Dana Rosenberg ’91 attended Emerson LA’s first-ever alumni job fair hoping to make connections and seize new opportunities. The last few years have been tough on her, so the timing of the job fair couldn’t be more perfect.
“My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer for the third time, and about two years ago I needed to go home to Boston,” said Rosenberg, a consultant. “I lost her unfortunately, so now I’m in the process of moving back here to Los Angeles.”
On October 21 at CBS Studio Center, Rosenberg and more than 60 other Emerson College alumni had the opportunity to speak with representatives from 11 companies in the scripted and non-scripted TV and film industry. Participants included 20th Century Fox & Fox Entertainment Group, American Cinema Inspires, Bunim/Murray Productions, Cohen Media Group, The Company, Disney ABC Television Group, Fullscreen Media, Horror Equity Fund, Dynasty Pictures, Pie Town Productions, and Pilgrim Media Group.
Chevonne O'Shaughnessy from American Cinema Inspires speaks with other company representatives at Emerson LA's first-ever job fair. Photo/Tommaso Di Blasi
The alumni job fair was a culmination of many months of planning and scheduling. Gia Galligani ’98 and Scott Shipley ’04, co-chairs of the Emerson LA Alumni Network, helped organize the event.
“Emerson wants to keep this tight community,” said Galligani, “and this is a great opportunity for alumni to meet with employers face to face.”
After introducing themselves, representatives from each company met potential future employees in an event that sort of resembled a speed-dating brunch. Every 10 minutes, employers moved from table to table, as alumni like M. Douglas Silverstein ’96 handed out their resumes and talked about their career goals through brief pitches.
“It was interesting and valuable,” said Silverstein, a director and producer. “[A] sign of the Emerson connection working for me.”
Other Emersonians, like Azeem Robinson-Downes ’98, a director and producer, and Matthew O’Connell ’06, a freelance filmmaker, agreed.
“It’s good to come back, meet some new people, and share my experiences,” said Robinson-Downes. “It’s amazing how many new opportunities there are.”
“It’s great that the College is taking an active role in reaching out to graduates,” added O’Connell.
Ally Weinberg ’03, director of development at the reality TV production company Pie Town Productions, carried a binder full of resumes, hoping to give fellow Emersonians work in the industry. Pie Town Productions, which was co-founded by alumna Tara Sandler ’84, already employs at least 30 Emerson graduates, making Weinberg proud to be at CBS Studios representing two things she loves: her workplace and her alma mater.
“It was really interesting to see the diversity of fields people had worked in since graduating,” said Weinberg. “That was probably the biggest eye opener.”
Zac Weinstein, producer and co-founder of Dynasty Pictures, said he had attended several networking events before, but none quite like this with the speed-dating format.
“It was unique and it was different and I loved it,” said Weinstein. “There were multiple people who really impressed me and who I know I’ll be working with in the future, so it was great.”
Organizing a job fair for alumni was a team effort. In addition to Galligani and Shipley, Laura Daroca, Emerson LA’s associate director of alumni engagement, worked closely with Allison Sampson, Emerson LA’s vice president and executive director; other staff members; and alumni volunteers to arrange the event.
“We are always looking to engage alumni in a variety of ways,” said Daroca. “This job fair is a great way to bring together alumni from different generations and different levels of their careers.”
With the success of the event, there’s already talk of holding another job fair in the spring for Emersonians looking to work in the tech, digital, and marketing industries. Shipley and Galligani hope there will be events like this every year because they want Emersonians to continue to forge and rekindle relationships.
“We really want to get [everyone] engaged and involved in the school again,” said Shipley.
For Rosenberg, having the opportunity to meet such a wide variety of employers and network with other Emersonians was both meaningful and, she hopes, prosperous.
“There were a couple of people who were connected with what I do. That’s what you hope for: someone you connect with who’s interested in what you’re selling,” said Rosenberg. “There’s opportunity for someone like me.”