Audio equipment supplier Sennheiser joined with Fox Sports to offer one lucky telecommunications student the opportunity to learn sports production from one of the industry’s most experienced audio engineers.
David Missall, Sennheiser’s director of market development for the Eastern region, came up with the idea of nurturing the next generation of surely needed audio professionals. The first student selected was junior Michael Stevens of Ball State University, who worked with industry veteran Fred Aldous in the Fox Sports mix truck at the Coca Cola 600 NASCAR race in Charlotte, NC, in May.
“I don’t see a lot of people coming up behind my generation,” said Aldous, an audio consultant and senior mixer for FOX Sports. “Most students are fixated on breaking into the music, recording or live sound markets. I think it’s important to show students that there are careers outside of the music business — and good careers at that!”
Missall approached Ball State University communications professors to find a student who would benefit from the experience of working with Aldous for two days. In support of his expressed interest in broadcasting, Stevens had already worked with the Ball State Sports Network as a utility technician, camera operator and technical director.
“What Sennheiser is doing with Fox is a blessing for people like me who want to get into this business,” Stevens said. “The experience really put into perspective what it takes to do a big show for a huge network like Fox. Without having seen it first-hand, I wouldn’t have appreciated its magnitude. If Sennheiser can keep doing this for students, there are going to be a lot of people — like me — sold on the fact that they want to do live sports broadcasting.”
Sennheiser, which paid for Stevens’ travel, hotel and expenses for the intense, two-day experience, plans to repeat the unique internship program on an annual or semiannual basis.