I met Andrew Tylosky in 2003, at the start of our college careers. We were both enrolled in the television production program at The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), and right from the beginning everyone in our class knew he was going to make it big. Andrew understood the technical world of broadcasting like the rest of us knew how to cross the street - it was second nature. During lectures he soon became known for his in-depth and technically complex queries, where he would interrupt our professors with one of his infamous ‘unrelated questions.’
Now, five years after graduation and only 25 years old, Tylosky is the Founder and Media Director of Motion Media, a one-stop media-shop based in Fort St. John, British Columbia. With a team of eight employees and major Canadian broadcasters knocking down his door, the company has grown from simple video production to include web design, corporate video production, printing services, and documentary work.
‘I never planned to start a business,’ says Tylosky, ‘I’ve been doing media ‘stuff’ since I was 12 years old. I took every opportunity along the road. As circumstance worked out, the opportunity fell in front of me and I had to take it or leave it. I took it.’
Tylosky is a hard worker who expects the same from his employees, but doesn’t get offended when something doesn’t work out, ‘It’s always been hard work. There have been times when I get discouraged, but I always find opportunity in those discouraging moments. I say, “Okay, that’s a lesson on how not to do it next time." Or, "If I was in control of the situation, I would do it this way.”'
The nature of the media industry is one of constant change, and in order to work in an environment such as this, you need to be open and flexible. And although the energy and creativity necessary for careers in the media can no doubt be found in Generation Y (18-30 year olds), Andrew points out a flaw in some his peers, ‘I think...people of [my] generation have very high expectations of their employers to say, “This is what you do, and how you do it." We’re often quick to say, “ah, that’s below me.”’ Viewpoints such as this, however, won’t get you anywhere fast, especially at Motion Media. ‘I never want to hear: “That’s not my job,” because it is your job. Whatever it takes for us as a team to get the work done. If that means that you’re the guy who has to get up at 5am to get the project done, it’s your job.’
A particular obstacle to the growth of the company is the size and location of its home base. The city of Fort St. John, located in northwestern British Columbia, Canada, has a population of 19,000, and winter temperatures that commonly dip below -30 C (-22 F). Not to mention, the nearest major city (Edmonton, Alberta) is over 800 km (approx. 500 miles) away. According to Tylosky, these factors make it a lot harder to attract employees, ‘What I hate most about it is looking at all the opportunities we have as a company, and not having the people to do the things we want to do.’
But at the end of the day, there’s nowhere Tylosky would rather be, ‘It’s different every day, I have great people to work with, we get great results, and there are always new achievements. There are no two days at Motion Media that are the same, and I get a real high off of being able to be flexible – if we want to do the work to make the client happy, we’ve got to figure out a way to make it happen.’
Visit Motion Media's website: www.motionmedia.ca
10 Questions with Andrew Tylosky
I am: The Founder and Media Director of Motion Media in Fort St. John, British Columbia
I have been working towards this position: Since I was 12 years old. I took every opportunity along the road. In grade 11, I ended up hosting the afternoon drive show on the local radio station because they didn’t have anybody else to do it. And I got that job because I was the 'cool kid,' the ‘keener’ who hung around the studio and recorded stuff after-hours just for fun, and did an okay job of it.
My Responsibilities Include: Managing the company, making sure projects stay on track, and knowing that when an existing project is done we have new work coming in the door. Making sure there’s money in the bank account to cover payroll, and making sure the garbage is taken out!
How I got into this job: I don’t limit myself. I’ve always said I would do something with technology or media, but I’ve never been like, “I’m going to be an Executive Producer of a hit T.V. show,” and nothing else. I’ve never had that attitude. I’ve always said I’ll take whatever is thrown my way, and I’ll figure out if I’m good at it or if I’m bad at it. If I’m good at it, I’m going to figure out a way to do as much of it as I can.
When I head to work in the morning: I usually wake up every morning, about 5am, with a panic attack! (laughs) But it’s always a panic attack of opportunity. As in, “I’ve got to get this done, before I can do that!” So it’s a good panic attack.
What I Love: It’s different everyday! Great people, great results, new achievements, and flexibility!
What I Hate: My biggest problem with the job is finding people that want to do the work. What I hate most is [when I look] at all the opportunities we have out there as a company, and not having the people to do the things we want to do.
The most common misconception about my work is: I don’t get to do a lot of creative things anymore [due to] my position. I would love to hand my job of running the company off to somebody that has a business education, but I’m working towards that. I think by the time I’m 30, I’ll be in that position.
Why YOU should think about a job like this: As somebody getting into the media industry, whether you want to work in media or own media, you need to take advantage of opportunities. Whether it’s volunteering somewhere, or [working] in an entry-level position sweeping the floors or making coffee - if those opportunities lay in front of you, you need to take them. If you don’t, you’re going to miss out.
Favorite Quote: There’s one thing I never want to hear: “That’s not my job.” Bring me solutions, not problems.
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