Breaking into the industry

Hello all,
This may be off topic, but i was wondering if anyone has any advice on how to work in the HiFi industry. I am graduating from college in May with a degree in economics and the more i think about my options, the more i want to turn my back on a career in banking or finance. I absolutely adore music and would nothing more than to be surrounded by it everyday. Thanks fo the help,
Er .... sorry to say this but you should work in the banking or finance industry. Work hard, make a lot of money and buy all the hi-fi you want. Trust me!
Circuit city and bestbuy are are always looking for new people..hahahha..stick with the bank....

The best bet for a college graduate who will have a generalist/liberal arts degree is to pursue a graduate/trainee program. I say this because unless you have a very specific skillset, graduate programs are the best way to start out in most companies.

I run a graduate program for a major investment bank and quite frankly, you have waited way too long to start the interviewing process for a graduate program in just about any industry, let alone banking and finance. With that said, you have asked a very similar question that young adults with a strong interest in most hobbies (like bicycling) would ask. So, here goes ...

1. Look at the major, mass production oriented electronic companies (like SONY; Matsushita/Panasonic; Sharp) that offer graduate programs in their marketing; IT/technology; or distribution/operations areas and apply for a spot. Expect keen competition, as graduates who know early on what they want to specialize in, have been doing internships in these areas for the past two summers already. The days of "working your way up from the mailroom" or thinking that that an employer will be impressed just because you are "young and willing to work hard" just don't exist in big companies anymore. Check out their web-sites and see if they have a "careers" section.

2. If there are any hifi companies in your area, see if they have any job openings. This could look like an opening in their Accounting departments.

3. Try the audio retail or service route.

4. Lastly, you can get training in some aspect of the industry. One potentially lucrative career path could be to pursue the certification in home theatre design and installation. I had done some reading about this field and ...
a. there is relatively high demand, as many homeowners are building and/or retro-fitting home theatres.
b. so many installers today tend to come from the HVAC installation ranks (makes sense in a way, as you are cutting through walls and pulling cables).

Think about the hifi industry, as you would any business and see how you would fit in. What core skils do you have that an employer would pay for? HiFi is like any product ... you can design 'em; you can sell 'em; you can service 'em; you can write about 'em; or like most of us ... you can enjoy 'em.

Good luck, Rich
If there is a high performance audio company near where you live contact them and see what they have to offer. The industry is tough and many of the manufacturers you see on the 'Gon are very small operations so you may not have a ton of success getting a lucrative position like you would in the banking industry.

Or, go into banking (for the money) and offer your services part time (for the love) to the owner of a local audio company in exchange for them "showing you the ropes". This scenario would allow you to still make a good living while testing the waters in the audio biz. You may decide you hate it. Sometimes the best way to ruin a hobby is to do it as a business!

I wish you success!
While Ttrhp was joking, Best Buy actually has some of the best sales training out there. Go to a Best Buy--you'll find the sales people are friendly and knowledgeable, and if they don't know the answer they will find someone that does. Going to a place like that and getting trained could be useful. Sales experience and a good grounding in finance is how many of the more successful Custom Installers got started in this business.
If your folks are well off, and are willing to help out, you might want to open your own shop. That is what I am doing. Working for other's don't get you far - if you want to do what is really in your heart.

You can assemble the best sounding gears like some Chinese ones, and assemble a good sounding systems at affordable prices. This way, you will be offering good music you love to others at an affordable prices. Of-course you might want to have Krell and audio research for the rich folks who can afford them - there is your big profit.

So Gonglee,
do you want to give me a job?
rar1 I have only waited this long for a job in the audio industry. I have two job offers in new york and if i cannot get into hifi i will take one of these positions.
I am sorry but I can't offer you the type of job you deserve - with your degree. You deserve a high level job, and not just an entry level sale's position - but that's all I need, and my friend who needs money will come help me out.

With your degree, it would be nice to get a managerial position of some sort.

Are the jobs in NY related to business or hifi?
If business, that might not be bad for a while. You can save money to open your own hifi shop later. Also, once you get your feet wet and get into the groove of things, it might be better than you think.

But if your heart is really in music, I would keep one eye open all the time, and try to read and learn more about it - if you want to open your own shop later.

I know a professor who opened his own shop - and he is happier than when he was teaching - after 15 years of studying and teaching in a field, he decided music was his passion.

Hope you find yours - soul searching can be difficult, but I heard that youth who does a lot of that, doesn't have it so hard at mid-life crisis.

Anyway, I concur with you - music is a many wonderful things.


You might try:

Harman International--They own a variety of companies including Levinson and Proceed. Well capitalized and they pay well.

Just a thought.

I would stick to the banking/finance career and in your spare time start reading everything audio, experimenting, maybe taking EE classes at a local college, building kit components, PC's, IC's, etc. and see what you like specifically. Then focus on that area and start to turn the hobby into a serious side business.

Good luck,