Fall 2006 - This is a picture of me with one of my interns, Matt Inskeep.
Accomplishment comes in almost all fields or projects that are worth pursuing. It works hand in hand with attitude. The strongest feelings of accomplishment usually come from investing a great deal of time – as in work – to reach whatever goal is being chased.
At Specs Howard, our accomplishments come in many forms. One such form (and perhaps the most important one) is helping others to reach their career goals. Not every student is a success story right off the bat. It can take work, not just on the students’ part but also on the instructors! Some students, however, that may NOT seem as promising in the beginning surprise us.
Something one of us on staff may have said, OR something they learned for themselves, OR the feeling of accomplishment they felt upon completing a project that was difficult, got them excited about the field we’ve made our lifetime passion.
Accomplishment that comes from self-achieving is one of the best types.
The pay-off for a teacher in any field is a student who succeeds THEN comes back years later to thank an instructor. We see this happen on a regular basis at Specs Howard. It’s not just marketing hype!
As a broadcast engineer, major and minor accomplishments include completing a studio upgrade project and having everything work perfectly the first time we throw the switch – can be a mentally rewarding. At Specs Howard, with more studios under one roof than most engineers may face in decades of work, I find ways to make each renovation just a tiny bit better than the last one.
Technology advances on almost a daily basis, and gradually integrating some of it into our facility is exciting to me. Feelings of accomplishment creep in when I realize I made Studio #20 just a little better than Studio #21. Maybe only I will notice the difference, but that doesn’t matter. Other times the difference is significant enough that I can report on it in Radio Guide or share it with a student or instructor who may be interested in that new “feature,” however minor it may be.
In an on-the-air environment, hearing something on your car radio that sounds the way it sounds only because you MADE it sound that way yields strong feelings of accomplishment. I’ve experienced that many times, and most recently, with the help of Specs Howard graduates, put the Motor City Casino’s “Radio Bar” on the air live on many major stations in the Detroit area. Other times, hearing a spot YOU wrote, voiced and/or produced aired for the first time generates feelings of accomplishment.
On a different topic, broadcast sales (basically the selling of commercial air-time) are no different, and it is an important field some students may over-look. In many cases it is THE PATH that many General Managers took before they acquired enough broadcast savvy to be qualified for such a position.
Working in broadcast sales (or any sales) is like playing baseball: You will strike out far more times than you hit a home run. The car dealership you’re trying to sell a huge spot package to may turn you down nine times out of ten. But eventually, you hit upon a combination of saying the right things that grabs their attention on the right day and hit a grand slam when they sign up for an even bigger package than you hoped for. Accomplishment is what it’s all about, in that case!
Not everyone can be a baseball player, or can work in broadcast sales. They may not have QUITE the knack or interest in being behind camera or being in FRONT of the microphone, OR building radio studios. But discovering just exactly what ones niche is can be an accomplishment in itself!
One of things we help students do at Specs Howard is to discover for themselves what their niche is, when they choose to pursue either radio or television or video careers. Students at the school are able to sample a little of both before they make such a determination. Some go in both directions and actually become employed in a combination of fields before they settle on one they prefer. Others may work in one field for a few years after they graduate then decide a related field is more to their liking, or a better match for their skill set, or simply get the right break at the right time. A student who remembered what their skills and attitude were when they first enrolled at Specs Howard who winds up with a full-time management position in an area of their interest certainly is filled with feelings of career accomplishment.
But it rarely comes overnight and it’s rarely easy. Also, we can’t work magic on students who won’t help themselves and put in the work and dedication it can take. But we CAN teach students the skills and that all-important encouragement they need to work that magic on THEMSELVES.