The following is a personal look at my professional inventory as I move through my degree program at Full Sail University. This takes into account previous employment experience, courses and skills I will gain throughout the MCBS degree program, and what skills I may still require once I have graduated. It is all targeted at looking towards my future career opportunities, and the necessary steps in achieving that career dream.
What work experience do you have that is relevant to the media industry you hope to work in after graduation?
My greatest skill sets are based hospitality and customer service, leadership, and a varied set of organization and project management skills. These skills all incorporate some element of collaboration, which I continually work to fine tune. I have also gained strong written and verbal communication skills throughout my employment experiences. Working as a training specialist truly helped hone skills when working one-on one, or in a group setting. Most positions have also placed me in a position of working on a level as equals with all levels of management to accomplish projects, meet goals, or achieve results. This has helped develop a comfort when working towards creative solutions, and my ability to understand when it is appropriate to reach out for assistance. Through my work as a personnel manager, I learned extraordinary organizational skills. Weekly, I was responsible for signing off nearly 100 members of the crew and signing onboard the 100 plus replacement crew. There was always preparation required prior to arriving in a port of call and upon departure, so attention to every detail was pertinent to avoid problems with port officials, port agents, transportation arrangements or other unforeseen issues. The other element from ships that is pertinent to my ongoing future career was my ability to work seven days a week for months on end. Much like events, once it is underway, it runs non-stop until it is over, and even then a bit longer until it begins all over again. In all of my past experiences, I learned to be comfortable with leadership and taking the reigns when necessary, or letting go of that control in order to achieve best results for both a company or the client. Leadership, Communication, Organization, Project Management, Dedication, Attention to Detail, Desire to Achieve, Unfailing Motivation; these are the qualities I have found through my past and current employment experiences.
What expertise do you possess? Include hardware and software skills, particularly media design tools and any other expertise do you posses that will help you achieve your career goals.
In regards to hardware and software, I am readily proficient at both MAC and PC platforms. I maintain an intermediate to advanced skill level in the Microsoft Office suite, which seems to be a dominant requirement for any position I considered, even internship opportunities. My media design tool assets are limited, but as I continue through courses, I seek out various ways of using the Adobe Creative Suites, and take pleasure in learning the applications. I have also been actively working on learning Final Cut Pro, iMovie, GarageBand, and soon to begin exploring LogicPro X. In addition to static software applications, I continually seek out new web based applications for use in my projects, presentations or as enhancements for the tools previously listed. My logic is to understand the benefits and functionality of multiple tools. I feel that this knowledge will allow me to combine their use for effective media solutions. From the point of actual equipment, I have recently purchased a higher quality microphone for use in recording, and am in the process of purchasing a video camcorder to give greater flexibility to my media creations. I am certainly not an expert at any of these media tools, however I continue to expand my knowledge with each project or collaboration I am involved with.
What new knowledge, skills, or abilities have you developed so far at Full Sail?
Since attending Full Sail, my newest skill sets come from digital storytelling, creating small video presentations and becoming comfortable both on camera, as well as with my recorded voice. Working with a blog has also pushed my level of comfort in presenting myself to the world, an attribute that was not so dominant before attending Full Sail. I feel I have also furthered my collaboration skills in working with various teams, each of which had team members of varied skills, background and interests. Each opportunity to collaborate has allowed me a chance to take on a primary leadership role. This role has allowed me to further this skill set and form personal approaches to working with a group of individuals, all targeted at completion of a common goal. This has also dramatically improved my communication skills, and fine-tuned my professional tone when communicating with others. By focusing on using new tools with each assigned project, I have become familiar with most of the Google suite, iMovie, Final Cut Pro, GarageBand, Photo Booth, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Bridge, as well as dabbling with both Adobe After Effects and Motion. I have also used a number of web-based animation programs like GoAnimate and PowToons, each having unique elements to offer. Many skills in this area may be novice at this time, but in the words of Zig Ziglar, “You do not have to be great to start. But you have to start to be great.”
Based on what you discovered in your WK2 Industry Skill Set Analysis, what new expertise do you feel you need to gain in order to qualify for your chosen career field?
Reflecting on the Week 2 Industry Skills Set Analysis, it is apparent that many of the opportunities I look to be part of, even those considered as entry level, will require real world event experience. This feels often like a catch 22, but I feel can be overcome through a large variety of future internship opportunities, as well as volunteer opportunities that I am seeking as I pursue my degree program. It is also clear that a great emphasis is placed on both communication and project management skills, both of which I feel I have gained considerable experience over the past 15 years working in a variety of industries. However, I feel that learning more strategic methods to managing projects, time management and the creative process are all pertinent to my future success. Additionally, continually moving forward in my understanding of all creative elements that may be part of an event will help me in making appropriate decisions and troubleshooting situations as they arise in a very expedient and professional manner. It is also important that I take away skills in Public Relations and Marketing regardless if these are components I work with directly, or if it is something I help to oversee. However, should I move into my other interest of working with non-profit organizations, marketing and public relations skills will be essential to my success. The final element I would call out is further experience in the presentation of my ideas and creative work. All of the aforementioned skills and many others will be achieved throughout my time at Full Sail University. I look forward to watching my skills grow and expand, and see how the projects I am involved with will expand and push my boundaries.
Are there any needed skills or expertise that you feel will not be addressed by your MCBS coursework? If so, what other methods might you use to develop them? Feel free to share any online learning resources that may be of use to your classmates.
With regards to my current online degree program, the greatest assets I miss out on are opportunities for hands on experience with live events. Not having immediate access to working with other students in live events, lab projects, or immediate access to industry professionals poses a challenge as I move forward. Though most positions do not specifically call out the need for audio and lighting skills, my communication with event producers for the Northwest Folk Life Festival have made me recognize the importance of at least understanding the functionality of those skill sets. It is important to speak the language when working with industry professionals to achieve a smooth operation and assure all of the logistics are put in place. As such, I am working to provide my services in an internship type opportunity with Northwest Folk Life Festival to gain exposure to these elements. I have also identified an organization in Seattle called the VERA Project which is open to all ages. This program provides introductory audio courses and recording courses. Once the four courses have been completed, you become eligible to work on actual events to have real world experience with audio. This is something I aim to accomplish prior to the arrival of summer so that I can take full advantage of this great resource. I am uncertain of additional online resources, however I am working to take full advantage of Lynca.com while I am a student, and many of the tutorials on our newest asset Creative Edge, appear to be excellent resources to continually explore. For myself, it requires I manage a time within my week, strictly devoted to furthering my education beyond what is required in the online coursework.