from you. As a nonprofit and social impact organization, Understood relies on the help of listeners like you to create podcasts like this one, to reach and support more people in more places. We have an ambitious mission to shape the world for difference, and we welcome you to join us in achieving our goals. Learn more at

"How'd You Get THAT Job?!" was created by Andrew Lee and is produced by Gretchen Vierstra, Grace Tatter, and Justin D. Wright, who also wrote our theme song. Laura Key is our editorial director at Understood. Scott Cocchiere is our creative director. Seth Melnick and Briana Berry are our production directors. Thanks again for listening.



  • Eleni Matheou

    leads user research for Understood. She helps Understood to center its work on the lived experiences and voices of people who learn and think differently.

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