I was born at the wrong time, we didn't even have a DAW when I was at Uni (I had Cubase VST3 in my room though), just a plain old analogue mixing console and 2 SVHS ADATs.
My first experience with 5.1 was a couple of years ago in Telegael. Studio 1 is a surround mixing studio and I'd mixed a TV movie in stereo that needed to be converted into 5.1 for a DVD release. I mixed the movie and we uploaded the stems to a company in LA to make the DVD, no idea how it was encoded. I think it's Dolby Digital but without having the DVD at hand I can't be sure.
To be honest 5.1 mixing is something I really want and need to do more of but I don't get given the surround projects as my studio is a stereo one, the chap in the surround studio gets the 5.1 work.
Short of buying myself the likes of a 003, 3 more Genelecs and Complete Production Toolkit I don't see an alternative to getting more sound work while I'm with my current employer. It's different in TV land as 5.1 is still relatively rare compared to stereo. I wonder what the actual numbers are for this? Anyone know?