Meeting Topic: Careers in Audio: What's your connection?
Moderator Name: Jay Dill
Speaker Name: Eric French, WOSU; Eric Brown, American Sound & Electronics; Lesley Ann Fogle, AES Columbus Section Chair
Meeting Location: virtual (video available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pL-Ay5eYf14)
The second joint meeting of the Indiana and Columbus, OH sections began with a round of introductions from our panelists. Eric French is a senior broadcast technician and engineer at WOSU, which encompasses multiple radio stations, as well as TV broadcasting. Eric Brown is the general manager of American Sound's Indianapolis office, managing a team implementing a variety of audio, video, and other technical solutions for a wide range of projects. Lesley Ann Fogle rounded out the panel to lend her expertise as the internship coordinator at Capital University's music technology program.
The panel began by discussing the internship programs at both entities. For American Sound's internship program, the focus is on getting interns into the field ASAP. This provides context for the complexity of projects, as well what goes into a successful project; understanding the overlap between skillsets and interdependence of different departments is critical to a smooth project.
WOSU's intern program tends to draw heavily from higher education institutions, word of mouth, and even the armed forces. Interns tend to arrive with either musical or computer engineering backgrounds, and find homes in departments closely related to their background. Most interns are started with hands-on tasks that illustrate attention to detail and the ability to meet deadlines; this provides an important gauge of an intern's capabilities to move on to broadcast-critical tasks.
The panelists agreed that willingness to learn and apply existing skills in new ways are critical characteristics of a successful intern. In both programs, interns may find themselves outside of their areas of knowledge, so a teachable disposition and a desire to learn are important. On the job training is available in both cases. Diligence and reliability were also highlighted as key skills. Eric French also noted that trying new things can often lead interns to reorient their careers to different areas of the industry with which they had no prior experience. The panel also highlighted an understanding that the work isn't always glamourous, but everyone does what it takes to keep projects moving and the station on the air.
Discussion then moved to obtaining and internship or job. The key word from all was "persistence"; keep calling, keep networking, and make connections through industry organizations like the AES. Also important is researching your potential employer to understand what they do and how your skills overlap with that entity.
The discussion concluded with Q&A with the panel.
Written By: Brett Leonard