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VPA Student Stories: How Samantha is building her skill set

“The sound and theatre departments [at Michigan Tech] do a lot to help students grow and form connections in the professional world,” Samantha Palumbo, senior in sound design.

Taking advantage of her sound design major with a focus in productions, Samantha has worked on eight (and counting!) productions in the past three years at Michigan Tech. She says, “One of the great things about Tech’s undergraduate program is the Visual and Performing Arts Department allows students to work hands-on from the beginning… That’s why I love going to school here. You can have a wide range of jobs on different productions.” Samantha has worked a variety of positions – from hanging lights to being in charge of painting sets. After taking the Scenic Art and Illustration class, Samantha was the Scenic Charge Artist for Picasso at the Lapin Agile.

After building her skills at Michigan Tech, Samantha had her first internship at Ohio Light Opera (OLO) as an Assistant Sound Designer. Samantha heard about the position from her professor, Chris Plummer and peer, Charles Southward, who have both worked there in the past. The position was a great opportunity for Samantha to grow, as it’s typically given to more experienced designers. During her time at OLO, she was Sound Engineer and Playback Operator on three out of seven productions. On another three productions, she was Lead Sound Designer. “Working at OLO gave me professional design experiences outside of Michigan Tech, even before I took the official production design class.”

Written by Morgan Laajala, Communications Intern, Career Services

 


Ask an MTU Career Advisor: When is the Best Time to Start Applying?

Hello,

I’m currently an engineering student at Michigan Tech that will graduate in December. I’m curious, when is the best time to start applying for full-time positions? I started looking at Handshake but I wasn’t sure if it was too early to apply or not.

Thanks so much!

Soon-to-be Fall Graduate

 

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Hi Soon-to-be Fall Graduate,

 

That is a great question. Some recruiters will start making offers up to 6 months in advance, while others may be looking for someone to report immediately. It’s hard to say. There’s no definitive answer.

My best advice to you is:

Get your name out there! And be honest in your timeline. State your expected graduation date -December 2017- on your resume.  Address it in your cover letter, as well. If companies like what they see, they will keep you on their radar, even if it isn’t for that specific position.

Take time to polish your application materials (resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, etc.). Don’t start applying until they’re flawless.

Plan to attend CareerFEST and Career Fair in September, as it is a great opportunity to meet recruiters and start the conversation. In some instances, the hiring process can take up to six months depending on the job, company, and HR policies and procedures. It doesn’t hurt to get your application materials ready, do your research, and start applying.

If you need any help with those application materials, please let us know!

Keep us posted on your progress, we are always here to help!

 

MTU Career Advisor