Alumni in Action
Michael Specht '11
Camera Image Quality Engineer
Michael Specht, '11
Camera Image Quality Engineer, Apple Inc.
Major: Visual Arts
"Eckerd definitely pushed me in a direction where I'm doing something I love for a living."
When Michael Specht applied at an Apple® retail store in his hometown of Atlanta, he was expecting to get a job repairing Apple products. Lucky for him, the encouragement he received and experience he gained as he pursued his photography major at Eckerd gave him an edge.
Instead, Michael's resume went into a company-wide database, where it caught the attention of a hiring manager at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, CA.
"Within six days of applying, the Cupertino office contacted me about this job," Michael reports. "I ended up having four phone interviews and 10 in person before they offered me the job. The whole process took only two weeks."
Two weeks after graduating from Eckerd with a degree in Visual Arts, Michael was commuting from his apartment in San Francisco to his job as a Camera Test Engineer with one of the world's most celebrated companies.
Apple put Michael to work with the hardware and software teams for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touches. "They hired me because I'm a photographer and I can see quality differences between images," he explains. "It's much easier to teach Quality Assurance (QA) than train someone in the art of photography."
Asked if he'd do it all again, Michael says, "I wouldn't have changed where I went to school, who I met and how it shaped my life. It definitely pushed me in a direction where I'm doing something I love for a living, which is very difficult to find these days."
Michael says his Eckerd advantage was working with his faculty advisor to stage his own senior art show, learning all aspects of a successful exhibition.