For the last year I've been living in Kansas City. The reason being, I decided at some point during my time out in California (working as a Sound Engineer for an awesome company), I wanted to further my education in the field of sound. So, I enrolled into a Graduate Sound Design Program. And, short answer, it simply didn't work out. I quickly realized that I wasn't having fun and I was losing a lot of money by staying. It was the fact that it was a three year program that I just didn't see myself staying in.
Sure, attending Graduate School offered a chance to make connections into the field; but, one night, I sat back and asked myself what connections am I really making? I had already worked with a few amazing designers and directors in the Theatre world. I use one as one of my recommendations when applying for jobs. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that staying wouldn't benefit me.
Yes, there were a lot of things yet to learn, but the way we were being taught was slow and meandering. Most of stuff that was covered in my first year were things I had to learn on my own when working. After looking to the second year, I decided that it was indeed better for me to just move on rather than sticking to a program that I wasn't enjoying.
I feel that I have grown more by simply working than I ever did in school. Being taught in the classroom is all well it good, if you're that kind of learner, but for me the lack of hands-on work just wasn't doing it for me. I wanted to work on Sound systems, actually build them, rather than talking about how its done (especially since I had already been doing it in the first place). I did learn new things, but not enough to keep my interest.
I'm not trying to knock the program, and if it seems that way I apologize. Truthfully, the program is pretty great. The professors were awesome and knowledgeable in their fields. The program just wasn't for me, is the best way I can say it.
So, I'm moving on in life. After I made the decision to leave, I started applying for jobs. I quickly got several calls back and am now under contract for the next year as an Engineer for another awesome company (this time on the East Coast!).
I look forward to my new adventure!
I also feel like I should say, don't discount Graduate school. It's a very useful path to take if you decide to do it, just know that it's okay to leave if you decide that it isn't for you. The hardest part for me, in making my decision, was that it felt like I was giving up. And I hate giving up on things. I'm a bull headed, stubborn, person... But, one of my professors said, "You're not giving up." And, I'm not. I'm not giving up on what I want to do or learn, I'm just taking a different path to learning the skills and building my career.