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Advice on next steps

Advice on next steps

Advice on next steps


I have a bachelor in Mechatronics (Class of 2012), but since I graduated I've been working in the banking industry (IT side of it). After some introspection I finally came to the realization that what I really want to do is work in Entertainment Engineering (construction of sets, stages, etc).

I'm looking for advise on what should be my next steps, I feel like even though my bachelor is a related science, I've been working for 6 years in an industry that's not related at all to this. Should I go for a masters degree? if so, what kind? has anyone done this kind of shift before? Honestly I'm open to any advice.


RE: Advice on next steps

Janet...your interest lies in a non-degree area, so a masters degree would be a waste of time if you want to pursue. You can go small time for experience such as local theatre or local TV, or jump to the "big time" and apply to major studios. You need to be innovative, artistic and construction competent.

Is your mechatronics degree from UNC/NC? Why did you not get a job related to your degree?

RE: Advice on next steps

Janet - In the US, a masters degree in Entertainment Engineering is not an option at this time:

A relative has a degree in performing arts and works in that field in New York City. She has also become a stage electrician since it complements her work. A mix of formal education and hands-on skills has been a good combination for her.

www.SlideRuleEra.net idea

RE: Advice on next steps

When you have a very specific career path in mind you need to research the industry, define the exact job(s) that you want to be doing in it (i.e. company, role, title, responsibilities etc) and talk to the people doing those jobs and the employers who are hiring them. Find out from them exactly what you need to do to get the job.

I notice a lot on here that people wanting to make a shift tend to think they should first get the seemingly relevant qualifications and only then when they're qualified, start looking into getting a job. That is the wrong way around, you risk wasting a lot of time and energy and could end up working in the industry but in the office next door to the one you really want to be in.

Research on here is a start but you need to find companies that are potential employers - they will very often be independent companies contracted into the big productions. Movies or TV series etc have a limited lifespan, the structures and cultures of companies involved are therefore very different. There is not the typical engineering organisation attitude of grow and expand and plan for the long term survival. A couple of years ago I had a discussion with the director of the company that makes most of the props for Game of Thrones. That company was essentially started from within the production, when the shows success became evident and will likely dissolve now that the last series has been filmed. There is no long term recruitment strategy, no graduate development plans etc, its about getting people in the door who will get the next season or production across the line and that means you either start at the bottom where you are easily replaceable or you know the right people.

I do admire the move however, I design and make sets for a small time local production group, just a hobby but I really enjoy the work and would love to make a career out of it. Full of creativity, innovation and new problems to solve everyday, with an engineering background I can make things happen on the stage that the script writers wouldn't have thought possible so I get to really add to the production.

Declan Scullion CEng

RE: Advice on next steps

This company has an entertainment engineering division. I know some past & current employees; they speak well of the company.


RE: Advice on next steps

First off congratulations on figuring out what you want to do for a career and not just a job. Go do it and do it now.

Advice I can offer is think of which city and state you want to be in. Small rural is not sustainable you will need to service large entertainment centres. Research the industry regulations, companies and clients. Meet with as many of those people as possible. Also with any career you are not going to be designing the stage for the superbowl everyday, someday maybe the local carnival. You need to be happy to do the larger and smaller jobs.

RE: Advice on next steps

There is a consulting engineering firm near NYC called Mclaren which does a lot of entertainment engineering. They did a crazy stage for a U2 concert a few years back. They are mostly structural engineers.


There is more money in IT and banking though...

RE: Advice on next steps

Another firm in Cincinnati Ohio doing a lot of entertainment engineering with a current need to hire an entertainment engineer.


A structural firm at heart, like the other company mentioned above.


RE: Advice on next steps

On a smaller scale there is opportunity in simulator design either as stand-alone rides or incorporated as the 4th "D" in 3D movie theatres. One of my former colleagues worked in this industry for a few years and found the work fascinating and really allowed him to be creative

RE: Advice on next steps

AISC just posted this YouTube video related to the use of steel in theatrical and entertainment work, looks like quite an interesting field if you can break into it based on some of the case studies examined.

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