Website Assistant Christian Vieira trekked out to the MORE career fair on main campus last week, and found some interesting opportunities. Here, he shares his thoughts on the fair, and general tips for building your post-Dodge career now, while still at school.  One thing we hear constantly from Alumni is the realization that the people they know in classes, on shoots, and even at parties, continue to enter their lives professionally after school – it’s never too early to start networking!  Along those lines, we have the Dreamworks career event coming up tomorrow night, which is a must-attend event for anyone – not just digital arts students.  Enjoy!  -JP

Guest Blogger Christian Vieira (MBA/MFA)


The other day I decided to check out the Career Expo presented by Chapman’s Career Development Center. A number of employers had set up tables complete with brochures, swag, and contact forms for their companies.

I was glad to see so many students attempting to figure out what their options might be. Representatives from each company sat at their tables awaiting students or excitedly engaged in conversation with them and gathering resumes. By far, the longest line belonged to Dreamworks. Unfortunately I could only see one representative staffed at the table and it was obvious he was overwhelmed.

Career expos, or fairs as they’re more playfully called usually, are a strange animal in my opinion and personally I have not found them conducive to my needs when seeking work. I do believe they can be useful in helping students find out about certain companies and perhaps get a sense of their culture.

But how do you really stand out for a company like Dreamworks when there is only one representative? As much as he wants to listen to what you have to say, he’s also trying to keep his line moving and talk to everyone before the event ends. You can see how it might be difficult to make an impression.

School is a great time to find your “voice” in the world. It’s a great time to experiment with different classes and explore different organizations, but I also believe it’s the perfect time to experiment with different jobs.

During my undergrad studies I worked over 10 different jobs. Some of them were to help make some extra money to help pay for school and some where to see how I liked certain positions, internships, and the office setting in general.

I can’t tell you how invaluable this was for me. Besides being able to graduate with a diversified resume, I also learned a number of different skills which have made me stand out from the crowd.

As an MBA/MFA Producer I’ve had the pleasure to work and study in the film and business schools here at Chapman. Each school has a number of speakers and guests who come each week to talk with the students and often the same questions are asked, and often the same answers are given from every guest: be passionate.

I entirely agree, but for all of you out there wondering just what else will make you indispensable – after all, that’s what we’re all ultimately trying to do – here’s what I suggest:

  1. Google – I cannot even begin to describe how useful Google can be. I have a wide range of interest and Google has helped me learn about all of them. Don’t know how to do something? Google it. Don’t know what something means? Google it. As soon as you start typing I guarantee someone has already asked Google that same question. There’s no reason not to be able to figure something out with the Internet at everyone’s fingertips so abundantly. Make time to learn different skills. You may not see it now, but the more you know how to do the more valuable you become in the long run.
  2. Presentation – Learn how to make them, learn how to give them. This will be a part of your life, I guarantee it. Take advantage of the fact that you are required to do them in school. Did you know that, statistically speaking, more people are afraid of speaking in public than they are of death? I don’t care what business you go into, you will have to speak publicly at some point in your life. It may be terrifying but the more you do it the better you will get. For my fellow producers out there, do believe a studio will just give you a film to work on? Absolutely not! You have to prove you are the man or woman for the job and that’s why we have “pitches”. But if you can couple a solid speech with a thoughtfully designed presentation, I guarantee doors will open for you. I remember interviewing for a position with a marketing research firm during the summer after I graduated from college. I didn’t necessarily have the skills they wanted, but I made sure they knew full well the skills I did have. I didn’t get the job, but I had impressed the firm so much that they created an entirely new position just so they could hire me. Which brings me to my final point:
  3. Be Passionate – I mentioned this earlier, but this is the single most important piece of advice I can give to you. This encapsulates the other 2 points I’ve already made because I wouldn’t have Googled something, or I wouldn’t have spent time watch TedTalks, if I wasn’t passionate about learning or accomplishing something. Put yourself into everything you do. If you hate a job you’re in right now – leave! Life is too short to be unhappy. My dad gave me the best advice when I was a kid, “Do something you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” Passion makes an impression on people and it motivates and energizes those around you.

I realize this probably isn’t the conventional advice you usually hear, but this is my attempt to tell you all some advice that you probably haven’t already heard dozens of times before. If you capture these 3 idea I’ll promise you’ll make a splash in a beneficial way.

So start now!
Christian Vieira