THE best/most important semester before you graduate
By Samantha Palumbo
Class of 2014
Television, Radio and Film
For anyone wanting to work in the Film/TV industry after they graduate, this is probably THE best/most important semester before you graduate. The #1 thing you will hear about working in this industry is ‘networking is everything’ because people hire who they know. The amount of contacts I’ve made out here over the past few months is INSANE. I was excited to get out here after I landed an internship at Bravo, but never expected how much real-life work I’d get to do outside of class and my internship. The first week we were here, a group of SU alumni contacted SULA looking for a couple production assistants for the short film they were shooting, and I was reluctant to give up one of my first weekends here to work really long hours for free, but it turned out to be one of the best things I did out here. A week after working for the film, the coordinator emailed me to hire me as a freelance PA at the company she works for, Intuitive Entertainment, which makes the Millionaire Matchmaker and a few other Bravo/E! shows. So on the days I didn’t intern, I PA’d on sets and in the office all semester at Intuitive, made some good cash and a long list of contacts. I even got to be an extra for a new show they were filming. You never know what kinds of experiences you will get from meeting certain people or taking jobs that don’t seem like fun. When in doubt – DO AS MUCH WORK AS YOU CAN, free or paid. Any job pretty much always leads to other great opportunities if you do the job well and network with people.
I didn’t expect all the great people that came to our classes either. Our professors out here bring in top-notch producers, agents, and directs, who give us advice and are so willing to help students out. I’ve gotten so many business cards by going up to the guest speakers after they present, tell them who I am, where I’m interning, and they give me their emails to stay in touch. Even if I wasn’t interested in their field, I told them what I want to do and a few people have passed my resume on to their colleagues with jobs I’d love to do!
The guest speakers also opened my eyes to how many different jobs there are. Bruce Perlmutter, professor of TV Nation, took us to the NBC lot to meet the head of music for films, and his job is to literally find and select the music that are in NBC films! Umm, I want to do that! I also want to be an agent now after speaking with a few who presented. Before coming to LA I had my heart set on becoming a TV editor, and I still do, but now I’m just so willing to see what different opportunities I will get in my career from the people I meet and connect with! Also, LA is just pretty awesome in general. It’s November 12th and 90 degrees here…my friends say it’s snowing in Syracuse. This is a pretty nice break from the cold 😉