We recently sat down with alumna Lucia Cottone ’92, Vice President of Series Development and Current Programming at Lifetime Television, to discuss her experiences in the field of television production. Emerson student group Amigos invited Cottone to speak as part of the events planned for Emerson’s Hispanic/Latin American Heritage Month. Amigos is Emerson's Latino organization, dedicated to creating awareness of the Latino community at Emerson.
Q: I saw that you were a TV/Video major while at Emerson. Is working in television something you always wanted to do?
A: I didn’t know what I wanted to do at all! I actually attended the New England School of Photography (NESOP) after graduating from Emerson, as I also have a passion for photography. I always tried to be very present. I am very curious and humanistic. I told myself, “I just have to show up, have integrity and be professional and things will work out the way they should.” The desire to succeed, led me from one experience to another.
Q: Did you have a mentor? If so, what are some of the lessons he/she taught you?
A: My grandfather, Owen Smith. He taught me that education is something no one can take away from you. By staying connected to your school and your teachers you will always have a resource to reach back to.
Q: Emersonians are very ambitious, just like you. How do you keep a healthy work–life balance?
A: Set boundaries. Engage in activities that can help you disconnect. I mean disconnect in a positive way, go for hikes, take a yoga class, engage in in giving back to your community. Seek other perspectives… travel. Your life is about your experiences.
Q: You’re currently at Lifetime Television. What are some highlights from your time there?
A: I am blessed and privileged to work in this business. Programming television for women has been fascinating. The business of development and current programming is very hard work but it’s fun. I have had the opportunity to work and engage with very interesting people and along the way also explore my own creative growth and approach. And for sure one of the highlights has been overseeing the show “Army Wives” from day one, talk about perspective! I have also stayed very committed to my community work, in many ways what I do professionally has given me the drive and desire to be very actively involved in helping others. It goes hand in hand for me.
Q: What kinds of challenges at work have you had to face?
A: You need to embrace the hard times. Know that it’s OK, and that you will learn a tremendous amount from the experience. We learn that we survive. Challenges come in every shape and size and it’s what you do with them that matters.
Photographed above from left to right: Charles Derupe '13, Co-President of ASIA; Lucia Cottone; Christina Roulette '13, Marketing Committee for ASIA.