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“Industry Insiders” to Provide Insights, Advice at Overseers Conference

Whether a student wants to launch the next Uber, create the next “Campaign for Real Beauty,” or produce the next Hamilton, she’ll find professionals and executives with decades of combined experience to show her how it’s done at this year’s Emerson College Industry Insiders Conference.

On Tuesday, October 25, members of Emerson’s Board of Overseers, representing advertising, public relations, theater, television, and numerous start-up companies, will offer students seven different panels on ways to break into their chosen careers and make an impact. The panels will run from 2:00 to 4:00 pm in the Max Mutchnick Campus Center.

The Board of Overseers helps the president and Board of Trustees carry out the College’s strategic plans, as well as connects the student body and industry, through internship opportunities, mentoring relationships, and on-campus workshops.

From 2:00 to 3:00 pm, advertising professional Mike Rogers and Marketing Communication faculty member Peter Seronick will talk about “Makin’ Ads: How to Start Your Career in Advertising.” Rogers has won creative awards for his work on Porsche, Bud Light, and Hershey.

John Wentworth ’81, executive vice president of communications for CBS Television Distribution, will present “Peak TV: Breaking Through Today’s Programming Clutter” from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. Between 2009 and 2015, the number of scripted TV series doubled, according to Vulture. Wentworth, who will give a similar talk Monday, October 24, as this year’s Irma Mann Stearns Distinguished Lecturer, will explain how he creates buzz with so much competition.

Aspiring theater producers need to catch Tony Award–winning Broadway producer Bonnie Comley, MA ’94, for her talks, “Finding Your Spotlight: Getting a Job on Broadway from a Producer’s Perspective” (2:00–3:00 pm) and “Media Gold Rush: Bringing Theater into the Digital Streaming Area” (3:00–4:00 pm).

Comley and her husband, Stewart Lane, recently launched BroadwayHD, which aims to do for live theater what Netflix did for film and Hulu did for TV. Comley won a Tony Award for her production of Jay Johnson: The Two and Only and is lead producer for the upcoming Broadway musical A Moment in Time. Her Broadway co-producing credits include A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, War Horse, Legally Blonde, and Sunday in the Park with George.  

Have an amazing business idea? Check out “Start-Up and Stay-Up: Launching Your Business,” 2:00–3:00 pm, and hear how Michelle Keating ’84, president and CEO of Adler Foods; Mark Donovan ’89, media and technology entrepreneur/executive; and David Breen ’78, founder and principal designer of VDA Productions, did it.

Before you launch, though, you’ll need a business plan. That’s where Donovan, Keating, investment manager Mike Mara ’81, and Joshua Wachs ’87, CEO of Echo & Co., come in. You’ll get finance, sales, and marketing tips to help make your idea viable from 3:00 to 4:00 pm.

Also from 3:00 to 4:00 pm, Wentworth; Weber Shandwick Senior Corporate Advisor Don Spetner; and Sandi Goldfarb ’78, senior vice president, Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications, will present “Not Your Father’s Press Release: The Ins and Outs of PR.”

Still have questions for the Overseers? From 4:00 to 5:30 pm, in the Little Building’s Beard Room, graduate students and young alumni will have the opportunity to network with Board members and each other at “What Is Your True Color?” In addition to learning from industry heavyweights, students will discover how their “true color” impacts their leadership style, and what to do with that information in their professional lives.

For a complete schedule of panels and rooms, visit the Industry Insiders Conference webpage. All panels are free and open to all undergraduate and graduate students, but seating is limited. RSVP to nicole_sullivan@emerson.edu to reserve a space.