SPARS produced several expanded Ask SPARS mentoring sessions at the recent 133rd AES Convention held in San Francisco, October 26-29, 2012. SPARS produced small group sessions in room 132 and for the first time, conducted one-on-one mentoring in the SPARS Mentoring Booth on the exhibit floor.
The 33 year old recording association produced a two hour speed mentoring session on the second day of the convention, moving some 250 attendees through six career tracks in the areas of gaming, live sound / recording, manufacturing, mastering, sound for picture and studio production. The small face to face groups allowed students, recent graduates and other recording professionals the opportunity to ask questions and receive career advice from more than 26 of the most respected leaders of the industry.
The hall outside the SPARS mentoring room was packed prior to the event as participants checked in and waited for the doors to open. The next two hours were a constant movement of excited candidates as those participating rotated from group to group. The positive feed back and comments from participants and mentors alike are an indication the Ask SPARS program is a hit.
In addition to the small group sessions, SPARS offered one-on-one mentoring to convention attendees in the SPARS Mentoring Booth located near the main entrance to the exhibit floor. With the support of the Audio Engineering Society, the booth allowed two pairs of mentors and mentees to conduct 30 minute intensive career counseling appointments throughout the three days of the show. Participants and mentors signed up in advance, met at the SPARS booth and proceeded to the mentoring area.
The responses to both these programs have been gratifying, as one recent comment from a participant can attest, “I would again like to thank you for all the information you provided me. I now feel more confident in what I am doing and feel that I have a substantial amount of direction on what to do and what to work on in my potential path to success.”