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Job Opportunities & Student Success Stories Job Opportunities & Student Success Stories Issue #86 Author Credits: Liya Swift & Jeff McQ

BRIAN KRAFT, C.O.O. and Chief Academic Officer of RRFC, can HELP YOU LAND A JOB

  Here are just a few of the latest jobs & opportunities for RRFC students & graduates this week:     


  Click here to see full details on the jobs currently available. Visit the official RRFC Job Board for more opportunities, and check the RRFC Blog for news & updates!   Contact Student Services for more information on logging in.  
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When RRFC gets you in the door of a real studio, production house or professional kitchen, you may have opportunities to turn your “on-the-job training” into much more! Read below about a Recording Connection student whose apprenticeship at an up-and-coming studio turned into a full-time position!

orlando-header Student Successes

Recording Connection student Orlando Gómez works himself into a job!

Orlando Gómez

Orlando Gómez

There are two huge advantages to learning a skill on-the-job. First—it doesn’t feel like school. Second—you might just work yourself into an actual job. Just ask Recording Connection student Carlos Orlando Gómez Hernández aka Orlando Gómez, whose apprenticeship at Beacon Hill Recording Studios in El Paso, TX has led him right into a full-time position as a staff engineer!   Over the past few months Orlando has assisted on projects with B.o.B, Jake Lambo, American Idol’s Tora Woloshin, McDonald’s and American Express just to name a few! So how did he do it? Having a clear goal in mind from the outset, then working hard to achieve it was instrumental in his success.   A skilled guitarist who had already dabbled a little in audio engineering, Orlando was drawn to the Recording Connection particularly because he saw it as a chance to get his foot in the door. “I didn’t see it so much as a school,” says Orlando. “When I got into Beacon Hill, I just had to do my best to keep the work there… keep my job. It was more like… it didn’t feel like school. It felt just like any job where you always have to learn something new.”   But it was also school, even if it didn’t feel like it to him at the time. His mentor at the studio, Alfredo Gonzalez, proved to be a perfect fit for Orlando’s career goals. “I wanted to be both an engineer and producer,” he says, “and the good thing is that Alfredo himself is both of them as well… He specializes in music production and engineering, so it was a really good choice for me to get him as a mentor…It has helped me a lot.”   The real-world experience helped as well. Beacon Hill is a large studio staffed with engineers who have worked with major artists ranging from John Legend to Sting to Shakira. Since apprenticing in the studio, Orlando has gained experience working with corporate clients like McDonald’s and American Express, Latin Christian artists like Marcela Gándara, Miguel Balboa, Un Corazón, Evan Craft, and perhaps most notably, hip-hop artist B.o.B.   beacon-hill-3 “When B.o.B came in, we were all pretty excited since… the studio is actually pretty new,” says Orlando. “We’d only been open for a little more than a year and B.o.B was our first big artist coming in. So we were all pretty nervous, but once you are in the session, once you get focused on your work, it’s not bad. I mean you forget that you are working with famous people or renowned institutions…it’s great having the opportunity to see them work and how these big names do all their projects.” Hear track in the Apprentice Media section below.   There have also been opportunities to solve problems on the fly. “We had this country band,” Orlando recalls, “and we didn’t know that we didn’t have enough channels for all the instruments they were playing. Right there in that moment, they took a break, a little break of about 15-20 minutes to eat lunch, and we had to solder in a whole patch bay and put it into a console and all of that stuff in just 15-20 minutes. And it worked well, so we were pretty excited about that.”   Between Alfredo’s mentoring and Orlando’s passion for the work, getting “in the door” of Beacon Hill has paid off, as Orlando has quite literally worked himself into a full-time position at the studio! Alfredo describes his new hire as “a rock star” and says, “He’s a hard worker, trustworthy, and super responsible. Even if he’s done with his job, he’ll stick around and make sure no one needs anything.”  
Orlando Gómez with mentor Alfredo Gonzalez

Orlando Gómez (left) with mentor Alfredo Gonzalez

For Orlando Gómez, he saw the Recording Connection as more than just an opportunity to learn: he saw it as a chance to break into the business. As he treated his apprenticeship like a job, it eventually turned into one. Today, Orlando considers himself fortunate to have gotten in on the ground floor of an up-and coming studio.   “I feel lucky that I got the chance to work with a very talented group of people,” he says. “People there are amazing. We all get along pretty well and the studio is very good as well…I love being at Beacon Hill…I love all the people there. I feel really comfortable working there. I just feel we have a good chance of being a really great production company.”    
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  #86 – Apprentices in Action

Here’s what some RRFC Apprentices
have been up to!

