Senior Yuri Scharan (BFA/Television & Broadcast Journalism’16) is no stranger to high-stress situations. He’s worked with top talent at multiple award shows including the American Music Awards, the American Idol series finale, and the Kids Choice Awards. So it isn’t much of a surprise that he leapt at the opportunity to represent Dodge College as part of the Sony Student Experience Program at the National Association of Broadcasters Show (NAB) in Las Vegas this April.
Despite identifying more with content than technology itself (Scharan’s more Ryan Seacrest than Steve Jobs), he applied for the position to not only represent Dodge and Sony, “two huge names in entertainment” but also for the professional experience the show itself affords – from networking to business communications and overall brand knowledge. In an effort to supplement the artform/creative knowledge he acquires as a student at Dodge so that he can thrive as a professional post-graduation, Scharan embraced his technical limitations. On his feet for 10 hour shifts for three straight days within the Professional Displays portion of the Sony Pavilion he amassed all possible knowledge so he could answer questions and direct attendees to Sony’s 55” PVM-X550 OLED monitor that enables clients to see their product on a bigger screen with the same quality as its smaller, VPN Max 300 counterpart.
“I’m not techy at all and I didn’t know any of this stuff before coming here,” says Scharan. “But the people are incredibly nice and they really want you to learn, which I feel like I have.”
On top of learning, Scharan made friends from film schools all over the country, forging lifelong connections and learning the invaluable skills of adaptation and proactivity which will serve him well long after he graduates.
There’s something more about Yuri…
On top of applying for any and every opportunity to grasp, glean, and grow, Scharan is a risk taker. Following the 2015 Women in Focus Conference he mustered all courage to approach show producer and participating panelist Deena Katz (Dancing with the Stars) at the post-event mixer. He introduced himself and humbly asked her for advice. Katz put him in touch with a contact at an audience production company which led him to an opportunity to work the American Music Awards. His second connection to a similar audience production company also came via a Chapman connection, a sibling of one of his classmates.
“That’s the thing that Chapman does for us,” says Scharan. “It’s all about connections and all about who you know. I feel like that’s the environment here at Chapman. We’re all here to help one another out.”
Scharan believes in paying this forward, and helps out his classmates with internship leads and contacts whenever possible.
For students considering applying for the NAB Student Experience at next year’s show, Scharan offers three takeaways:
- Make sure you’re passionate about the technical side of the industry or at least interested in learning more.
- Come with an open mind about where you will be placed and what you will learn.
- Don’t be scared. The first day can be intimidating and overwhelming with the amount of questions you’ll receive, just be as helpful as possible.