In High School, I attended a military boarding school in Oklahoma. Known as the “West Point of the South West”, the Oklahoma Military Academy was well run and had a good staff of former military professionals. I went back for the 50th Anniversary of my 1968 graduation in June of 2018. That school made me a better soldier when I joined the Army in 1969.
A photo I shot reunion weekend in 2018, 50 years since I was last there. The memorial above honors the Cadets who were Killed during WW II, Korea and the 21 who died in Vietnam.
It took me 6 years to get my undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Austin. I had the GI Bill, and I worked part-time in FM radio and television and I was in No hurry!! Who wanted to leave Austin in the 70’s?!?
I picked up an FCC 1st Phone Ticket and got an entry-level gig in Austin at KLRN-TV and KLRN FM Radio.
I was a “go-fer” on the PBS Music Show Austin City Limits (which is still on the air!) and most summers I went out and worked Pipeline Construction around the nation. (New Mexico, Oklahoma, Michigan, Alabama, W. Virginia and Texas of course.) As I finally was getting around to graduating I sent my Resume all over the country. I got a job as a VR (Vacation Relief) at NBC Washington. I was made a permanent hire 3 weeks after I started.
In DC there were always lots of cool courses on the various campus sites in the city. NBC paid for coursework that was related to your professional responsibilities. I took at least 10 continuing education classes over the years– from graduate programs in the area. When GE bought NBC– the CEO Jack Welch was a Six Sigma evangelist! So everyone from middle level management up was required to achieve Six Sigma Green Belt certification. It was part of your annual review! And it was mandatory! I moved to ABC on the West Coast in the 2000’s and ITIL certification was mandatory for tech-management there. I’m not much for mathematics– but I actually passed both (Six-Sigma and ITIL). I wish I’d learned them earlier in my career. Life-long continuing education is no longer optional.
After spending 20 years in the field as a Cameraman/Editor/Field producer/Tech Ops TD, I took a Masters Degree at American University in Washington DC and then I moved into management. The AU graduate program was a blast. Most of the students were mid-career professionals from around the city. I could not have had more fun in an academic program. They invited me back to teach in the Film and Video program as adjunct faculty. I taught one semester a year while working in management at NBC Washington. And then in 2003 I took a management position at ABC in Los Angeles.
Footnote: My favorite Media production “Learning” environment? Lynda.Com It is a part of LinkedIn and owned by Microsoft. Quality software apps and business process learning. If you’re not familiar with it— You should take a look.