Know the Basics

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Posted Tue, Mar 1, 2016

We all have our ‘Day jobs,’ but it’s important to keep doing things we love. -- Phil Satterley

“We all have our ‘Day jobs,’ but it’s important to keep doing things we love.” — Phil Satterley

CENTENNIAL, Colo.—MSU Denver Technical Communications graduate Phil Satterley (’94), finds success not in the knowing how to use technology, but in having a solid foundation in the basic principles of a field.

As the assistant manager for Media Production at National Cinemedia, Satterley looks for applicants who know how to tell a story by asking for an “edit reel” rather than a “demo reel.”

“An ‘edit reel’ shows off the applicant’s ability to tell a story,” Satterley explained. “A ‘demo reel’ shows me they are proficient with the software which is fine. However, you can teach anyone to drive a car, [but] what can they do on the racetrack?”

Given that technology is ever changing, Satterley feels it’s better to have a solid understanding of the core values of a field first and then focus on learning the tech.

“The last editor I hired had almost NO experience with the editing software we use,” Satterley said, “but she could tell a story. I can get anyone up to speed on software within a week, however, mastering storytelling takes a lifetime!”

Not only did Satterley’s degree help him master the basics in production, it allowed him to network and make connections with people that he still utilizes today.

Satterley’s career advice to students is to meet people, make connections, and form relationships you want to keep for decades to come, because you never know who you might be helpful to, or who might help you.

He suggests working on side projects with friends when work is slow to get out there and get noticed, and in the process network as much as possible.

Above all else, fuel your passions and persevere.

“We all have our ‘Day jobs,’ but it’s important to keep doing things we love – even if there’s little or no money involved. It keeps us inspired, don’t ever lose that!”

About Rhiannon Goodrich

Rhiannon Goodrich is a Denver-area journalist and freelance writer

View all posts by Rhiannon Goodrich

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