Led by Professor of Media and Society Les Friedman, Associate Professor of Africana Studies Marilyn Jimenez and Professor of English Grant Holly, the annual Behind the Scenes NYC program is an exciting multiday event for students who want to learn more about the worlds of media and entertainment from a variety of perspectives. Facilitated in conjunction with the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional and Experiential Education, the upcoming excursion will take place during winter break from Monday, Jan. 5 to Friday, Jan. 7.
The program invites media and entertainment professionals to meet with students in the Strand Hotel in Manhattan. This year, professionals from the “David Letterman Show,” “60 Minutes,” Broadway’s Imperial Theatre, HBO Sports and “Good Morning America” will present at the conferences. The professionals invited represent a wide variety of backgrounds, including production, reporting, sales, songwriting, sound mixing and social media coordination.
The program also includes networking receptions with alums involved in the fields of media and entertainment. There will also be a young alums panel that will present and take questions from students on Jan. 5. In addition, students will visit cutting-edge locations in entertainment, including the Imperial Theatre, Madison Square Garden and the CBS Broadcast Center.
Students will meet at the Strand Hotel on Jan. 5 to hear presentations from PureSolo CEO Dave Kaplan ’83; singer/songwriter Youdlyn Moreau ’13; Senior Director of East Coast Television Scott Perry ’91; television producer Elise Silvestri P’17; Jerry Stoeffhaas of the New York City Film Office; and Robert Wussler, Jr. ’83 of the Hollywood Reporter.
On Jan. 6, students will visit Alan Kalter ’64, announcer for the “Late Show with David Letterman,” as well as Scott Anderson P’15, sound mixer for “Les Miserables” at the Imperial Theater, and HWS Trustee Bill Whitaker ’73, L.H.D. ’97, a correspondent for CBS Studios’ “60 Minutes.”
On the program’s final day, “Good Morning America” Producer Sarah Kunin ’09, Thomas Odelfelt ’92 and Matt Chase ’13 of HBO Sports, social media coordinator at Madison Square Garden Casey Nicoletti ’14 and Director of Sales at iHeart Media Brian Joy ’04 will share valuable perspectives with students in the program.
Behind the Scenes is an annual winter break event that is hosted by HWS in major cities known for their opportunities in entertainment and the arts. Winter break programs such as this offer students the opportunity to engage directly with professionals in field of interest. Each year, participating students establish important professional connections, get access to behind-the-scenes perspectives, and even land internships and set the foundation for possible future employment.