Gold Coast music graduate scores job through internship

Brisbane -

Byron Bay

1 Sep 2015




Gold Coast music graduate scores job through internship

1 Sep 2015

Tommy McClements knows the value of internships better than most.

The 30 year-old from Currumbin has hit the jackpot, securing a permanent audio engineering job weeks before completing his two-year Bachelor of Audio at SAE Creative Media Institute in Byron Bay, as a direct result of his internship.

“I’ve absolutely landed on my feet,” says McClements, who was wrapping up his studies at SAE when he was offered a job two weeks ago with community radio station 4CRB. “I’d been working at the station one day a week as part of my 10-week internship when they offered me a permanent position. “I’m now at the station days three days a week as a paid audio engineer – recording and editing music and creating sponsorship ads. It’s amazing.”

The Operations Manager of 4CRB, Steve Stuttle, described McClements as a credit to SAE. “Thomas was fantastic. He worked so well with us here at 4CRB that we offered him paid work at the end of his studies.”

McClements said the internship, which is a compulsory element of all degree programs at SAE Institute, was one of the major benefits of the degree program, offering hands-on learning in a real-world environment.

“From day one at the station, I was learning and doing things relevant to my studies and my future career,” he said.

As part of his studies, McClements also created and mastered a four-track EP, the MAEN Journey, with each track created to simulate the emotions of a festival-goer in the morning, afternoon, evening and night.

“The EP was my major project at SAE and probably the most enjoyable aspect of my degree program,” McClements said. “Because I studied web design as an elective, I was also able to create my own website to launch the EP and promote my music projects, including video tutorials on how each of the tracks were made.”

McClements migrated to the Gold Coast with his family from Northern Ireland 15 years ago, and for the past 10 years has focused on breaking into the music industry, recording tracks and freelancing as a DJ at dance parties and clubs on the Gold Coast and Byron Bay.

“I looked into studying audio at SAE when I first arrived, but back then the Institute didn’t offer FEE-Help,” he said. “It wasn’t until my girlfriend’s brother got FEE-Help to get his pilot’s license on the Gold Coast that I decided to look into it again – and sure enough SAE was offering the loan scheme so I signed up at the Byron Bay campus.”

SAE Byron Bay Campus Manager Bill Wade said internships provided essential and authentic real-world scenarios where students could apply what they had learned on campus and in studios. They also enabled students to hone valuable life skills such as teamwork, time management and communication.

“Internships open the doors to professional opportunities – either with the host organisation or other industry players,” Mr Wade said. “We’re also providing local employers with access to the some of the most passionate and talented students who have the skills needed to hit the ground running. It’s a win-win situation.”