I was lucky enough to have not one but two mentors. These incredible women taught me not only the logistics of my job and the industry, they also taught me the subtleties of how to navigate through them. I learned when to react and when to lay low. They gave me tips on how to deal with different types of people and challenging situations. I wanted to be just like them and emulate their style and poise. They were my education after my education, and they appeared at different times in my career.
The recording industry has changed and the opportunities to observe and learn from our role models have become more limited. Now, engineers are often isolated in their studios and the days of walking down a big facility’s hallways and watching other engineers work is fading. How do we pass on our great engineers and studio managers’ knowledge? We need more mentors.
I am a big proponent of education. To have the ability to study a craft that you love in a qualified academic setting is priceless. But when you supplement that education with the experience of working and learning from a pro that you respect and admire, then the education experience is amplified! So what can you do? Donate your time. Your knowledge and experience are far more valuable than you’ll ever know. Take on a mentee, speak at a school, produce an educational DVD, write an article or do a podcast. SPARS is proud to be kicking off its own mentorship program and we would love to have you join us.
It has started with a long-term mentoring program for students, recent graduates and other career-minded professionals. An example of some of the initiatives were unveiled at the recent 131st AES Convention in New York, Speed Counseling with Experts: Mentoring Answers for Your Career. Check it out at spars.com.
P.S. Thanks Elissa and Tammy!
Sherri Tantleff, secretary of SPARS, spent 16 years as VP of operations at Sync Sound Inc. in Manhattan and is now industry outreach manager for Full Sail University.