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Winter Career Trek: Arup

We caught up with Katherine Lelek, EPICS liaison for the MA in Sound Arts and Industries, and Radio/Television/Film Department Lecturer Stephan Moore about what students can expect from the upcoming Winter Career Trek to design and engineering company, Arup.

Students attending Fall Career Trek to Periscope Post & Audio in December 2016

Q: Katherine, you are the EPICS liaison for the MA in Sound Arts. For those who don’t know, can you tell us about EPICS and your role in the program?

KL: EPICS is the Office of External Programs, Internships & Career Services. The goal of our office is to support students’ career development and strategy and provide opportunities to engage with their industries. As the liaison for the Sound MA program, my focus is generating interest, facilitating opportunities and developing programming that interests sound students.

Q: Can you talk a little about the Career Treks and how they give students access to their industries?

KL: The EPICS Career Treks give students the opportunity to interface with professionals in their workplaces. Visiting relevant organizations and companies is valuable for networking, but it also gives students the chance to see the industry from an insider’s perspective.

Q: Can you walk us through a visit?

KL: Generally, the Career Treks consist of a tour of the space we’re visiting, a company overview and time for students to ask questions. We try to make it conversational. We’re experiencing what it’s really like; seeing spaces and equipment, learning about clients and culture and exposing students to the environments they can expect as sound arts professionals.

Q: For the winter trek, students will be visiting Arup, a design and engineering firm. Stephan, you worked with Arup a few years back and will be joining students on the Career Trek. Can you tell us about the company and about your work there?

SM: I worked with Constellation, a company in Boston that was building a set of concert spaces. We worked with Arup to create the designs for the concert halls. One portion of the company is dedicated to architectural acoustics and acoustic analysis of space. Arup’s sound lab allows them to listen to spaces before they build them.

Q: Even though Arup focuses more broadly on design and engineering, why do you think the sound cohort will still benefit from the visit?

KL: The Sound MA program is made up of diverse individuals with specific interests and backgrounds. Arup is a company with a design focus, but they also have specialists dedicated to acoustic space and design. For students who want to direct their sound design skills and knowledge of sound science toward solving problems for large companies, this will be a great experience. Arup offers internships domestically and abroad, so the visit speaks to students who might be interested in working in the global marketplace.

Q: And for students who aren’t necessarily interested in architectural acoustic design, what will they get out of this visit?

SM: Many students think about the obvious ways sound is used, but there’s a wide world of people working with sound in unexpected ways. Students might not go to Arup to get a job, but it’s more about knowing these types of jobs exist and that people can work with sound in that way.

Q: What do you hope students gain from the Career Treks? What do you hope they take away?

KL: Students benefit from seeing various professional environments, learning about a variety of roles, and networking with people interested in sound – this all complements what they are learning in the classroom. Ultimately, we hope students see these organizations and companies and get excited about their career path and development.