Case Study:
Tom Vein

Audio Engineer
The Smashing Pumpkins

Tell us what you do and what your work typically entails.

I'm an audio engineer, more specifically I'm a monitor engineer. A monitor engineer helps the musicians at a concert hear what they want to hear. I am the point person off stage that the artist communicates to.

I help musicians feel more comfortable performing on stage. In these stressful and vulnerable environments, I pay close attention to the artist and make sure they are taken care of so they can do their job properly.

Though a solid knowledge of audio fundamentals is necessary, the more complicated requirements are the capacity to interpret the subtleties of the musician on stage and the ability to immediately solve problems in very stressful situations, all while remaining calm and collected.

How has the altMBA helped you level up?

The altMBA has changed the fundamental way I understand and interact with others. It has taught me to live with a deeper sense of empathy and compassion, to look at life from a new point of view.

The altMBA has helped me understand that every person has a unique underlying story that leads and guides the way they live. That even though someone may have the opposite opinion doesn't mean they are wrong or misinformed in their thinking or reasoning. But that their story is correct, and if you can begin to understand that story you can start to make change happen.

What’s the #1 thing you liked about being part of the altMBA?

The number one thing I liked about being in the altMBA is the format of the course. From the very first meeting over video chat, I instantly knew this was the future of education. The way the subject matter is assembled, and how the interactions took place, you realize that this platform was something unique and groundbreaking.

You are given real-world, actionable projects in an environment of like-minded people. Peers that wouldn't put up anything but first rate work. You were instantly called out and probed for not going deep enough, not trying hard enough and not being honest enough with yourself. It made it challenging in a way that I had never experienced before.

What's something you approached differently recently because of what you learned during the altMBA?

Since the altMBA I've approached criticism as a welcomed gift, an opportunity to learn more about myself. It's easy to feel like comments and criticism are a personal attack, but now I seek them out. Change in yourself doesn't happen when you can only interpret from your own comfortable perspective. When you welcome criticism and allow yourself to be uncomfortable and fully process it without getting defensive, you get to see a side of yourself you may usually be blinded to. You may just find an answer you've been seeking out.

Any other comments or recommendations about the altMBA?

I didn't know if this was for me, I didn't actually think it was, but I applied anyways. I've been reading Seth's blog and books for years but didn't know how I could actionably apply a lot of this information into my life. I was in a seemly unrelated industry at the time of application and took a chance, made a leap and it changed my life. This course thoroughly and thoughtfully combined and distilled the essence of Seth's teaching on leadership and change-making into one-of-a-kind groundbreaking exercise that penetrates deep and leaves a lasting impression.


Apply for the altMBA

The program dates:

altMBA16/17 Winter: January 15 – February 13, 2018

The application takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Application