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Working Full-Time While Pursuing a Passion for the Music Industry

When Tyler Smith moved to the Twin Cities in 2013, he needed a job. A friend of a friend recommended working at ACR.  Though he didn’t have any previous experience in this line of work, Tyler realizes now that he was in the right place at the right time.  ACR turned out to be just what he needed. With a whole lot of passion for what he does and some incredible flexibility, Tyler has been working full-time at ACR for over 3 years and during that time he has also completed 2 degrees. Here’s his story:

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Just an average day of work at Riverton

After working full-time at ACR for a year, I realized that my passion was in the music industry. So I went back to school, and over the next year and a half I attended classes at the Institute of Production and Design.  I continued working full-time hours at ACR while I finished degrees in audio production and engineering and sound design for visual media. 

This process taught me how to manage my time better.  My degrees were heavy on projects, and I found myself spending about 20 to 30 hours per week either in classes or working on my projects outside of class, in addition to my full-time work at ACR.  I was really busy, but if you want something in your life, you’re going to do everything you can to make it happen.  I had found something that I really wanted to pursue in a field that I really wanted to learn, and I was able to support this dream by working at ACR.

Double shifts a good fit around school

My supervisor has always been very flexible with scheduling me full-time around my school schedule. Without that, I don’t know that I would have been able to take the classes that I needed while continuing to work as much as I did. I worked doubles as much as possible—that saved on gas and commuting time driving to and from work. By working as many doubles as possible I had more time to focus on school on my “off-days.” When my doubles fell on weekends I also benefitted from getting a higher wage due to the weekend differential.  I’m happy with where I work and so grateful for this kind of flexibility that made working full-time possible.

Working for ACR has other benefits

Beyond the flexible scheduling, working for ACR has benefited me in a lot of other ways. The people here are very good-hearted and that goes a long way. Every day I go to shift I get the best greetings from my residents. The group home I work in has a very homey feeling–it seems more like “helping” rather than feeling like “work”.  Another thing I appreciate about my work at ACR is that my residents have taught me things I couldn’t learn in a classroom, such as patience and finding the positive or even funny side of things in difficult situations. I feel lucky to have such a great job at ACR.

When it comes time for me to interview for jobs and internships in the music industry, I’ll absolutely bring up the fact that I worked full-time at ACR through college.  I believe my future employers will see my loyalty and perseverance in my 3+-year full-time commitment to ACR while I’ve been in school.

I’m back in school again, working on some pre-requisites in hopes of transferring to the Carlson School of Management. By the time I’m done, I’ll hopefully have 4 degrees total. Thanks to having an employer as understanding and helpful as ACR, I’ll have worked full-time during it all.

–Tyler Smith, Shift Supervisor and Direct Care Professional at ACR Homes