This past Thursday night, Dodge College hosted the first ever Entertainment Industry Career Panel event in the Folino theatre. This event offered students looking for jobs the opportunity to hear from working industry recruiters about internship and employment opportunities in some of the biggest companies that any Film/PR student could hope to work for. Now, when I say industry recruiters from the “biggest companies”, I mean it.

The Gurus

The presence of these major game players attracted one of the biggest turnouts of students we have ever had for such an event in the Folino. It was certainly the largest turnout I have ever seen. It was great to see that there are so many students here that are serious about learning about the industry and the opportunities out there!

I would say that the 500 or so students who came out to this event made a great choice in attending rather than starting the weekend as there was a lot of useful information that was divulged on the subjects of internships, resume crafting, and so forth. If you are interested in learning about the internship programs these companies offer, click on the company names above and you will be taken to their sites.

Now,  I want to talk more about what these seasoned recruiters had to say about who they look for in interns. Obviously, the thing that people become the most confused and stressed over is…

The Resume

Do I write it this way? Do I include this? Do I leave this out? The recruiters extensively spoke on the subject of the resume and some of their answers and opinions about the resume might surprise you. Here are some of those answers and opinions:

  • There really is no right way to write a resume. It is totally a personal choice, so make it so that it best represents you.
  • You don’t need to exclude extraneous details such as classes taken or even your complete address, if the company needs it they will ask you.
  • Keep it to a page.
  • Make that page colorful and interesting.
  • Avoid using an objective as it can backfire if your resume is past around within the industry.

There were two specific answers about resume that really stuck with me. The first one came from Joy Pena of Disney Studios, “Use resume to start the conversation”. I love this. You see, so many people try and make their resume do all the talking for them; make their resume reveal all their details. The truth is, the resume is the piece of attraction that gets the date; in this case the date is the interview. And in the interview, that’s when you really open up and go in depth with who you are and what you have to offer. The other answer I really loved came from Ruben Garcia of CAA, “Write a ‘life resume’ rather than a resume specifically for the job”. Of course, you do tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for to some extent; however, it does make sense to create a resume that sums up what you are all about as a working person. We have to remember that we are people who do work, not computer programs who do so. So make your resume a better reflection of yourself because that is what is going to draw attention.

General Advice

There were a lot of other topics discussed as well. To summarize, here are some of their best tips:

  • Carefully read the requirements for the job you are applying for. Make sure you are totally qualified before even applying.
  • Be proactive after applying. Check in with your recruiters.
  • After completing an internship, keep in touch. Send congratulations on major achievements of your supervisors, let them know of your achievements, send birthday and holiday wishes. Staying connected keeps you more relevant.
  • In an interview, be professional and personal. Ask about your interviewer’s life and work. Try and keep the interview split 50/50 between yourself and the interviewer. This will show that you are engaged and therefore more likely to work better with others.
  • When interviewing, make sure you know the company you are interviewing for.
  • And of course, DON’T MAKE SPELLING ERRORS ON YOUR RESUME. A good piece of advice is to give your resume to several people, even strangers to proof read for you.

Clearly, there was a great deal discussed at this event, and those who were present definitely left with a better understanding of what they need to do in order to obtain these opportunities in the industry. However, this was not the end of the information sharing. At the end of all of this, students were able to personally meet the recruiters and ask their own questions and even exchange information in some cases!

I have to say that this was a truly great event. Not only was there a great exchange of information, but it was entertaining and encouraging in my opinion. The recruiters were open with their answers, they were funny, and they made us feel like there are opportunities for us if we try.

The Next Steps

I will say that I would have liked to have learned more about entry-level career transition, the transition from college to a full-time job, rather than a sole emphasis on internships. I think that sort of focus would have served many seniors and grad students – but the great news for those of you now in the applying mindset, is we have a new event coming next week: our “College to Career Night.”  It’s a mixer for current students and alumni to talk about exactly this sort of difficult transition we all have to make sooner or later.  It’s on October 23, at 6PM so mark your calendars now – and check your email and this blog for more details soon!