Advice from a Pro

7 11 2009

Over the summer, when I was interning at NFL Films, I met a woman named Debbie Markowitz who shared her story with me. I found it really inspiring, motivational, informative and helpful.

She told me how before coming to work at NFL Films, she worked in the record business in California for 15 years! As a soon-to-be college grad who is excited to travel west, I asked her what California was like. She explained the job market to me.

Some people say to go to California to get the jobs in TV and film while others say there are no jobs right now. I wanted to hear her experiences from California directly told by her, someone who has been in my shoes.

She said that although it is very competitive and hard to find a job and even though people told her she would have no luck out west, she got four job offers her first day there! It was years ago and things have most likely changed a bit but she said to aim big, dream big and believe in yourself. Don’t go after the lower end positions either. Aim for the top.

Her main suggestion was for me to make a list of my top businesses, companies, etc. that I would like to work at, with my favorites at the top of the list, especially the bigger companies with the more well-known names. Most people plan on aiming for the bottom of the list first and working their way up but she said to go to the big companies first!

“There are more positions! Call around and see who has worked there before and see where they are now. Those sort of connections can get you in.”

She said it has a lot to do with doing your research!!! Find the companies and people you can network with. Start making your list!!!


An interview with a recent RU Grad

24 10 2009


Michelle Zelazny graduated from Rowan’s TV and Film program last December. She has been in the “real” world ever since and is happy to share her experiences with us.

Q: What’s was going through your mind at graduation?

A: Well since I graduated early it was just in some ways a nice reunion. I did feel a sense of pride when i walked up on stage though.

Q: How much time passed after graduating before you landed a job in TV and film?

A: I had done a couple of freelance jobs right after I graduated for the place I interned. After that I worked on a season of Kitchen Impossible on DIY, thanks to a friend from school who I kept in touch with. At the moment, I’ve just been doing a lot of shorter random projects, since most places right now don’t want to hire long term.

Q: Do you have any advice for soon-to-be college grads in regards to anything they should do before or after graduation that might help them find/land a job?

A: Keep in touch with people from college, especially those who graduated before you. I happened to call a friend about something else and mentioned I was having a difficult time landing a steadier job. It was thanks to him I got to work on Kitchen Impossible. He helped land me the “audition” (if you want to call it that) and then I was able to prove myself and get a permanent spot on the second season. Keep in touch with professors too.

Q: What’s it like in the “real world”?

A: You have to take a lot more responsibility for your actions. What you put in is what you get out.

Q: Do you live at home? If so, what is it like to be back?

A: I do, but it works out nice at the moment because I’m saving to move out to California next year. It was a little bit of an re-adjustment, but I’m enjoying spending time with my family, since i know I’ll be moving across the country soon.

Q: Do you miss college at all? Anything you wish you did during your time at Rowan that you didn’t get to do?

A: I do in some ways, but I was done, as I knew it was my time to go. Rowan taught me a lot and now I get to further that knowledge with hands on learning on shoots. I do wish I’d studied abroad, my plan was to graduated early, which is why I didn’t. I think it would have been easier to see another part of the world.

I hope Michelle’s responses about her experiences influence you in some way, whether it is informative, helpful, motivational or just pure entertaining. There will also be other Q & A sessions in the future to look forward to so stay tuned!

Thank you Michelle!