Like most audio engineers I first became interested in sound when I started to record my band when I was a teenager. I enjoyed it so much that I decided to do an undergraduate and then a postgraduate in Music Technology which gave me the grounding that I needed to get my first job as an audio engineer.
Time employed at the University
I started working for the University of York in 2013 when I took up a grade 3 role as ‘Technical Officer’ in the department of Theatre, Film and Television (TFTI), which is now the School of Arts and Creative Technologies. This mostly involved running the equipment store and the cinema facilities. However, as my main interest was in audio, I gradually migrated towards supporting the department's audio facilities. During the first few years of my time at TFTI we had a couple of unreliable graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) and so I ended up covering a lot of practical teaching sessions to guarantee support. This was valuable for me as it gave me some real world teaching experience. As is often the way, the department began to rely on me to cover teaching sessions on a regular basis and so when I asked to do PGCAP in 2015 the department was very supportive of this.
My next progression came late in 2015 when one of my colleagues left the department for a job in industry. This left an opening in the technical team at a higher grade which I took over. Then, in December of that year both of the sound specialist academics went on various forms of leave which created a secondment opening as an associate lecturer. This was excellent timing for me because I had already had a few years of teaching experience and had started doing PGCAP, I was able to demonstrate that I could take on the and was offered the position. I was an associate lecturer for approximately 9 months. This was valuable both for gaining more teaching experience as well as making the teaching that I was already undertaking more visible to the department. After the secondment finished I continued to do a lot of the teaching that I had acquired in that role and my role was changed to technical officer and tutor to reflect that.
My experience in 2015 demonstrated how important CPD training was for my career development so I took every opportunity to do training courses that I could. Doing this not only increased my skill set but also helped me to make many industry contacts that were valuable to the department. During this time I also started to look at how I could create partnerships with external companies in the industry. This resulted in TFTI becoming an Avid Learning Partner as well as creating different events and sponsorships and even an excellence scholarship. All of this was very useful evidence again when I came to request a second re-grade in 2021. This took me to my current role of lecture and technical specialist.