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Thursday 21 September 2017

Yesterday we welcomed back six recent graduates to talk to our new undergraduates as part of our annual Graduate Panel:

  • Mike Crab studied Live and Studio Sound and currently works for NEP Visons as a Junior Sound Engineer

  • Waz Godin studied Media Technology and currently works for Gearhouse as a systems integration engineer.

  • Pete Hill studied Live and Studio Sound and currently works for Arqiva as a distribution design engineer.

  • Boni Hima studied Sound Engineering and then completed a masters in Applied Acoustics; he is currently completing a PhD at the University of Southampton

  • George Hirst studied Live and Studio Sound and currently works for Formula 1 as an audio assistant.

  • Matt Lisk studied Live and Studio Sound and currently works for Arqiva as a sound engineer.

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The academic team and freshers quizzed the panel about their time here and sought tips for success. It was interesting to note that the majority had no firm career plans when they started University and that several of them changed their pathway based on the experience they gained whilst here. Most came in with an interest in front of house or studio sound engineering but then became attracted to acoustics or broadcasting. Of course some stayed true to their original ambitions!

The panel were unanimous that the freshers should take full advantage of the extra-curricular opportunities provided via the course. Their advice was to put yourself out of your comfort zone to broaden your experience and work out what you do and don’t enjoy. They suggested now was the time to ask questions and make contacts. Several of the panel commented that it was their work experience and industry contacts that ultimately got them their job. A particularly sage piece of advice was to keep a log of work experience to include the company, contact names and your role – they advised that it was too easy to put a company on a CV and then not remember the details when asked about it at interview.

The academic team were interested in the topics that the panel felt were irrelevant during their degree but had since found to be particularly useful. The answer was not a surprise and included digital principles, networking, computing and media formats. The panel said it was easy to switch off during dry or confusing topics but they were often the most valuable insights so it was important to persevere. They described ‘penny drop’ moments when the information suddenly makes complete sense – often towards the end of units or when tackling real problems months later. There was also quite a discussion around the importance of planning and professional skills; Matt suggested these aspects formed 90% of most tasks. The students were advised that they had to be able to work in teams and even with people that they don’t get on with in order to thrive in the professional world; one graduate recounted how he was told after an interview that they couldn’t fault his technical knowledge but they couldn’t see him fitting into the team.

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It was heartening to hear that the panel had all bumped into many other graduates throughout the industry and we were glad to hear that the Media Technology brand is extremely well respected. It seems will still have a reputation for well-rounded graduates that are capable of advanced problem solving.

It sounds like Mike, Waz, Pete, Boni, George and Matt are all thoroughly enjoying their careers. They almost literally beamed with a sense of pride as to how such small teams were able to have a large impact with millions of people appreciating their work. Collectively they’ve worked on 5G bandwidth repacking, DAB local service upgrades, the build and test of systems, noise control for a major hotel chain as well as high-profile television such as F1, I’m a Celebrity, Britain’s got Talent, the US and Australian Opens and Belgium Grande Prix. Huge thanks to the panel and their employers for given up their time.