Education, experience, timing, luck and who you know are key ingredients to how a student can succeed when looking for a job or internship.
Although professors and services on campus may be able to help students prepare through education, services offered to students on campus utilize the “who you know” aspect encouraging students to start networking with professionals.
The Career Services & Leadership Development partnered with the CSU Entertainment Alliance and held a panel of discussion Wednesday, April 18, full of professionals from the film, music, performing arts, broadcasting & immersive & social media industries to teach students how to network and be more prepared for potential internships and jobs.
This type of event serves to further enhance students’ knowledge towards making that big step in their careers. CSLD and CSUEA stated during the event that the services they provide serve to facilitate students around campus who seek help in finding opportunities based on their career paths.
“We’re trying to reach out to these different companies knowing that our students are not only looking for business or corporate positions. We’re also working to tap in and engage with STEM, nonprofits, public service, government, NGO employers,” said Cori Miller, the associate director of Career Services.
CSLD aims to help students and alumni have fulfilling careers. They partner with SF State student organizations, faculty and staff to assist students and alumni in defining career goals that are consistent with their interests, skills, values and personalities.
Additionally, according to the CSLD mission statement, they help students master the job search skills that will enable them to pursue their goals effectively by connecting with employers whose expertise will help them translate their academic achievements into professional success.
CSLD Director Orlando Harri s stated that CSLD welcomes students to pitch potential ideas of events they would like to see offered in the future. He stated that the event hosted last Wednesday was in fact because Blake Bonecutter, a cinema major student, reached out to them.
Bonecutter went to the CSLD office to seek how they could bring in professionals to talk to cinema students and learn how to network with them. Around 160 students from majors ranging in business, cinema, theatre, BECA and business joined in the event.
“I knew that getting a job with a film degree is hard,” said Bonecutter. “I was just freaked out … I went over to Orlando and started annoying him like, ‘How am I supposed to get a job when I graduate?’.”
Miller explains how the CSLD has renovated its services to provide easier access to all students on campus about information on how to build their professional network. It is highly encouraged that students begin to think about networking and getting involved in volunteer work and internships as early as freshman year to further build in their professional experiences.
“Our goal is to prepare students for opportunities that might present themselves,” said Miller. “Ultimately, we want to be known as the office where talent and opportunity connect.”
Students have a further advantage as the CSU Entertainment Alliance serves all 23 CSU campuses but have their offices are located here on campus. The CSUEA serves as one of the four initiatives that are funded by the Cal State University System Chancellor’s office and are hosted by a different Cal State campus. The CSUEA is part of the entertainment and the creative arts. The other initiatives based on hospitality and tourism, agriculture, water services and resources, according to CSUEA Managing Director Simone Nelson.
Nelson shares how the program encourages students other than film, theatre, cinema and BECA majors to come to these workshops as they can also target students majoring in business, accounting and computer science. She said Disney, among other corporations, need a variety of talented professionals to contribute to the company’s needs.
“[Disney] is just a company. They need people to do PR, marketing, accounting. They need people to distribute [content]. They need people who do sales, who do catering, hospitality and all those other things,” Nelson said. “We have to market this. We have programs that help students like you and faculty, but we also try to market to the entertainment arts and media industries to say ‘Hey look at our students’.”
The CSUEA offers a variety of opportunities through their website to help facilitate students, faculty and alumni when searching for internships and jobs relating to the entertainment arts and media industry.
They meet annually with the Chancellor and Vice Chancellor to figure out how they can further offer more services such as curriculum, programs or more funding to help students graduate on time and help them find the jobs they seek within their major.
“The university system needs to amend their curriculum,” Nelson said. “It’s like why can’t we teach … the business side of it because not all [students] are going to be behind the camera, screen talent, not all of you are going to be a producer.”
Bonecutter further hopes that more students will take initiative and take advantage of the services offered on campus in order to help their enhance their college experience.
“I would say, get to know people, whether that’s staff that works here or other students … It’s really as simple as that. Once you start talking to people you get ideas, you get connections and it just naturally takes off,” said Bonecutter.
Update: This version has been update from the print version.