This week we will find out what it’s like to work as an AV Tech for University Student Commons and Activities (USC&A).
Meet Mike LeHew, a recent VCU graduate from Reno, Nevada who assisted with the setup and takedown of technology equipment for events hosted in the Commons.
AV Techs are responsible for the setting up and the operation of sophisticated lighting, sound and other audio-visual support for events. They are also responsible for the maintenance and operation of the Commons technical support systems.
How long have you worked for VCU?
This will be my third year.
What are your main responsibilities as an AV Tech?
We meet with clients, figure out exactly what they want out of their event and based on the instructions that they give us, we make sure they get what they need. We help set up microphones, speakers, instruments and other equipment for events.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Come in on time, go on EMS (Event Management Services) and figure out what the clients requested. For the rest of the time after setup, you make sure everything is stable and sounds decent, while troubleshooting any problems during the event.
Do you find it easy to balance being a student and a student worker?
What are some suggestions for people finding it difficult to manage?
Before you come into work make sure you know what homework you need to complete. That way you aren’t just wasting time.
What is it like to manage people that are the same age as you?
It’s pretty fun because they don’t know where everything is or how everything operates here, so you get a lot of chances to teach people. With time, people always find their roles. Some people are really good at talking with clients, so you’ll pick them out and request to work with them for certain events. Some people are really good at figuring out what equipment needs to be acquired, so you’ll go to them and ask them to help you. Everyone has their place that plays off their strengths.
What is one thing you really enjoy about your job?
Everything. I like meeting a ton of different clients and being able to use the skills that I have. No event is ever the same, so it keeps you on your toes.
What has been one unexpected perk of working for USC&A?
I’ve been able to meet senators, federal workers and other fancy speakers.
What would be one suggestion to a student that is interested in working as an AV Tech for USC&A?
I would say definitely ask yourself if you are comfortable working in front of a large group of people in a high pressure situation. For example, if the speaker is using a microphone and it stops working all of a sudden, you have to go out in front of all those people and fix it, which can be really uncomfortable.