Robert Jones, who worked as a recording engineer in Los Angeles, is now an MBA student in the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business.
After finishing a bachelor's degree in mass communication, Robert Jones spent a few years helping artists find their voices.
He worked as a recording engineer in Los Angeles, producing, mixing and mastering tracks for gospel, hip-hop and neo-soul artists. It was, in many ways, his dream job. Jones' detail-oriented nature served him well in that field, where long, uninterrupted hours in the studio are the norm as songs are performed and perfected, but he also saw an MBA as a pathway to professional growth.
"I felt like I also had another set of skills I could utilize," said Jones, a first-year MBA student in Auburn University's Raymond J. Harbert College of Business. "[Recording] is an industry that is extremely hard to break into. Your success lies in the people who hear your artist. Your mark is the sound that you're able to give."
"One thing I noticed as I grew and matured is that everyone who went to Auburn commanded and demanded respect but showed caring as well in whatever environment they came into. It seemed like they had something extra."
– Robert Jones
As a sound engineer, Jones understood that his finished products would be enjoyed by people who might not be conscious of his involvement in them. He likes the idea of being the mastermind in the control booth. When he completes his MBA, he plans to offer behind-the-scenes help to small businesses and start-ups as a consultant. Growing up in Ensley, Ala., a short distance from Legion Field, the longtime epicenter of the Auburn-Alabama rivalry, sparked his interest in continuing his education on The Plains.
"One thing I noticed as I grew and matured is that everyone who went to Auburn commanded and demanded respect but showed caring as well in whatever environment they came into," Jones said. "It seemed like they had something extra."
Jones sees an opportunity to be that sort of person by helping business owners who are trying to revitalize economically depressed or stagnant communities.
"I feel if I can help areas like that become better, then I will have left my mark on the world," he said. "I'm good at team-building and I'm good at leading in many situations. When the pressure is on, that's when I shine."
Even after earning his MBA, Robert will still be able to produce the sort of results he did as a sound engineer – helping whoever happens to be in the spotlight hit the right notes.
— By Troy Johnson, Raymond J. Harbert College of Business
Last Updated: Nov. 14, 2013