When our clients call Southeastern, they know they’ll reach a trusted advisor, but that isn’t possible without every team member. Our team members set us apart, so we make sure to build a tight-knit community that feels like a second family. We had time to sit down and chat with one of our apprentices to learn more about what our apprenticeship program in South Florida is like.
A Day in the Life of a Southeastern Apprentice
Gabe Almonte is a recent college graduate who went to school for art and design. A huge benefit of working for a midsized company is that your job can change, and Gabe’s evolving role in our apprenticeship program in South Florida is proof. In a company of our size, there is always the ability to do work for a few different roles and learn new skills. Read our Q&A with Gabe to learn more!
How did you land your job at Southeastern?
I go to the same church as another employee, Gus. He heard that I was studying design, and he knew that the company needed people with some of my qualifications. I applied and sent my resume to him, and he connected me with HR. I had an interview with a couple of the managers, and then I had a follow-up with the president and director of the company, and after that was when they gave me the offer, and I started as soon as I could.
What is your role at Southeastern?
I started off as an apprentice to learn prepress and learn the printing world. I have been able to try different things here and help out in whatever way possible. They definitely have taken what I have experience in and used it.
What is prepress?
Prepress is what happens before printing on the press. It’s quality control and making sure everything gets printed correctly once it gets sent to our presses. We have to make sure that every file is positioned and the correct resolution for our printers. We’ll sometimes have to add marks to tell our operators where to cut, what’s printing, what’s not printing
What does your day-to-day look like at Southeastern?
Each day can be a little different depending on which jobs come in. Today, I got a new type of sign that I haven’t worked with before, so my initial response was to go to our press operators that were going to be printing that sign and talk it through with them and see what I needed to present to them and how the file had to be put together so that they could do their job correctly.
What surprised you the most about working at Southeastern?
It was funny because during the interview, I was told that I wouldn’t be designing anything, and the idea would be that I would be doing prepress only. It quickly became them using my talents, and I was able to venture into doing graphic design, which was a sweet surprise.
I also studied video editing, and I had some experience in that with my previous job. I started a project to do tutorial videos for this new software we’ve been implementing, doing internal training and client-facing videos. I’ve been working on editing those videos, screen recording, and doing voiceover for those videos as well. It was a surprise that I got to step up into those different areas.
Being a student just out of college and being able to work on projects for Miami Marlins, Miami Dolphins, Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, all these big names that have a lot of influence, being able to even put that on my resume—normally, a student wouldn’t be trusted with these projects.
For the Miami Marlins baseball team, I worked on a two-part [jumbotron] digital advertisement. This was an in-game sponsor ad that would be displayed at some point during the game. It was super cool to be trusted with a project as big as that and to have that opportunity, especially since it was something I ventured out into doing and it wasn’t in my job description, but I was given the opportunity to work on it.
We get multiple jobs a day from Royal Caribbean for different signage. Each one has its own specific criteria around it, and we have a specific process to follow. It’s always cool to see what a big company like that is producing and printing.
I never realized how intricate the printing industry is. They don’t really teach you printing in school—all the experience comes from hands-on learning from more experienced people in the company and on-the-job learning from mistakes. It’s a lot of learning and adjusting to what each job entails. It surprised me how big the printing world actually is.
What is your favorite thing about working at Southeastern?
I enjoy the opportunity to come out of college and be able to jump into this new world, and be exposed to big name brands, and get the great resume-building experience. I love how welcoming everyone is. They are all so willing to teach. If you want to learn, you can grow. People are appreciative that I am willing to learn and are surprised at what I do know. They’re all very encouraging and willing to teach and help whenever I have questions on a job.
Interested in Joining Our Team?
Interested in a career at Southeastern? Check out our open positions! We look forward to hearing from you!