Jia Manning: Graduate Spotlight | Recording Arts

Meet Jia Manning. She’s a graduate of the Recording Arts and Show Production program at Orlando’s F.I.R.S.T. Institute.

Jia spent three years as a percussionist during middle school. Once she got to high school, she spent one year in the choir. At the time, she had no idea that music was a feasible career option. In her mind, she had to choose a more stable career path.

Jia Manning Soars to Higher Skies

Over time, she came to realize that anything is possible. As long as you work hard enough at something you love, you can make a career out of it.

After high school, Jia started researching music schools in Central Florida. F.I.R.S.T. Institute popped up — an affordable school with small class sizes in the local Orlando area.

Plus, their Recording Arts program would only take 11 months to complete!

Jia thought it was cool that she could obtain a certificate in something she was actually interested in within such a short amount of time! She was super pumped.

F.I.R.S.T.’s atmosphere was very welcoming as soon as she walked inside the Orlando music school’s doors. She immediately felt a sense of community and family.

Expanding Career Choices in the Audio Industry

Jia’s instructors helped her gain a more educated perspective of what she could do, career-wise, within the audio world:

  • Foley Art
  • Making music jingles
  • Creating music for birthday cards
  • Voiceover work
  • Audio for apps and video games
  • ADR (dubbing)

These were career opportunities that never even crossed her mind before attending the Recording Arts and Show Production program at F.I.R.S.T.

Jia Lands a Job at Rhino Staging

One of her first projects as a F.I.R.S.T. student was learning how to wrap a cable correctly. She recalls her professor saying, “If you can’t wrap a cable properly, you probably won’t get the job.”

Thanks to F.I.R.S.T. Institute, Jia was prepared for her first position in the audio industry.

The graduate quickly landed a job, starting her new career in sound at Rhino Staging. The team at Rhino saw F.I.R.S.T. Institute on her resume and “hired her right away.”

This allowed her to transfer from living the 9-to-5 life into a freelance position. Her schedule is very flexible, enabling her to work on her personal projects in her free time.

Manning is fortunate enough to have worked on many projects and various big-name tours as a Rhino employee, with acts such as:

  • On the Run
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Taylor Swift
  • Kevin Hart

…and countless other exciting events.

Is F.I.R.S.T. Institute Worth It?

Attending F.I.R.S.T. Institute was one of the best decisions Jia has ever made. She says if you attend, you’ll feel the same way too.

For her, it was a very important stepping stone that helped shape the direction in which she would go with her career. She reminds us that F.I.R.S.T. also offers two other fast track programs as well:

  1. Digital Filmmaking & Video Production
  2. Graphic Design & Web Development

Both of these programs can also be completed in under a year. This gives you the opportunity to tap into some other technical fields that interest you.

All in all, Jia Manning definitely recommends attending F.I.R.S.T. Institute.