David Papa, a native of South Plainfield, won the Outstanding Achievement in Post-Production Award at the third annual SAE Institute New York Alumni Awards, which were held at The Cutting Room in Manhattan in early July.

“Our Alumni Awards celebrated the noteworthy contributions that SAE alumni have made in the entertainment and audio industries over the past year,” says SAE New York Campus Director Michael Morrell.  “David’s win and impressive career are testaments to the outstanding quality of SAE’s curriculum and training, as well as his own hard work, dedication to excellence, and immense talent.”

Papa is a 2004 graduate of the Audio Technology Program of SAE Institute, a creative media arts college in New York City.  He’s also a 1996 graduate of Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset and a 2000 graduate of University of Pennsylvania.  He’s currently an Audio Engineer/Mixer/Sound Designer for Sonic Union in Manhattan. 

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“SAE provided me a solid, well-rounded foundation that I needed to get a foot in the door of the ultra-competitive sound design business,” says Papa, who was also the winner of the 2014 AICE Award for Best Audio Mix.  “The teachers were highly knowledgeable and the gear was state-of-the-art.  By the time I graduated and started my first internship, I was able to hit the ground running.”

As far as his advice is concerned to those who’d like to pursue a career in audio engineering and production at SAE, Papa recommends that students focus on developing their interpersonal skills.

“75% of my job is how I manage relationships and interactions with clients,” says Papa.  “You could be an exceptional engineer, but if you have a bad attitude, finding and keeping work will be extremely difficult.”