Victor Smith

Victor Smith

Victor Smith, Film Connection apprentice from Athens, GA, had a life lesson in improvising recently at the Imagine Music Festival. It was essential to grab festival footage for his documentary, but he was without the camera he normally uses—so, using a portable tripod, wired mic, and selfie stick, he was still able to get high quality footage of the festival and interviews with a number of artists!   
Callan McClurg

Callan McClurg

Recent Radio Connection graduate Callan McClurg (San Diego, CA) just started his job as announcer at Point Loma Nazarene University. He’s handling in-stadium public address, announcing for PLNU’s soccer teams, and doing the online play-by-play for the PNLU volleyball team! Go get ‘em Callan!   
David Keller

David Keller

Recording Connection apprentice David Keller (Austin, TX) recently got the chance to try his hand a doing Foley work for a movie with his mentor Andy Sharpe. Together they had a blast getting super creative and resourceful with random objects to generate the sounds they needed.   


Dr. Drew endorses the Recording, Radio & Film Connection, and CASA The Culinary Apprenticeship School of the Arts.
Issue #86


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  #86 – Mentor News
RRFC Interview: Radio Connection mentor Jon Leiberman talks about how content is King
Jon Leiberman

Jon Leiberman

With a history spanning many broadcasting genres, Emmy-winning Radio Connection mentor Jon Leiberman is a broadcasting veteran in every sense of the word. After coming up as a TV reporter in local news, he moved into national television as a correspondent on the FOX TV show America’s Most Wanted. Nowadays, he can be heard regularly as a news personality on the Howard Stern Show on Sirius XM radio. Suffice it to say there are few who are more qualified to talk about the different aspects of media than Jon Leiberman. Talk shop with this radio pro for just a few minutes, and you’ll quickly see that with Jon, content is truly King.   In a recent interview with RRFC, Jon talks about how the thread that ties together his varied roles through the years is great content, and how he instills in his students the importance of building content first in order to find an audience. He also talks about how to deal with disappointment in the broadcasting business, and even offers advice on building a good demo.  
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  RRFC: So what first got you interested in broadcasting?   Jon Leiberman: Oh gosh. I have been interested in reporting and having an audience and getting content since I was in second grade. I used to do the morning news and stuff at elementary school, so it goes back quite a ways. And then I ended up going to Northwestern University for journalism school, and yeah. And I went right into TV right after journalism school, and the rest is history…I’ve always known what I’ve wanted to do with my life and my career, and that is create compelling content, whether it’s in front of a camera, in front of a microphone, behind the microphone, behind the camera. That’s what I like to do.   RRFC: So were there any early influencers? Any people you were watching or listening to?   Jon: In 1983, I used to listen to the Baltimore Orioles on the radio all the time, and announcers by the name of Jon Miller and Tom Marr. Tom I’m actually still in touch with to this day, he’s become a friend. He’s a radio icon in Baltimore and Jon Miller, of course, from ESPN and the San Francisco Giants and all that. So yeah, they were early influences. I love Tom Brokaw on television, all of the 60 Minutes crew, so yeah. I have a lot of those influences…I wanted to be a sports play-by-play announcer in the beginning, so I used to actually take my recorder and my microphone to the upper deck of Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, and I used to broadcast the games as they were happening. So that’s how much I loved it.   RRFC: Can you talk to us a little bit about your journey from TV reporter to radio personality?   Jon: My journey has been unique, I would say, to say the least, because I went from a hard news reporter and anchor to an advocate for crime victims while I was correspondent at America’s Most Wanted, to essentially a personality and an entertainer at the Howard Stern Show. And the only, the commonality among all of it is that I have been providing content for people to consume in different platforms. I wrote a book as well. In my mind, it’s all about providing content, no matter how you do it.   RRFC: What do you consider compelling content, and where do you get your hook?   Jon: Actually, I started my own company which consulted with other companies on just this, creating content and storytelling. And I always tell my clients the number one thing when you’re creating content is to tell a story, and to break through all the other noise that’s out there. The reality is people have so many choices right now that your content has to be compelling in order to break through the norm. And the way to make compelling content, no matter what platform, is to tell a story. People love stories. And that’s the advice that I give all sorts of young content creators is you have to tell a story, and you have to find an interesting hook in that story in order to break through to the audience…I always tell my students, “Why should my audience care?” You really need to answer that question when you’re creating content, you have to know who your audience is, and you have to be able to answer that question, “Why should my audience care about what I’m planning to tell them or show them?”   RRFC: How immersed are you in content, like looking for stuff, looking for ideas? Do you do a lot of reading?   Jon: Yeah, I read everything in sight. I want to be a master of my craft, and I do a lot of different things…I’m always hunting for, “How can we get better? How can we create compelling content? What’s the latest social media channel that we should be in the know about?” And everything like that.   RRFC: How is the broadcasting business different now than it was 10 years ago?   Jon: The reality is there’s just so many choices for listeners and for viewers, and there’s so many free options, with YouTube and everything. The entire business has changed with podcasts and just all the choices. And basically, the biggest difference is anybody can be a content creator now. Gone are the days when you needed to work for a major broadcasting company or TV station to get your content out there…anybody can create content. And yeah, the entire business has changed…But the first trick is—and what I tell my students in the program is—the first trick is to come up with good content. The audience will always follow if you’re giving them something worth listening to, or worth watching. So, it is hard to reach the audience, but in my mind that’s always secondary, and that comes after you have created really good content. Then you try to find the audience, the platform, and all that kind of stuff.   RRFC: How do you deal with disappointment in this business?   Jon: Here’s the thing: being in this business is 99% of the jobs you go after, you’re not going to get. That makes it all that much sweeter when you land the job that you really want. This business is about persevering, it’s about networking, it’s about talent, it’s really about hard work. It’s a combination of all those things. But, yeah, disappointment and rejection is a part of this business, because it’s highly competitive, and a lot of people want to get into it.   RRFC: Do people in broadcasting still need to have these “golden voices?”   Jon: I think it’s still important that we have voices that we can trust, that we can turn to, but I’m also of the mindset that anybody’s voice can stand out these days.   RRFC: Any tips you can give our students on building a good demo?  

