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Steve Bartkoski proudly admits he was a band geek.

“I was the poster boy for a band geek and spent a good chunk of time in the practice room and rehearsal,” said Bartkoski, who graduated from Friends University in 1998 with a degree in music education.

Band geek or not, Bartkoski’s musical talents have taken him from the band room at Friends University to Los Angeles, where he works as the sales executive for Avid Technology. There, he manages the sales revenue for part of the company’s retail and music industry product lines.

“It is my responsibility to manage all of the marketing, training, and sales opportunities for all of the dealers that sell the product line and track quarterly revenue to make sure that it is on target,” he said.

Bartkoski’s job keeps him in the music industry, which is a definite plus.

“It is a blessing to be involved in the development of new product and technologies in a field that I use on a daily basis.” However, “the negatives are that sometimes I dream in Excel.”

Besides the musical skills he picked up at Friends University, Steve says his teaching education has been extremely useful in his business career.

“Lesson planning should be mandatory for anyone doing corporate presentations and Power Point,” Bartkoski said. “I am always amazed in the business world how rare it is to see a well-planned and structured 15-minute presentation with clear outcomes of what you want to impart to the listener. Big props to Dr. Taylor and Marilyn Killian for setting me straight early in my life.”

Life since graduation from Friends University has taken Steve on an interesting journey, and he says he’s enjoying every moment of it.

“I am proud to just be where I am at in the here and now. My career path has taken a lot of twists and turns from classroom teacher, composer and arranger, performance, music direction, product training, sales management,” he said. “I have stints in Wichita, Dallas and now Los Angeles. I find it all interesting and continue to be satisfied as long as there are new challenges and opportunities to grow and learn new skills.”

And though he loves Los Angeles, Bartkoski says there are a few things he still misses about Wichita.

“At the top of the list is Taco Tico,” he said. “If anyone decides to franchise it out in Los Angeles, I would happily contribute to the cause.