Professional Sound - June 2022 - Page 36



For young people entering all facets of the audio industry , the right expectations , work ethic & attitude can be even more important than technical knowledge

This is for you , young aspiring professionals in the audio industry . Maybe you ’ re a student or a recent graduate from an esteemed audio-focused vocational school in Canada or elsewhere . Or maybe you ’ re doing it the old-fashioned way — making connections and bootstrapping it to get your foot in the door of the audio industry . Either route has its merits and that ’ s not what this is about . This article is about what you need to know – or more specifically , what you should expect and the attitude and work ethic you need to bring – to be successful in those crucial early years of your career . But you are not who this article was originally supposed to be for .

My original idea when planning to do this was to write an article for those older folks who you will be working for — the people running companies in the recording , postproduction , and live sound industries , who are hiring for entry-level jobs . It was inspired by all
36 PROFESSIONAL SOUND the recent news about labour shortages , and many conversations I had in recent months where people mentioned that they needed to hire more employees to deal with the influx of projects and contracts filling up their calendars as pandemic restrictions lift . And so , I was going to write about the best way to find , train , and retain young employees in audio . The thing is , that original focus morphed into something else as soon as I began reaching out to people for interviews . I realized that the onus ( at least mostly ) is not necessarily on employers to make young people successful in their careers , but on young people to take advantage of the opportunities in front of them . And a lot of that , I learned , has relatively little to do with technical skills .
My realization began when I emailed Lee J . While , a professor and COO at The Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology ( OIART ). He ’ s been teaching young audio students at OIART and helping them land entry-level jobs in the industry for 25 years . I figured he was a good place to start . We exchanged a few emails ahead of our conversation and in one he wrote to me : “ We were just talking about this and I ’ m not sure this interview is going to go the direction you are expecting .” And so , I got on a Zoom call with While , as well as Mark Taleksi , OIART ’ s live sound and event production course director , and Mark Vogelsang , the school ’ s program director for audio for visual media .
“ I was talking to another staff member here and we ’ re just having this this whole discussion , and he came up with a quote that he couldn ’ t remember where it came from , but it ’ s : ‘ You need to prepare the child for the road , you can ’ t prepare the road for the child ,’” says While . “ That ’ s kind of what we ’ ve been seeing is , we can ’ t make the industry conform or accommodate or bend to the expectations of the students . So , what we ’ re trying to do is more accurately align the expectations of the students with what ’ s really going to happen when they get into the industry . It ’ s something