Q: When does CS start working directly with me on my career goals?
CS starts working with most students two or three terms before graduation, in a class currently titled Professional Life Skills (PLS). We lecture in this class about how to interview, prepare your reel and market yourself, among other things. We also schedule Exit Interviews with every student so you will be meeting one-on-one with your personal Advisor to discuss your goals. Also, additional time can be scheduled with your Advisor to review your career path and demos/reels, etc.
Q: What can CS do for me?
Our goal is to help prepare you to work in the professional field of your study. We help you develop skills that will make you more attractive to employers in a variety of ways. Many of these skills are taught in PLS, as listed above, and some are discussed in one-on-one meetings. We also post weekly job listings of present employment opportunities, volunteer possibilities, contests and events. When you start applying for positions, we provide you with inside information if possible, and in some cases can put in a good word for you or help “open the door.”
Keep in mind, however, that we can only open the door, but you must walk through it. You will need to work hard to prepare your work and yourself to be presented in a professional manner. This is the entertainment industry, and the market is very competitive, which means our students have to work very hard at developing themselves as well.
Q: How early should I schedule an appointment to talk to CS?
As you can imagine, we’re constantly juggling the needs of graduates and employers in CS. While we applaud your initiative at wanting to get started, please keep in mind that our primary focus is assisting students very close to graduation and those who have recently graduated. We often have reel reviews, email exchanges, and phone calls with students actively searching for jobs. I’m sure the majority of you will appreciate this focus most when you are in the job market too!
Your assistance is appreciated in utilizing the PLS class time to begin scheduling appointments with us, though we encourage you to frequently attend the CS Workshops as well. Of course, if you have any personal or pressing issues we are available to meet with you. Simply send us an email with the nature of your issue and we will schedule the necessary appointment.
Q: I’m more than six months from graduation, but I’d love to hear industry updates and get a chance to ask CS a few questions, how can I do that?
We hold frequent CS events, such as: Student Meet & Greets, Ex’pert Series, and Workshops, which are great events to attend to hear what’s current in the market and ask us questions. Some events are very focused by program and level, but many are geared for students who are just starting school, and are welcomed to come and participate. Each time we will try to present a different focus: graduate and industry guest speakers, trade show information and industry affiliation associations, etc. It’s also a good way to introduce yourself and have access to our department early in your school career. Workshop dates will be posted around campus, on the student website, and sent out in email blasts.
In addition, we hold weekly Open Office Hours (schedule permitting, click to view current office hours). For Shiloh, you may drop by and she will meet with you on a first-come-first-serve basis. Shiloh also makes class visits to talk to students and answer questions, so start your lists!
Q: I don’t know what I want to do when I leave school, can CS help me decide?
This is, of course, completely dependent on where you are in the program. If you are close to graduation, we are working with you and advising you often. If you are 6 months or more away, this is going to be a question best suited for your instructors. When you are still learning and developing technical skills it’s going to be much easier for your teachers to work with you on this topic – especially if you have very little or no rough work to show. Talk to your instructors about where they think your talents lie, and be open to their feedback.
Q: I often hear the phrase, “CS views you from an employer’s perspective,” what does that mean?
It’s very simple. We treat our interactions with you as though you are a candidate for a job with us. That means if you forget about a meeting with us or are late, you just missed a job interview. If you send us an email quickly typed full of misspellings and grammar errors, you just sent that email to a potential employer. Please note that if you behave in a casual or cavalier manner and/or are not being proactive in your job development and search process, it will be noted.
Keep in mind that we have the reputation of this school to uphold and business relationships to maintain, and we cannot do that if we are sending our employers candidates who are late, sloppy, or ill-prepared. It only takes one student’s bad behavior to convince an employer that Ex’pression students are not up to their standards, thus burning a bridge for all students who follow.
Q: I understand that there are CS standards and procedures. What will be expected of me regarding industry/employer related issues?
Our goal of developing industry relation contacts and building trusting relationships that may lead to networking or employment opportunities is based on “professionalism.” Developing these relationships can take place over a span of many years and are considered one of our most highly valued treasures. With this in mind, we encourage all students to be respectful of others when interacting with these contacts by representing themselves, and our school, in the most professional and positive light. One person can hurt the chances of many and discourage an employer from returning.
