Everyone was filled with excitement as students walked across the stage at the F.I.R.S.T. Institute September 2019 Graduation in Orlando, FL. We spoke with some of the graduates after the ceremony about what they’ll miss most about being students at the technical college.

The new alumni also shared their future career plans with us.

F.I.R.S.T. Institute Graduates Speak September 2019

When students come to F.I.R.S.T. Institute, they already have a passion for doing something they love… creating art. Our instructors work effortlessly to help them transform those passions into skills, knowledge, and overall, lifelong careers.

According to most alumni, their favorite part about attending F.I.R.S.T. is the small class sizes. They also truly love the hands-on approach to learning at the technical school. Here are what some of the September 2019 graduates had to say:

Anna Parks

Anna Parks is a F.I.R.S.T. Recording Arts and Show Production graduate. Her favorite part about attending the higher learning institution was the small class sizes. This gave her and fellow classmates opportunities to work one-on-one with the instructor.

The teachers intentionally made sure everyone got the current concepts down pact before moving forward. This ensures everyone stays on track.

Ms. Parks says her favorite part about the recording program itself was working with live sound for show productions. They learned how to set up a stage, deal with monitor mixing and front-of-house mixing, as well as ringing out systems.

With live sound show productions being their last class, Anna says everything she’d learned in the program up to that point all came together and just clicked. Live sound was definitely her chosen part of the program.

Now that she’s graduated, Anna Parks is headed off to work for Rhino Staging of Orlando, Florida in the show production field. She’s also currently working with people at River Bear Studios of Winter Springs.

Her goal is to get a job working for the company within the production and recording arena.

Michael Hughes

Michael Hughes also graduated from F.I.R.S.T. Institute. What he liked most about the Recording Arts and Show Production program was how hands-on everything was, especially when it comes to producing live shows.

The alumnus notes that they worked on the show production process for six weeks straight. This helped boost his confidence tremendously. His mixing abilities also really improved.

Getting so much hands-on experience, Michael Hughes tells us, was really awesome for his future career.

Eli Dukes

Eli Dukes graduated from F.I.R.S.T.’s Digital Filmmaking and Video Production program. His favorite part about attending the Orlando technical college was the people.

Being from Michigan, the graduate tells us there are very few people in his local area that are into the same things as him when it comes to this industry. He loved meeting a bunch of like-minded people from all over the country… even all over the world!

When asked what his favorite part about the film program itself was, Eli says there are actually two things:

  1. The Green Screen – He likes visual effects. So, he loved learning everything about the green screen and other related special effects used to produce video and film.
  2. Live Production –He enjoys any and all things related to live production, including multiple cameras, singing, dancing, interviews and other types of live talent, working with Q-Lab and more.

Now that graduation is over, Eli Dukes plans to put all of his time and energy toward creating his own sitcom or reality TV show. He’s even interested in working as a news anchor, meteorologist, TV host or any other job that deals with being on camera.

Tracy Walker

Tracy Walker is also a F.I.R.S.T. Digital Filmmaking and Video Production graduate. She says she definitely loved the hands-on experience the program provides.

Because F.I.R.S.T. is a technical college, there are no prerequisites unrelated to the film and video industry. Instead, students dive right in, working with cameras and other production equipment. She tells us that’s a lot of fun.

Her favorite part of the program was the hands-on projects, with her top two projects being:

  • The Short Film
  • The Documentary

Ms. Walker says the documentary project was actually fun because she got to do it in Cosplay, something she truly enjoys. The instructor allowed her to put her own twist on it. So, she’s really proud of that school project.

Currently working on a film, Tracy Walker hopes to remain with the company behind the movie project. This will help her gain more industry experience.

From there, Tracy Walker hopes to remain in the film industry throughout her career.