Ally Hepp has her eyes on a future career in AV, and to say she’s well on her way is an understatement. She’s currently a senior double majoring in Audio and Music Production, and Music Business at Lebanon Valley College (LVC) in Annville, Pa., with a long list of extracurricular AV activities.
Hepp began working in her college’s Audiovisual Technology office four years ago, where her passion for the industry took off. This past summer, she interned with New Era Technology, which has hired many graduates from LVC in recent years. As part of her internship, she received a $4,000 scholarship from New Era and the AVIXA Foundation toward her studies.
“My experience at New Era Technology was excellent,” says Hepp. “I made some great friends and connections, expanded my AV knowledge immensely, and was able to experience many different parts of the company. My internship program was structured over 12 weeks, and I had time in many departments.”
Through her internship, Hepp was also given an AVIXA™ membership, which allowed her to work on CTS® Prep courses.
“I set a personal goal at the beginning of the summer to obtain my CTS upon completing my internship, which I was able to do,” she says.
Hepp’s commitment doesn’t stop there. She’s also the president of VALE Music Group, an entirely student-run nonprofit LLC operating out of the college. The organization includes four different branches: VALE Records, VALE Publishing, VALE Live, and the VALE Conference.
VALE Records (pictured left) signs a new artist, records, and releases an album each spring. VALE Live hosts an array of events, from concerts to open-mic nights. VALE Publishing pitches the organization’s music catalog, working with RDSD Publishing to place music on their online catalog so licensing is readily available. They also pitch their music catalog to radio stations.
The 14th Annual VALE Media Industries Conference is set for Nov. 17 at Lebanon Valley College and will focus on women in media industries. This theme was inspired by the recent trends in the film and music industries as well as the #metoo movement. The conference is geared toward high school and college students interested in careers in media. Admission is free for students until Nov. 12.
“VALE Music Group decided to highlight the successes of women with careers in music, technology, film, radio, TV, AV, and more,” says Hepp. “We have over 40 speakers, some from New Era and AVIXA. Also, many speakers are LVC graduates. We’re incredibly excited to make this our most-attended and best conference yet!”
As an LLC, the VALE Music Group does not receive funding from the college to produce the conference. With a big lineup of speakers traveling from around the U.S. for the first time, the organization is seeking donations to help fund the conference.
Hepp will wrap up her college coursework this December and spend her last semester interning for Association Matters, Inc., working with their event coordinator planning conferences, webinars, and various events.
What advice can Hepp offer to students interested in a career in AV?
“Don’t give up!” she says. “When I first started learning about AV in my college classes and at my job, I was incredibly overwhelmed. Of course, I have grown to love it, but I certainly have a lot left to learn and I don’t intend to stop learning anytime soon.”
If tomorrow’s AV professionals are anything like Hepp, the industry will thrive.
Learn more about the AVIXA Foundation Internship Program and how you can help tomorrow's AV professionals, today,