Featuring: Michelle Ohumukini (Audio Technology MFA Student)
Why did you choose Purdue’s MFA program?
Through URTA, I was able to attend events exposing me to many top-rate grad programs. I narrowed down my choices to Purdue because of a combination of factors: venue, where the Hall of Music has industry-competitive technology and design, mentorship, looking at the span of experience between my mentor and the other educators in the program, and the program design itself, knowing that I would graduate prepared to diversify my talents. I was also offered a valuable assistantship.
How did you become interested in audio technology?
Coming from an entertainment-focused Hawaiian family, I grew up in the performing world. I did not enjoy being on stage, so my father asked me to help him with the sound system when I was old enough. I was so intrigued with the intricate workings of sound and the professionalism that audio technology brought to the show, that I decided to pursue that career. Now, I’m at Purdue and my surreal journey to receive my MFA in May is almost complete.
What is your favorite production you’ve worked on at Purdue?
My terminal project, Cabaret, became my favorite production. While every show at Purdue brought its own unique experience, having creative flexibility and direct influence on the outcome of the design has brought a new kind of exhilaration. The meetings for all the design teams became an open space for discussion and idea-building, which led to that thrilling feeling that only exists when everyone is in the zone.
What do you like to do in your leisure time on the Purdue campus and in town?
Running shows and keeping up with homework keeps us pretty busy, so when the grad students have down time we hit the local gathering spot, Chumley’s, for their variety of drinks and food. There are also a large number of school-sponsored clubs and organizations to join for those who wish to pursue other interests, and the university’s sporting events are always a good time! Some of us even took on the local 5K for a challenge. To access professional sporting events and Broadway tours, Indianapolis is an hour away and Chicago is only 2.5 hours away and what college students aren’t up for the occasional road trip?
What advice would you give to future audio designers?
Make sure you find the right program for you. There are strong programs throughout the country, so don’t be afraid to reach out to the ones that most fit what you are looking for. Check out the venue(s), look at the entire program to see what is entailed, but most importantly, choose those you will work with wisely. Find a program with fellow graduates you can connect with, and seek a passionate advisor who can help you obtain your goals and push you to better yourself. Following your passion isn’t easy; there will be roadblocks along the way. Keep pushing through, work hard, and you can make it. Just don’t give up.Posted by Rachel Friedman Posted on 06 Dec