Graduate Profile: Cody Sullivan, Live Sound Engineer

Cody Sullivan, IPR Graduate, Live Sound Engineer
Cody Sullivan, Live Sound Engineer, IPR Graduate

IPR Audio Production and Engineering Grad Cody Sullivan works for the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation board, the Myth Nightclub, and Driftwood Char Bar as a live sound engineer. Cody agreed to share a little about his recent success and what his education has meant to him as a budding professional in the audio and live sound industry.

IPR: What are some of the key projects that you have worked on so far?

CS: The most impressive projects that I have worked on so far have been working at the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board Movies and Music in the Parks series alongside other IPR graduates. I have also worked at the Minneapolis Convention Center, as well as the Myth Nightclub doing setup and live sound for Relient K and Switchfoot.

IPR: You have been working a lot in live sound so far. What is your favorite thing about working in this sector of the audio industry?

CS: I love my job because it’s like a recording session—except you get to go home and not worry about it afterward. I am doing so much more than I thought I would!

IPR: How has your experience at Minneapolis Parks and Rec helped you expand your skill-set in audio?

CS: Just being able to practice in real life and getting to work with different people has really helped me. You really learn a lot just from working with different personalities and seeing how other people set up and mix, as well as finding out different band’s preferences. I’ve done everything from mainstream rock bands to rap music to a one-man spoken word didgeridoo act.

IPR: Do you feel that your education at IPR helped you to get where you are? 

CS: Absolutely! The education I received at IPR has propelled me to where I am, and without it I would have not gotten close to the positions. The technical training and networking opportunities I gained in my time as a student has prepared me for any situation I could possibly encounter. Some of my favorite instructors (Colt Leeb, Kevin Bowe, and Steve Hodge) really pushed me not only with their projects, but also with understanding the level of professionalism needed to succeed. The classes I took were challenging and motivated me to do my best, which ultimately prepared me to understand what my future employers would expect from me once I entered the industry.

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

CS: Even though our instructors really drilled us with the importance of networking, you really don’t know exactly what it is until you’re put into the situation. I used to think that it was just about talking to people, but it is so much more than that. I now think that networking is about creating a brand for yourself and marketing yourself. It’s easy for us to work on our projects, but to be able to highlight what we’re good at and learn from others has been important in social situations. It’s all about making people like you and doing a job that you are proud of.

IPR: What do you think it means to be successful in the industry? What advice would you offer to students who are preparing to graduate or wondering how to find their place in the industry?

CS: To me, success means being able to work in the field that I am passionate about and being financially stable—I could not ask for more. My biggest piece of advice for graduates is to keep in touch with your network from IPR or otherwise. It’s extremely easy to drift apart after school or working on projects together, so make sure to keep in contact with them and what projects they’re working on—that’s where the jobs are! Sometimes it’s just as simple as sending an e-mail to keep you in someone’s mind.

Written by Krissy Jackson, IPR Career Services Coordinator