From chef to music producer – we chat with one of our career-changing students

Like so many of our students and staff, Joel Watson exudes the infectious energy and passion which makes Collarts the special place that it’s become.

Joel came to Collarts to follow his passion after a decade-long career as a chef, a decision he hasn’t regretted for a moment. Joel offered to tell the story of his career-change in his own words for our blog – so here it is!

At the beginning of this year, it became apparent to me that my career as a chef was no longer fulfilling my hunger for knowledge.

At the age of 17, I became a dishwasher and very soon after landed my first real job as an apprentice sushi chef. I have always been good at cooking, so when things fell into place and I started building a career in it, it really seemed like a logical life-path…or should I say, “the safe life path”.

I had always loved the music industry and longed to be a part of it one day. However, the responsibilities of a chef became so demanding that my passion for music moved further into the background of my priorities.

After working in the food industry for over 10 years, I had a revelation. I made the decision to sacrifice a stable income in order to pursue my dream of becoming a music producer. I knew that studying Audio Production was going to be my best chance at igniting the spark that had been missing in my life thus far. When you have spent years of being comfortable in a specific trade, the thought of leaving that behind and returning to study is extremely daunting. All of a sudden I found myself wading into a pool that I’d dipped my toes in years ago and honestly, it’s scary but you can’t give up on your dream!

I decided on attending Collarts the second I walked through the door. The energy was so alive and welcoming. I walked in hoping to one day be a producer and a better musician. Now that I’m in my second Trimester, I’m already confident I can do every job I have ever dreamed of – such as working live shows, studio work, post production, synthesis, sound design and more!

Since starting my Bachelor of Audio Production I am happier than I’ve been in years. When you go from doing something you don’t enjoy in excess of 90 hours per week, to learning about and being part of what I love, it’s a dream come true.

We wanted to say a huge thank you to Joel for sending us this feedback – it’s been a pleasure having Joel join the Collarts family and we’re so happy to be a part of his journey.

Joel Watson is a current Collarts student studying the Bachelor of Arts (Audio Production).