Alex Arango

Graduating Class of 2016 | alex.g.arango@gmail.com

ICAM Music with Computer Science minor

So far, I have been very lucky. I graduated in December so I’m still establishing myself in the workforce, but I am hopeful that I will end up in a position where I feel accomplished and satisfied. Right now I work at La Jolla Piano Institute and Kalabash School of the Arts where I teach piano and recording engineering.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your job? A: How creative and funny children can be. Each day is a different adventure because they always have crazy stories about their days or come up with funny ideas. It’s even better when they pay attention and actually learn!

Q: How did your college experience impact you? A: I was fortunate in that my on-campus job opened up a lot of doors for me. I worked as an Audiovisual Technician for University Centers, which utilized my work-study award. It introduced me to skills and job positions that I didn’t even know existed. I also learned a lot from my peers and professors. While in college, I mostly got career advice from the managers I worked for and the music professors that mentored me. Being in an environment with so many smart, hard-working, and talented people really opened my eyes to what was possible. I am very grateful for a great college experience and its positive impact on me.

Q: What’s one thing you wish you knew as an undergrad? A: I wish I had known that there is a lot more opportunity for employment and success in my field. Part of the reason I minored in Computer Science was to have a fallback plan in case the music industry didn’t work out for me. However, I regret not spending more time working on skills that I enjoyed a lot more because I was worried they wouldn’t be marketable.

Q: What do you think is the most important quality or skill students should learn while in college to prepare them for the transition into the workplace? A: Interpersonal skills. These are skills that you don’t necessarily need to get an ‘A’ on a test, but they are important in the workplace because it could open up more opportunities to be more successful in any position.

Final advice? Appreciate the small, yet fortunate, activities students get to enjoy. These could be naps in between classes or getting food in the middle of the night. The campus is like a utopia and that environment is more difficult to find in the “real world.”

If anyone is interested in some of the work I did as an undergrad, check out my senior project. It is a concept album that expresses my feelings and experiences as a Colombian immigrant. I composed, produced, and recorded the music at CPMC at UCSD.

This article originally appeared in the April 2017 Issue of the Triton Worker. 

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