A group of HWS students got an inside look at what it takes to break into and thrive in the media and entertainment industries during the Colleges’ “Behind the Scenes NYC” career exploration program. Held from Jan. 11-13, students met and networked with alums leading high-powered media careers in New York City both “behind the scenes” and in front of the camera.
Just the second time the program has taken students to New York City, the number of alums and parents who participated in the program has tripled and expanded to include professionals from a wide range of career paths available to students who are aspiring to break into the industry. On alternate years, the “Behind the Scenes” program takes students to meet with alums in Los Angeles.
“The interest and commitment of our alums is extraordinary,” said Brandi Ferrara, director of the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education. “Students will learn about a number of careers in media – from digital, to stage, to screen and many more. It’s amazing to see how quickly this program has flourished in just its second year taking students to New York City.”
Ferrara led the trip, along with Assistant Professor of Media and Society Lisa Patti and Professor of English Grant Holly.
The first day of the program included six panel discussions each focused on a different theme, such as careers in production, sales or social media. Media veterans and young alums spoke with students about their experiences in a variety of careers across the industry, providing the group with invaluable advice about how to prepare for and pursue their careers.
The second and third days of the trip took students on a series of site visits where they connected with alums and their colleagues, and got an inside look at careers with marketing firms to work in production studios. On day two, the group attended a taping of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”
The site visits kicked off with a trip to “Good Morning America” where students met with show producer Sarah Kunin ’09. The group then headed to IgnitionOne where they were hosted by CEO and Founder Will Margiloff ’92 and Vice President of Marketing Joe LaSala ’98. The day finished with a visit to “Dr. Oz” where show researcher Steve Barnard-Webster ’14 hosted students, followed by a trip to CBS studios where students visited with “60 Minutes” correspondent and HWS Trustee Bill Whitaker ’73, L.H.D. ’97.
On the final day of the trip, students met with HBO Sports Production Assistant Ryan Lohuis ’14, followed by a visit to Horizon Media where students were hosted by Associate Director of Mobile Strategy Alexandra Haack ’09, Digital Strategy Supervisor Hallie Bates ’12 and Reconciliation Coordinator Michael Shore ’15. The group then headed to Sawyer Studios to meet with Digital Account Director Courtney Jones ’09 and to iHeart Media with Director of Sales Brian Joy ’04.
The full list of panel discussions and speakers in this year’s program:
The Screen and Stage
Josh Horowitz ’98, MTV news correspondent; Rebecca Larkin ’02, musical theatre actress at Actors Equity; Lawrence Gregorek ’11, production at Lionsgate; and Nick Whitaker ’12, comedy agent at William Morris Endeavor.
Careers in Production
Bob Frye ’64, managing director at Whistling Communications; Bruce A. Kraemer ’76, owner of Ego Actus; Wendy Ettinger ’78, producer and director at Chicken & Egg Pictures; Rich Schlansker ’90, director/producer at Electric City Pictures; and Elise Schoengood P’17, television producer.
More Careers in Entertainment
Scott Perry ’91, East Coast Television, Hollywood Reporter; John Heavey ’09, film distribution at A24 films; and Jessica Cohen ’10, operations coordinator at NBC Universal.
A Career in Sales
Rob Wussler Jr. ’83, vice president of sales and integration at Twentieth Television; Scott Kirshenbaum ’93, director of sports sales & events marketing at CBS Television Network; Valentina Cuevas ’11, sales support specialist at Discovery Communications; and Piper Ferrone ’15, ad sales assistant at Trusted Media Brands.
Alum Perspectives: Starting Your Career
Youdlyn Moreau ’13, singer, songwriter and music blogger; Ana Pichardo ’08, Dominican Film Festival; Casey Nicoletti ’14, assistant media buyer at ITN Networks; and Julia Palmer ’15 assistant media buyer at ITN Networks.
Careers in Media & the Arts
Emily Thompson ’01, fine arts specialist at Emigrant Bank Fine Art Finance; Karl Brautigam ’04, senior manager of brand strategy at Foursquare Labs; Walter Cruz ’11, designer and visual artist; and Kwame Lovell ’10, field marketer at Diageo.