Nicole Thorp sets a Trajectory for Success!

Nicole_Thorp_Pierre_FergusonThe usual career trajectory for most people who ultimately embark on careers in audio engineering usually starts with playing an instrument and building a deep love of music. From there, an interest in recording is sparked and then individuals who started out as guitarists, bassists, pianists and vocalists will move behind the board and delve deep into the craft of helping music sound great and bringing it into the world. Such was not the journey for Nicole Thorp. From a young age she already knew that, for her, audio engineering was where it was at.

“Since I was in middle school, starting at like 13 or 14, I wouldn’t just listen to music. I’d be dissecting everything that I was hearing. I’d listen to a song time and time again and just trying to figure out what I was hearing, the instrumentation, the melody, just really analyzing and dissecting things…I’ve always had an interest in technology, I’ve always been a very technical person. But I’d listen to some of my favorite records like Thriller and Purple Rain and Mariah Carey’s Emotions album, and I would always just listen over and over again trying to figure out what I was hearing…I was like, ‘I really enjoy doing this. Why can’t I just make a career out of it?’”

Around her sophomore year in high school, Nicole really started delving into the possibility of becoming an audio engineer. What would it take? What were the education requirements like? She began her search by looking into what the different technical schools were like and how much the standard four-year universities cost. Ultimately,  she found the program that would work for her and not weigh her down in tons of student debt. “I came across the Recording Connection. I found it when I was 15, just researching audio engineering programs, and I found it and it was always on the top of my list…It got me that hands-on experience, so I felt like it was the best route for me, personally, to take since I am kind of a visual learner, and I’m best when people show me instead of just reading about things.”

Even though Nicole had little experience, her passion and commitment to learning the craft came through and Recording Connection mentor Pierre A Ferguson of Foundry Studios in Tacoma, Washington, agreed to take her on as his apprentice. Clearly, Nicole is appreciative of the one-on-one training she’s been able to receive during her time in the program:

“Pierre, he’s really patient, and he’s really understanding. If I don’t understand something right away, he’ll explain it in further detail. He’s just a really cool person to be around. He knows a lot about the industry. He knows a lot about engineering. He knows a lot about the clientele side of it, and he’s just really great to be around. I honestly don’t think I could’ve asked for a better mentor. He’s super awesome. He invites me to come to the studio and assist all the time. It’s really been a pleasure working with him.”

Besides learning the technical side of audio engineering, Nicole has also expanded her connections and now, she’s put her mind on branding and marketing her skills (thanks to our Stay Connected Program) all with the end goal of landing clients.

“What I’ve really been focusing on the last the last couple weeks is kind of developing a sort of brand…there’s the Stay Connected program, kind of like a branding course, and they want you to think about your brand in terms of what you want to stand for. And I’ve been thinking about that a little bit…It’s really just the beginning for me because I really feel like after this I could really go on and actually start conducting sessions on my own…I know that with my relationship with Pierre, I’m sure he could guide me into that as well.

“The thing that I love about the Recording Connection is I came into this program with very little knowledge,” she said. “[What] I had known previously before the program, I had just read in books…and watched YouTube tutorials. But what this program has really done for me is dive into the fundamentals of engineering and got me to a point where I can actually use the concepts and the materials that I’ve learned about.”

Go go go Nicole!


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