Casting/Discovery Studios

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your current job/employer.
During my freshman UMX class, Toppel came and gave a presentation on how to best prepare ourselves for our careers after college. I remember the presenter mentioning that most employers like to see at least 2-3 internships on a resume, so I immediately got to work. I interned at a TV production company in DC (Ventana Productions) the summer before my sophomore year, Discovery Communications the summer before my junior year, and then at Miami World Cinema Center during my senior year. During this time I also worked as a peer advisor at Toppel so I made sure I had a killer resume to show off all of my experience. Needless to say I was very disappointed when I was unable to find a job upon graduation, despite my preparation during undergraduate career. My disappointment was intensified as all of my fellow peer advisors had landed amazing, well paying jobs of their choosing. I spent the summer in Japan with my parents to try to decide my next move. I did have a few interviews via Skype but none seemed to work out. I returned to the states and started waitressing, while applying for what seemed like hundreds of jobs online during my free time. Almost six months had passed since graduation and I was still jobless, until one day a contact I had made through my internship at Discovery (2 years prior) called me about a position in casting for TLC. I interviewed on Monday, was offered the job on Tuesday, quit my waitressing job Friday and started that very next week. I am working in casting for TLC’s season 3 of “Hoarding: Buried Alive”. So, in the end it was thanks to the connections I made (and kept) during my internships that landed me my first job in the biz.

What was your major(s)/minor(s) in school?
Majored in Video/Film and Anthropology

When and how did you begin to get involved with your career development while at UM?
I focused on landing internships in my field because at the end of the day it’s not what you know it’s who you know, especially in the TV/film industry. Or at least, that has been my experience. I also was a peer advisor, so I saw firsthand the importance of getting internships, interview and networking experience, and being proactive about job searching and career development.

What services/resources at the Toppel Career Center did you find to be the most helpful?
I think one of the most dreadful, yet a helpful experience is to participate in a mock interview. Especially if you have it recorded.

What advice would you give to students as they plan for their career?
I think being successful is a combination of being prepared but also being open to opportunities that you may not have planned for. I think one of the most important things I learned while working at Toppel is that every second is an opportunity to network. You never know who you will meet and what opportunity it may lead to.