Raymond Balcerzak – Lockport, New York

The last schooling experience I had was back in 2002 when I graduated high school…which I barely did. Despite being almost 20 years older, matured and being in a totally different mindset, the idea of classrooms scared me. Sitting in a room with numerous other people…with most likely people alot younger than me, just seemed so impersonal and ineffective. As much as a teacher will try and accommodate each and every student and try to make them feel like they are the only student in the room…it is impossible. You have a limited amount of time and the teacher will be lucky to answer the questions of the students in the short amount of time that is allotted….assuming that the students keep it brief and don't bombard the teacher with alot of questions.
With all that said, I chose RRFC, in my case the audio engineering course, for the simple reason that my classroom was the very environment and place of the field I am looking to work in….A RECORDING STUDIO!! I could've went any where school wise, including some big name "go to colleges" in my area and after careful consideration I chose RRFC. Being that the school works hand in hand with studios around the country, I was able to find a very nice studio less than a half hour away from my house to call home. The best thing for me is witnessing first hand real clients coming and going and witnessing not only the technical aspects of the job but the actual social interaction that goes on, far beyond learning about fader controls and microphones…etc.
The curriculum I follow is to the point and yes….there is reading and testing involved but what is more important is applying what I have read to the hands on tasks of a real studio. I have a devoted, one on one, time each week with my mentor, the studio owner, where I get to review that week's chapter by physically performing that which I have studied in an applicable way that I will ultimately end up doing when I am employed after schooling. Aside from my lesson I get to spend as much time as I'd like watching them work with clients…almost being like a fly on the wall but still having the ability to ask questions through out the sessions. For me….there is no other way to learn.
Aside from my mentor, I have at my disposal an academic facilitator who is there to assist and tie up any loose ends with my schooling and/or present the curriculum in different angles or ways that reinforce and drive home the point of that week's lesson…and also in a less formal manner, shoot the breeze and talk about subjects not exactly related to the course and really just allow for a friendly conversation to happen and not be "all business"….ALL THE TIME!….hopefully making a friend in the process and someone who I would keep in touch with long after graduation.
The course, ranging from 6-9 months, makes it so you are moving at a reasonable pace and allowing for you to digest the information being taught but not having it being dragged on over an unnecessary amount of time where at the end of the course you are fried and burned out. For me, I feel that spending the duration of my schooling in an actual studio will increase my chances after graduation of finding employment sooner rather than spending the entire time in a classroom and having a short amount of time at the end interning. Being in a studio from day one gives me a little more credibility that I wouldn't have otherwise.
The financing options were really helpful. I am not rich and having numerous financing options available put me at ease knowing that my education and potential of pursuing a successful career was not determined and limited by how much money I have/make. The financing team makes the time that you are going to school affordable with the option of bare minimum payments.
It is still early on but I feel confident that nothing but great things lie ahead of me because of my decision to go with RRFC!! 🙂

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