Name: Ishaani Saha
Position: Agent (Commercial Endorsements)
Company: Creative Artists Agency (CAA)
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Finance Emphasis
Why did you choose this industry or field?
To be transparent, I did not always know that I wanted to be a talent agent. In college, I was undeclared for the first two years until deciding finance was a skillset that I can transfer into any field. Once I graduated, I realized the true meaning of the cliché, the whole world is my oyster. I had a passion for the entertainment industry—always aware of all of the up and coming talent. Binging tv shows and movies were my safe space.
So once I graduated, I decided to look into the business side of the industry, researched the best agencies, and came across Creative Artists Agency. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know anything about this industry or what I was getting myself into but I applied online for the mailroom on a whim. I didn’t know a single person to help me get in, but somehow with a little bit of luck and hard work, I had four interviews later and got the job.
How did you strategize to get your career to where it is today?
I started in the mailroom with an open mind and eager to learn about every department—which I did. It was there in the mailroom that I found out Commercial Endorsements existed. It’s the sector of working with the best talent and brands. We create and negotiate opportunities within the brand space in the areas of on-camera, personal appearances, licensing, voice-over, social media, and PR/media driven campaigns on a worldwide basis.
Once I realized this is the department I wanted to pursue, I was helpful to everyone and eager to learn. I made sure my reputation was hardworking, eager, genuine, and most importantly kind, so that when an opportunity opened up, I would be the first person they would think of. It worked.
I also spent time outside of work researching and understanding the marketplace so I was able to bring in new ideas to the table. Three years after joining the department, I was promoted to agent.
Any career advice for current students entering into the industry in this job market?
Be open—there is a whole world out there with jobs that cater towards your passion that you didn’t even know existed. I wouldn’t settle for anything in order to graduate with a job.
Remind yourself that you worked this hard to get here, you have the tools and experience to land any job—and genuinely believe it.
How did getting your degree from Chapman University set you up for success on your career path?
I may not use finance in my day to day, but when it comes to the overall strategy and thinking, my degree helped mold my thoughts and helped form an opinion. It developed my critical thinking and communication skills, which is the most important asset to have in my line of work.
60% of my job is putting out fires and resolving problems with all different types of people from all types of backgrounds.