Women in IT (Part III): A meeting with the music librarian

October 10th, 2013

For my first mentor session with Holli, we got together with Brad Short, the music librarian at WashU, to talk about careers in music and technology. The weather was nice, so we sat right outside the Gaylord Music Library (The library itself is a really neat place. Check it out if you have the chance.). The entire meeting took only an hour, but it was full of information. He is, after all, a librarian. He really knew his stuff! Good thing I brought a notebook with me to take notes.

We talked about music supervision (the official name for the job I mentioned in my last post), computer science, and even audio engineering. Brad gave me the names of several professors he knew of that taught courses relevant to music or film. He also told me about a digital audio editing software called Sound Forge. I’d never heard of it, but he said a lot of studios use it. He suggested taking computer science classes focused on film. He also asked if I’d considered film school. (To which the answer was no, I hadn’t.)

Living is deciding. Don’t narrow yourself though.

When he mentioned film school, I got a little nervous. I was thinking, “Wait, no…I’m just trying to finish my majors in linguistics and computer science! What’s this about graduate school? And for film??” Then Brad said something that I immediately scribbled down in my notebook. “Living is deciding,” he said. “Don’t narrow yourself though.” Then I understood where he was coming from. No one was saying that I had to start looking for film schools to apply to. They weren’t saying that I had to plan a new future right then and there. They were just telling me to keep an open mind and be willing to learn about new things.

Life really is all about making choices. Even if you choose not to choose, that’s your choice. But there is such a thing as making so many choices that you paint yourself into a corner. If you plan everything out exactly the way you think it should be, you could miss out on a wonderful thing called serendipity. Keeping yourself open is key. And as someone who’s dominant trait is Futuristic, and thus often plans out her life several years in advance, I really needed to hear that.

Our conversation with Brad lasted for about 45 minutes. After he went back to his job, Holli and I discussed what we had learned, and how I could move forward with the new information. All in all, it was a stimulating conversation that had me looking forward to our next meeting.