Sunday, May 12, 2013

VPA Graduate Spotlight: Bryan Thorne

Bryan Thorne is a recent Tech Graduate.  He graduated in Audio Production and Technology, with an emphasis area in Electrical Engineering Technology.

1.  Tell me about your work since graduating from Tech.

I spent a few months doing some very basic website management for a small financial news blog from Tennessee.  This experience made me remember how much I dislike working with computer code, and reminded me how much I really enjoy getting to work with audio equipment.  2 months ago I got hired by Bose Corporation and I am now a Validation Engineer with the Design Compliance Engineering department.  My official job title is Research and Development Engineer 1.  Nearly every day I just start smiling from how happy and excited I am to be using my skills and knowledge from my degree to help produce audio equipment.

2.  Why did you choose to major in Audio Production and Technology at Tech?

I initially was working towards an Electrical Engineering degree, but I quickly realized that I wanted a more hands on education and background.  I also had strong passion for audio systems and music, so when I learned about the Audio Production and Technology degree, I knew it would be the right fit for me.  I'm happy to say that this degree has brought me to a job that I enjoy.

3.  What is the most important thing you learned while at Tech?

Time management.  This has always been my weakest suit, but through the rapid-fire workloads and long hours in the VPA department, I feel that I developed this skill quite a lot through the last few years.  I'm starting to get some projects at work now, and I feel that the pace of working in a large company is something that I am fully capable of managing now.

4.  What inspires you?

The idea of endless possibilities.  Even on a small scale, every time you leave your house you are capable of going on an adventure.  I've seen so many people (myself included) that are frequently frozen by inaction.   The idea that all you have to do to have an incredible adventure is to take the first step is what inspires me to act.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

To me, that is an exciting quote, not a cautionary tale.

5.  How have your experiences at Tech influenced your current work?

Work in Audio Production, and the VPA as a whole has given me a diverse and well rounded background that is irreplaceable.  When working with a piece of audio equipment I'm able to look at it and interpret it in a wide variety of ways.  I can look at it and understand it on the circuit component level, as well as from the standpoint of a pro sound tech, or as a base level customer and music enthusiast.  I can also say that the deep cross-training is one of the biggest things that attracted my current employer.

6.  What is the most amazing thing you have done since graduating?

Finding my current job, pulling off the interview, and moving to Boston.  I'm also pretty proud that I towed a flat bed trailer behind a Uhaul truck all the way from Michigan the Massachusetts without any major incidents, when I'd never really towed anything before.

7. What would be your advice to students choosing to major in Audio Production and Technology at Michigan Tech?

Branch out and take opportunities to learn about as many of the areas of Audio or Theater that you can.  If you go in focused that you just want to do something like studio recording or theater sound, you may never learn that you have a passion or a knack for something else, like lighting design, or engineering, or composition.  Also, the benefit of having that well rounded background is something that I cannot stress enough.