Author Topic: College Name  (Read 4024 times)

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allenah

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College Name
« on: Feb 22, 2007, 04:00 pm »
I am interested in how important is the name of the college attended when going in for an interview.  Will directors/producers look for experience or name of school more?
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dallas10086

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Re: College Name
« Reply #1 on: Feb 22, 2007, 05:18 pm »
That depends on where you're interviewing. I've named dropped my school here in Charlotte and everyone looks at me funny. But if I name drop in, say, Boston or NYC, they know exactly who my teachers were, what kind of shows they do and what kind of talent they churn out.

ljh007

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Re: College Name
« Reply #2 on: Feb 23, 2007, 09:02 am »
If I may... name dropping is name dropping, whether it's a college or a celebrity.
It happens a lot in our industry, and frankly reflects very poorly on the person who does it.

If you feel you got a good education, you should be proud of where you went to school, no matter the name. I know, an Ivy or a "big name" always sounds better than "Podunk Tech". But any good interviewer is going to be interested in what you can DO, not as much what creds you have. Yes, interviewers look for good training in your background. But much more important is that you do your job well. And you can do that without any training at any named university or program - many excellent SMs have. An interviewer who falls for the name game will learn quickly that it's experience over impressiveness everytime, hands down.

(The worst ASM I ever had went the one of the top Big Name SM programs in the US and worked for a top opera house after that. She was absolutely terrible.)

dallas10086

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Re: College Name
« Reply #3 on: Feb 23, 2007, 10:12 am »
And I agree with you ljh007. I should have continued on...that post of mine did make me sound like a name-dropping snob, didn't it?  :-[
I absolutely agree that experience should come first and foremost when being interviewed. The productions you've done, the amount of times a company asks you back and the number of shows you've done are all incredibly important.
On the other hand, the SM I replaced had worked several productions for my current company and I was told she never sent rehearsal reports. So references have to play a huge part in checking up on just how competent the SM is and you hope interviewers do just that.
But you have to admit...some interviewers are going to quickly assess your basic knowledge by the program you graduated from, usually because they're familiar with the program and have worked with prior graduates and have had excellent experiences with them. That can be good, that can be bad: I've worked with some brilliant people who never went to college; and I've worked with some real idiots who graduated from top programs...who I'm sure daddy paid off professors because that's the ONLY way they graduated!

Tempest

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Re: College Name
« Reply #4 on: Feb 23, 2007, 11:02 am »
I have actually been turned down for a job because the school I came from hadn't had a "big enough program and we want someone with more experience from a more prestigious school."  They told me to my face. 
I pointed out that since it was a small program focusing mostly on actors, I WAS the tech department, working on 90% of the shows in my time at university (including mainstage productions, student productions in the black box and house crew for huge national touring shows coming through), and, hence, had a lot more experience than someone coming from a bigger name school where there were more tech people trying to fill the same or fewer slots.  They just looked at me like I was speaking French.  Or Klingon.
So, yeah, it can matter.  And it sucks.  But the only thing you can do is suck it up and laugh at how someones scholastic prejudice has kept them from hiring someone totally awesome.
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MatthewShiner

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Re: College Name
« Reply #5 on: Feb 23, 2007, 12:16 pm »
My opinion is that two years outside of school, it doesn't really matter that much where you went to school.

Your professional experience will quickly overshadow any name of your school. 7 years after graduating from grad school - I don't think anyone cares where I went to school.  Now, they look at my professional experience.

I will admit, right after school, the school is important.  BUT, don't pick a school for it's name - pick a school where you will get your best education.
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Anything posted here as in my own personal opinion, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of my employer - whomever they be at a given moment in time.

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