Our CS Policy has been created to assure that we are all on the same path toward success and will be shared with you during the PLS course. Professionalism and communication are key as you begin expanding your networking circles and increase your job search potential.
Q: Should I tell CS where I am applying? And when I get employment?
Of course! Strong communication is of the utmost importance and will benefit you as you continue along your career path. We always want to know where you are applying in case we can put in a good word for you. We also have contact information for some companies to assist you in putting a name on your cover letter. Keep in mind that in some cases we might be selective as to which graduate we personally recommend for each company – we work very hard to match up our employers with graduates that will be a good fit so they will continue to offer us opportunities. Sometimes we may make a recommendation for changes on your resume depending on which positions you intend to pursue. Keep us informed by emailing us your bi-weekly with your updated Job Tracking Spreadsheet
Once you get employment, please let us know where you are and what you are doing. Not only do we love to brag about you, but the more updated our records are, the better we can communicate with potential employers about graduates working with them or other similar companies. Remember, employers are not only seeking fresh graduates. They also reach out to us for referrals of more experienced candidates as well and this could be YOU! As a recognized networking hub, we pride ourselves in collecting employment data (confidentially) from all graduates that could later benefit you as you continue along your career path. In many cases, the CS has been in the position to influence a hiring rate with an employer, keeping them competitive with the job market. Keep us updated by filling out the Employment Verification Form.
Q: I am considering relocating and wonder if this is a good choice for me? Where am I more likely to find employment?
When considering relocation to find work it is important to note that this is a very individual choice that depends on many factors unique to your own personal situation including: finances, location, cost of living in the area, transportation and of course, job availability and wage, etc. We discourage you from accepting any position before “closely examining” your own individual situation and skill-set required that is relevant to the job. Be realistic when making the choice to relocate!
It is a well known fact that industry work is generally more abundant in highly concentrated entertainment industry areas. Research is the best solution for finding an appropriate place to begin your career. We will help by providing you with research materials and suggestions that could compliment the job field and location you are seeking. Reading job postings from a particular area can help you gain a better understanding of availability, job requirements and wage information.
Q: I saw a job listing that I’m interested in, who should I talk to about that? And can I apply if I’m not about to graduate?
Please see one of our Advisors for more information. Some of the jobs are part-time or freelance, and may be appropriate for students still in school. We will give you information on those jobs, but keep in mind that you need to juggle that and your schoolwork in a demanding program.
Q: What is the value of an internship or externship?
CS will continue to present these opportunities to students when they come across our desk. However, employers who offer unpaid internships require that the intern be receiving school credit, so please check with your potential employer and verify. For more information about the externship program and to view the externship listings we are aware of click here. Any further questions may be submitted to your Program Director.
Q: I hear there are The Ex’pert Series events on-campus. What are these events and why should I attend?
The Ex’pert Series events at Ex’pression College are an invaluable experience. Approximately 4 times within a year high profile industry professionals, representing a variety of audio related fields, will join us as our guests right here on campus. This is your chance to attend their presentations in a casual, yet inspirational setting. You will learn more about the real world and might have a chance for a one-on-one meeting with our guests. Here you will be able to exercise your networking options to the fullest. While this is a non-credit event, your participation is expected and noted since it can impact your career path.
Q: I have noticed that a lot of students are joining industry affiliations. What are they and why is this important to me?
There are many primary audio and visual organizations that provide a respected voice for a particular field within the audio industry. Among others, educational support is high on the list of each of these organizations, so they offer an opportunity for student memberships.
Each of these organizations has a different focus. Student memberships are highly recommended and offer an entry point into the professional world of choice. They will allow students to begin their networking and learning quest in the early stages of their education for an annual membership fee of approximately $25. You can never start too early.
You will find that staff and faculty are taking the same advantage and recognize the importance of socializing and networking with professionals at industry events. See the CS team with your questions or for membership assistance. You may find direct links to membership pages here.