Gaining a Career in the AV Industry
Meet Dominic Jones from the P.A. People
I’ve been at Sydney’s The P.A. People for four years, having joined in October 2014 as the junior showroom assistant, with some Event Communications work thrown in. I moved to Event Comms full-time about 18 months ago.
I didn’t have much industry experience prior to The P.A. People, but I completed my Bachelor of Audio Production at SAE. I heard about the initial opportunity to join The P.A. People through a friend at the company.
A highlight has been getting to travel to some amazing places, including Abu Dhabi for the 2015 National Day Celebrations, Phillip Island for the MotoGP in 2017, and then South Korea for the Winter Olympics. I also enjoy the challenge of pulling together a job technically and logistically, talking to clients who are often unsure of what they want, and putting a working comms system forward that can do everything they need and more.
Technology is always changing and The P.A. People continue to implement cutting edge communications solutions. Most recently in South Korea we used HeilixNet LQ to use digital Partyline over IP.
There is a wealth of knowledge here at The P.A. People, with individuals such as our MD Chris Dodds, a pioneer in many areas of audio engineering with 40-plus years experience. The other members of my team also have significant experience in the industry. Although formal training is essential, on-the-job training and experience is invaluable and can only be gained from working with a team of this calibre.
We also attend supplier lead training events periodically.
South Korea was an amazing experience. Despite the intense schedule and some big challenges at times we pulled together a project to be proud of. Personally, it’s been a real eye opener to be part of a project of this scale. Linking sports presentation, results officials, sports officials and broadcast production together across some pretty big distances (catching a chairlift to install a keystation became routine!) would be a big enough job at one venue, so to be doing it across 15 venues simultaneously was a unique experience.
An understanding of networking is key. Try and grab casual work with any AV company and build your experience and skills. Practical skills are invaluable and it’s crucial to get real-world gigs under your belt to demonstrate that you can do the job.
Initially it’s best to contact companies directly and drop your resume off, letting them know what sort of roles you are interested in. The industry is currently booming and there are plenty of opportunities so it’s a good time to enter. There are always jobs for hard working individuals with a passion for AV.
This article first appeared in the September 2018 edition of CX Magazine – in print and online.
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