Welcome to the new Alford Media Series, “My Road to The Show.” In each publication, you will read a fascinating story about how a member of our team ended up at Alford Media! This month, you will meet Tanner. Tanner, one of our newest employees, is coming to us right out of college. Follow up through a list of questions as Tanner makes his way to Alford Media.
MRTTS: What are some of your favorite hobbies?
Tanner: Some of my favorite hobbies are playing the guitar and basketball. I have been doing both for most of my life.
MRTTS: Why did you decide to get a college degree?
Tanner: I went to school in the live events industry to become more knowledgeable before entering the field. I also wanted the best odds to make connections to continue learning. MTSU (Middle Tennessee State University) and the connections I made with other peers, professionals, and teachers ultimately led me to be hired by Alford Media.
MRTTS: How did you learn about MTSU?
Tanner: I heard about MTSU from a friend going there for a music business degree. I was intrigued by all the possible paths from this unique school.
MRTTS: What happened when you were taking classes in the Bachelor of Science in Audio Production degree track?
Tanner: Once I chose my degree path, for the first time, I genuinely enjoyed school. I focused on live sound reinforcement and found myself consumed by learning more and more about the field. I went to school for this career because I like everything about it. I enjoy learning and working with the gear, meeting people, and networking.
MRTTS: How did you learn best at MTSU?
Tanner: The things I learned best in school came from hands-on projects such as looking at gear, patching, consoles, networking, and even having concerts. I also learned concepts and terminology about common issues and universal topics in the audio field.
MRTTS: Tell us more about your on-campus gigs.
Tanner: I found ways to apply the concepts I learned by working for MTSU’s event production, where I would set up events that happened all over campus. I worked on various events - graduations, meetings, and concerts ranging from small backyard shows with student bands to hosting headliners in the Murphy Center for Jack Harlow and The Judds. We would also support more corporate-type shows, such as meetings for the school board and other events showcasing the newest building or internal department events.
MRTTS: How did you find Alford Media?
Tanner: I met Will Ullmer, who now works with Freeman, who introduced me to Tom Alford and Melanie Reed. It was my senior semester, and I was looking for potential career opportunities. The local Nashville companies never seemed to offer the learning opportunity and a meaningful career like Alford Media did. TA and Melanie discussed how much quality mattered to them and the Alford team. I wanted to continue learning with a company where the highest quality product is their standard and go beyond that.
MRTTS: What made Alford Media stand out?
Tanner: I was looking for a company that has a high standard and is diverse in audio and LED so I can apply my existing knowledge to new experiences, and TA and Melanie offered that to me. The fact that they made such an effort to come out to Tennessee showed me how much they care about their employees and the effort they put into finding the right people.
MRTTS: What was your first role at Alford?
Tanner: I started in the warehouse where I could get my hands on the gear and get used to the types of speakers, consoles, hardware, etc., I would be using. It was also an excellent opportunity to meet everyone working at the office and warehouse. I learned firsthand the relationship between sales, warehouse, operations, logistics, and techs. Knowing each position and its responsibilities makes navigating the company easier. Understanding how the warehouse functions, what cases hold what gear, and how they are organized helps me keep things in order.
MRTTS: What was your first role on show site?
Tanner: I was a Facilitator at a Department of State event. (Want to know what a facilitator is? Click HERE). A facilitator has to be resourceful and agile to make an event successful!
MRTTS: What cities have you worked in this year?
Tanner: I’ve been to Orlando, D.C., Austin, and Nashville. It has been extremely fun and a great experience. Traveling has also been a huge eye-opening experience for me.
MRTTS: Where do you see yourself in three to five years?
Tanner: I don’t know, and I’m not too concerned with that besides learning more daily about the live events industry. I like to stay in the present. I want to get on show sites to gain more experience and learn as much as possible from knowledgeable and skillful engineers. As far as the future, I’m excited to work with awesome people at a great company.
MRTTS: Last Question: what accomplishment are you most proud of?
Tanner: I would say graduating college and finding a fantastic career here at Alford Media.