Graduate Success Story: John Stojevich

A 2005 graduate of IPR, John Stojevich put his degree in audio production and engineering to good use by working for a number of companies as an audio engineer and was one of the first IPR graduates to run live sound for the Basilica of St. Mary in Minneapolis. And because of that, current IPR students owe him a nod of thanks; the skill and work ethic John showed while working for the Basilica has opened doors of opportunity for other IPR alumni.

Currently John runs his own St. Paul-based production company, Dynamic Show Productions. Staff at IPR remember John as being extremely dedicated to his craft and always busy. And with a new baby added to his family, these days he’s surely busier than ever. Still, he had time to share his path to success.

What are you doing now?

Currently I own and operate an audio-visual production company that provides full A/V production, project management, technical direction and event logistic solutions for corporate, concert and touring clients. I still operate as an independent technician for a variety of A/V, concert and overall production agencies. Primarily I operate as an audio technician, but I’ve also widened my skill set to perform as a hi-res video director and technician. Lately I’ve been providing a lot of technical direction and project management services, which is something I very much enjoy.

Are you doing today what you thought you would be doing when you had started school?

Quite simply, no. I believe many of us have dreams of fame and fortune, and I had to find avenues that allowed me to expand and develop my skill set as well as find an area within the industry that I enjoy. However, I think my original dream was to provide quality sound production to the masses, whether that was via records or live events, and that is what I do.

Is there anything about your education that stands out as a pivotal experience in your education or career?

I believe the idea that you determine your future; no one else is going to decide anything for you. Another lesson is that networking is absolutely key in expanding your career and solidifying yourself within this industry.

Where do you imagine your career going in the future?

This has always been a hard question for me to answer because I actually have never been a person to state goals of where I believe my career will be at some arbitrary place in the future. I immerse myself in the situation I’m in and grow within that. Allowing yourself to adapt is the best way to develop your skill set, but you should always open up new possibilities that can become your future.

What advice would you give to others looking to enter into this field?

Be honest, loyal and respectful not only to your peers, elders and mentors but also to yourself. You won’t be successful in your career or in life if you’re not doing something you’re truly passionate about. When you enjoy what you do, success is inevitable.

Was there anything that you had to wait to learn until you were out in the industry—something that couldn’t be taught?

There are so many things that I could use as an answer here. One sticks out to me, though: loyalty. It’s something that can make or destroy your career, and I’ve found out the hard way. When you give your word to someone, your word needs to mean something. A simple explanation of this is that if you’re offered a job and you accept it knowing all the terms of the job (in regard to pay, location, content, etc.), you need to live up to that agreement regardless of what other opportunity may arise. If you bail on a gig to make an extra $50 or $100, that means you’re saying, “I said yes, but I really meant yes until something better came along.” Your reputation is worth more than any amount of money, any super great gig or any opportunity that may arise.

Do you have mentors today, and if so, how have they influenced your career?

I don’t have any direct mentors, but honestly I learn form everyone I come into contact with. I have individuals I look up to and study their teachings, but really I can learn from anyone. I feel I am a good judge of character and that I can tell if someone possess beneficial knowledge.

If you could change anything regarding your career path, what would it be?

Honestly, nothing. All of the decisions and mistakes I made led me to where I am today. I’m a happy father of two wonderful boys with a lovely wife and three wonderful cats. I get to work in an industry that I love, and every day is a different day and new experience. What more could anyone ask for?