Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Higher Learning - Touring Full Sail University

My son is interested in music. Making it, playing it, singing it. A lot of the "making it" deals with computer programs and things out of my range of expertise. He discusses MIDI and all I hear is "Wha wha, wha wha, wha wha."

Kaaren says "Press Play!" Discover Simple, Private Sharing at

On his own, he contacted and set up a time for an afternoon tour of Full Sail University here in Orlando. We took one of the Sunday tours around their urban campus. We were first in a really large studio where the nation-wide syndicated The Daily Buzz morning show is broadcast live Monday through Friday. After an introductory "hello" from school representatives, we were split off into smaller groups, based on the letter combinations found on our name tags and shown the areas we'd most be interested in, based on the students' preferences.

Above you see a studio lot being built, for those interested in getting a Film or Show Production degree.

Here we are entering another building, which has a scrolling marquee, giving students information on upcoming activities, presenters, etc. I did not take a picture of the ginormous screen above it, which plays news info, music videos and bulletins. Very cool.

Jake's interest is in recording arts. We toured classrooms, recording booths, voice-over rooms, etc.

Mixing booth dude.

Working with sound on movies.

Jake here mixes all the various sound elements for the movie "Bolt."

We got a presentation in another large sound stage, where we met the president and saw a video of all the people who had gone through the school to get jobs in the entertainment field. We also got a free lunch and met with his advisor, who was very nice and zero-pressure, since Jake is only a sophomore in high school.

There are friends concerned for us regarding this school. I love you and appreciate your concern. This school is very expensive and compresses a 4 year degree into almost less than 2. They only recently (May 2009) became an accredited Florida University. They were previously more like a vo-tech school; a very expensive one. I have heard the concerns even before, years before, Jake showed an interest in this school.

Google Full Sail and you can see people discussing the pros and cons. I did. Jake has 3 more years of school and really, this is the first if many tours we'll take.

Here's the thing. College/University is what you make of it. There are no guarantees that you will get a job in your majored courses. None. Zip. Zilch. It is all up to you. Going to a better-known University does not give you one iota of a guarantee that you will be doing what you went to school for. Do you think the University of Florida promised me a job in my field when I graduated? I wish. I have a Bachelor's, as does David. Neither one of us is anywhere remotely near the fields we graduated in. My best friend with a Masters degree is not either. Several relatives with degrees are not doing what they went to college for.

The entertainment field is even CRAZIER. I do know this. Film majors, musicians, actors, set designers, game developers, they have it even tougher. I worry he's setting his goals too high. I'm his mom. I worry about his future and what he'll do. He'll cross that bridge, etc. and as long as he has not made any whackadoo choices, I will be there to help if needed.

So for now, I am excited about Full Sail. I am also excited about my U of F and other schools we'll visit in the coming years. Wish him luck!

1 comment:

The Foil Hat said...

Wishing you guys all the luck in the world. Tim is interested in Full Sail as well. He's into the film/graphic side of things. It's so hard, all we can do is research and hope for the best.

Me? Degree in Journalism (which I'm still paying off thanks to two years at a fancy private school). Mike? Degree in Criminal Justice. Go figure. The degree helps, but it's not the end all be all a lot think it is.