September 1, 2023

2021 F.I.R.S.T. Institute Reviews

It can be hard to accept a compliment.

We’re told there’s a time and place to strut, but outside that window, we need to be humble. It’s good advice.

But there’s also nothing wrong with acknowledging the positive feedback that you receive. In fact, it’s necessary. You need to understand what people appreciate about your work if you want to hone in on providing the best performance that you have inside of you.

With that in mind, we will look at some of the 2021 F.I.R.S.T. Institute reviews submitted by our students, and break down the positive feedback in the most constructive way possible.

The Digital Art School Where Communication Is Key

Let’s start with some feedback from Kristie Knauff, a  Graphic Design & Web Development IDL (Interactive Distance Learning) student.

GDWD IDL Kristie Knauff

Kristie hits on one of the most important aspects of our school: Open and honest communication.

This takes place at two levels. The first level of communication is between teachers and students. One of the central tenets of F.I.R.S.T. is that our industry professionals give you access to all of the insider knowledge that you’re going to need to make it in the industry. So of course, putting that information into easily accessible packages is a key to our success.

The second level of communication is between the administration departments and all of our students and teachers. They act as facilitators, a much-needed buffer between the challenges of the real world and the sanctity of your education. So whether it’s about tuition, grades, portfolios, or career services, the office staff always has time for your questions and requests.

Speaking of career help, Felikoi Charlemagne pointed out:

General Flikoi Charlemagne

Career Services is something that, frankly, every student should be taking advantage of at F.I.R.S.T. Institute. Our Career Services department helps students develop the right mindset for being successful not only creatively but also professionally. 

From resume and portfolio review to interview preparation and job-search strategy planning, Career Services is here to help students bridge the gap between their education and career.

A Music Production School With The Beat Of A Different Drum

One of the strengths of our Recording Arts & Show Production program is our deep understanding of the end-to-end process.

This is summed up well by Solonanii’s feedback on the program.

RASP Solonanii

Before attending the Recording Arts & Show Production program at F.I.R.S.T., some people have a very narrow view of the recording industry and their potential role within it. They see us as a music production school and nothing more.

But it doesn’t take our students long to see the wealth of opportunity that successful completion of the RASP program opens up. The industry has tons of careers in audio engineering that span studio work, live sound, sound design, audio editing, and more. The industry is absolutely massive, and mediums ranging from streaming services to VR will only increase the scope of the opportunities that are on offer in the future.

Corey Bades discovered new aspects of audio engineering that he plans to pursue:

RASP Corey Badea

The era of hyper-specialization is coming to an end. We’d be fooling ourselves, and doing our students an injustice, if we didn’t look at the financial boons of broadening your horizons when attending an audio engineering school. Hyper-specializing in a single field can come back to bite you, particularly if there’s a fundamental change in the industry.

Attending F.I.R.S.T. needs to be looked at as an investment, and part of our job is to teach you multiple ways to recoup that investment! Otherwise, we’re doing you a grave disservice.


Not Like Other Cinematography Schools

Getting into the key industries that we cover isn’t just a matter of knowledge. It’s a matter of confidence. Just ask Greg, one of our Digital Filmmaking and Video Production students.


One of the side benefits to working with, and learning from, industry professionals is that they can walk the talk. Having someone with real world experience encouraging you and telling you what will and won’t work in the real world is incredibly reassuring. F.I.R.S.T. students develop a level of confidence that will aid them during the interview process, and when picking up clients for independent work.

Speaking of indie work, why should you have to wait until you’ve graduated if there are paying jobs out there that can leverage the talents that you’ve already honed? Michael Thompson talks about some of the hands on career development opportunities that he got to take advantage of:

DFVP Michael Thompson

We’re constantly on the hunt for opportunities that will help our students to flourish. That can mean helping them out with gigs that they source themselves, or introducing them to opportunities appropriate for students with their skillset. Sometimes the best kind of financial aid is empowering a student to put money in their own pocket by putting what they learned into action! It not only pays the bills, but it can be a resume and portfolio builder at the same time.


Building A Professional Network

Combining what you know with who you know is critical in the industries that F.I.R.S.T. covers. One undersold feature of the school is the professional networking opportunities that we can deliver to our students.

Gerald Jackson put it beautifully in his review of the school:

General Gerald Jackson

These networking opportunities start in the classroom itself. You’ll meet students that have strengths to bolster your weaknesses, and vice versa. Team building can start the same day that you begin to take classes. The bonds that are formed between students with similar goals can last a lifetime, and be a massive professional boon.

And Sindy Delepaz couldn’t help but agree, adding that the level of interaction with teachers and other students was peerless.

General Sindy Delapaz

There’s no substitute for learning from actual professionals, while surrounding yourself with future professionals.


It’s A Wrap!

Those are the highlights for the 2021 F.I.R.S.T. reviews. We know that some people will come to us just to take a photography course, or to take some online film classes. And that’s fine if it helps them to achieve their goals.

But we feel that these reviews prove that F.I.R.S.T. also provides real professional and financial benefits to our students that go way beyond the classroom. We’ll be focusing on enhancing our reach so that more of these real world opportunities end up in the hands of our students, since it’s clear that our students aren’t just interested in the process… they’re interested in results.