Meeting Topic: CRAS Grad Panel
Moderator Name: David Kohr
Speaker Name: Eli Smith (CRAS Grad 2014), Ben Alvarez (CRAS Grad 2014), Alva Valencia (CRAS Grad 2014)
Other business or activities at the meeting: Conversation between CRAS Internship coordinator Becky and CRAS grads, followed by a open floor Q/A by the attending students.
Meeting Location: Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences 1205 N. Fiesta Blvd Gilbert Az
On April 25th, 2019, AES at CRAS held another Grad panel with members including Eli Smith of Clear Lake/Fever Recording Studios, Ben Alvarez of Saltmine Studios, and Alva Valencia, a video operations/LED specialist. The three members of the panel elaborated on their journey so far since their departure from CRAS, each of them having very different paths taken. Eli, coming from a background in booking gigs for his band, and involving himself in his dad's at home studio, started his journey after CRAS interning for legendary mix engineer Chris Lorde Alge. Once done with this position, he was involved in a private studio out of a mansion, finally landing at Clear Lake, which he manages now. Ben came to CRAS with experience making beats, looking to hone in on his craft of creating music. Once graduating, his was offered an engineering position at Saltmine Studios, located in Mesa, Arizona. Alva, already having 2 job positions within the audio industry before graduating CRAS, is now involved with audio and video for companies including Apple, Adobe, and Nationwide. Alva had great advice about fighting adversities, saying how he faced plenty in his career before finally reaching a point of comfortability in the audio industry. Once the CRAS graduates finished with the discussion portion of the panel, the floor was left open for any of the attending students to ask questions that they personally had for the three CRAS alumni. Some of these questions ranged from "How do you fight the negativity within our industry?" to "How would you recommend someone should prepare for interviews within the studio realm, as well as corporate and live sound?" The panel had plenty to respond with when confronted with the questions, Eli stating "you need to find a balance in your life. Working on the technical side of our industry can be rewarding and beneficial, but don't forget the main reason we came into this industry, because we love it." To add to the Q/A, the question "What advice would you give yourself as a student?" was asked. Alva responds "Be ready for failure. Accept that it is going to happen, and keep and open, positive mindset through your journey." The panel ended with the grads all agreeing "do not get discouraged. Your path could change multiple times, but you have to believe that you are always where you should be in life".
Written By: CRAS AES Officeholder: Griffen K.