The audio industry was the first career field that Full Sail prepared students for when the school started in 1979. While that industry has gone through some pretty major shifts since then, music and sound enthusiasts are still drawn to the many different kinds of opportunities that are available today. We recently spoke with Full Sail Career Development Team Manager Wheeler Newman about what it takes to get a job in the audio industry.
“A lot of people think that they’re just going to do an internship at a recording studio after graduation, and that they’ll get hired right after,” says Newman. “But there are a lot of people who want to do this for a living. You’ve really got to make yourself indispensable and go above and beyond.”
Studio sessions may put interns in a position where they find that there’s a lot of free time – but it’s important to always be available, because you never know when you may be needed. Newman also warns interns about getting wrapped up in what may be an artist’s casual work environment.
“Sometimes when you go into a studio, the artist may have a very relaxed vibe. There are times when it even seems more like a party,” he says. “But when you’re in there, a studio doesn’t want to see how you fit in with the artist’s culture, they want to see your professionalism with the client.”
Newman also points out that life in a studio is definitely not the only career path in the industry. Many graduates will go into other audio-related fields such as broadcast, location sound, post-audio, game audio, and live A/V. Many entrepreneurial grads opt out of working for a studio and instead choose to launch their own endeavors.
“Some people go out with the knowledge that they have, buy their own home studio equipment, and start doing it for themselves,” Newman says. “That takes a different mentality, but we do see a lot of our graduates choose that path.”
No matter what path you choose, one of the most important things that Career Development recommends is maintaining the right outlook when working in the industry. “If your job is to work with Pro Tools, you should know Pro Tools inside and out. But staying positive and focused is also crucial,” Newman says. “The graduates I’ve seen who have that 100 percent, ‘I’m going to do this’ mentality are the ones who I’ve seen become successful. Above all, you really need to stay determined and positive.”