“..be yourself. Don’t try to be somebody you’re not”

Jon: I would say, be yourself. Don’t try to be somebody you’re not, because that’s gonna backfire every time…The best way to make a good demo is to record yourself and then just keep listening to yourself over and over and over, and try to make improvements on what you hear.   RRFC: Did you have any mentors as you were coming up?   Jon: Over the years, I’ve had so many people who have helped me in my career. [One] was Ava Greenwell, she was one of my professors who was always pushing me to get better and better. When I was a TV reporter in Albuquerque, New Mexico, two long time news men there, a guy named Dick Knipfing and a guy named Larry Barker, were my mentors there…I’ve had a ton of people help instill a whole lot of knowledge.   RRFC: And is the kind of knowledge you get when somebody is working with you personally…is it different than what you get when you’re listening to a lecture?   Jon: Absolutely. There’s such a huge difference between learning out of a book, and learning from somebody who’s done it, and who’s been there, and who knows how it works…You want to learn from somebody who’s been there and done that.   RRFC: What do you enjoy about mentoring students?   Jon: I had a lot of people help me as a young broadcaster, so to me it’s just about giving back a little bit, and helping…I think [this] is a great program, because I think that it allows students to come face-to-face with real people in the business. That’s really the bottom line. I went to one of the top journalism schools and communication schools in the country…I had a wonderful education, but I also think it’s the people that mentored me over the years that helped further my career…It’s mentors that keep you in the business, and help you get jobs.   
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  #86 – Catching Up

Catching Up
with Brian Kraft

Gear Expo 2015

Ari Blitz VP Aftermaster Audio Labs, Dave Pensado, Herb Trawick, Brian Kraft, and Jimi Petulla for Recording Connection

An amazing time was had by all at the 2nd annual Pensado Vintage King Expo 2015 in Nashville, TN! Music, food, fun, sun and great conversation was what it was all about! Chief Operating Officer, Brian Kraft had a terrific time catching up with Recording Connection mentors, students and old friends from every niche of the music industry. Thanks to everyone who came out to show their support! We are privileged and honored to be part of such a terrific and invigorating community.  
Watch us on Larry King here:
Issue #86


CASA The Culinary Apprenticeship School of the Arts can get you learning one-on-one
from an award-winning chef in a real restaurant!

For more information, Click here!
  Martin Gilligan“I went to the culinary institute of America in Hyde Park but learned just as much during my externship at the Four Seasons Hotel in Newport Beach.   “As an executive chef I used to throw away resumes from kids dumb enough to blow 65k to attend The Art Institute and Le Cordon Bleu because they had no experience and prima donna attitudes. Cooking in the trenches of a real cutting edge kitchen is the only way to go.   “Students’ lack of experience, in fact zero experience after graduation and accumulated debt are what’s wrong with the culinary school system of today. Le Cordon Bleu charges 65k for 2 years of playing house! Conventional culinary school’s training is for suckers. Culinary schools are for profit and proud of it!”   Martin Gilligan CEC, MCFE, American Culinary Federation’s ‘Chef of the Year 2005’ Los Angeles, CA  



Check out this work by RRFC apprentices!

Apprentice Media



Quotes from Students: