People often say that if you choose a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. When Therron Rivers moved his family from Tucson, Arizona to Tacoma, his career goal was to do what he loved: broadcasting.
“I wanted to care for my family better, so that we can have a better life. I knew I needed more training to reach my career goals.”
Armed with an associate degree from the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences, Rivers was working at a communications company based in Tucson. When there were no opportunities for upward mobility, he knew he had to make a change.
“I wanted to care for my family better, so that we can have a better life. I knew I needed more training to reach my career goals,” said Rivers. “I searched for broadcasting programs that focused on hands-on learning, and I discovered Bates Technical College.”
Rivers arrived in Tacoma in 2013 with his wife and stepson. He began working at Lakeside Group, where Rivers runs cameras and works in audio in the control room for concerts at the Chateau Ste. Michelle venue. After settling into their new location, Rivers enrolled in Bates Technical College’s Broadcasting and Video Production program.
“I was blown away,” said Rivers, as he recalled his first day. “The very first experience I had when I showed up to school, they took me on a tour, and they were filming a TV show! At that point, I knew this was the right place for me,” he said.
The program’s curriculum meets requirements of the Society of Broadcast Engineers, and students are encouraged to test for SBE certification after graduation. Students can choose three concentrations within the six-quarter program, which include broadcast operations, broadcast engineering, and video production.
The two-instructor program offers a great experience for people who learn best by doing, instead of just listening to lecture.
“I learn better in a hands-on environment because instructors don’t just explain a concept—I actually do it first-hand, and repeatedly, which helps me understand everything that is involved in the particular concept,” said Rivers.
Rivers and his classmates routinely work in the field on projects, including broadcasting the Tacoma Rainiers baseball games
Rivers and his classmates routinely work in the field on projects, including broadcasting the Tacoma Rainiers baseball games at Tacoma’s Cheney Stadium, filming local high school football games with the college’s remote broadcasting truck, and creating content for College Vision, a Bates-operated TV channel.
Rivers is excited to graduate in January 2017. “My dream job is to work as a sound editor in film. As a musician who plays drums, bass and guitar,
I want to work on the music,” he said.
“When I graduate, I will be industry-ready. Earning this degree means everything to me.”
“When I graduate, I will be industry-ready. Earning this degree means everything to me. There is no other way to have the opportunities to get the foot in the door in the industry. Business owners and recruiters call instructors specifically requesting Bates graduates because we are ready to work on day one.
“To learn the business, you have to be in the business. Bates gives you the opportunity to be in the business,” smiled Rivers.
Equipped with experience, the right education, and drive, Rivers is confident he’ll find a rewarding job he loves, where he’ll never have to work a day in his life.