Ryan Huffman ’13

What was the process like to land your first industry job?
I chose to take an alternate path of applying to smaller companies, building out the best version of my resume, and taking any opportunity (including some that were unpaid) on set in Los Angeles. I met with as many people as I could, I looked on Facebook groups to find set opportunities, and essentially became a strong networker furthering my ability to obtain new job positions. My first real industry job was for National Geographic.

Share your career path with us, how did you get to where you are now?
Through the networking process I just mentioned, I landed my first job on a season of a National Geographic show and then went over to P. Diddy’s music cable network, Revolt TV where I was promoted three times by the age of 24, and became a producer on the show. Through this, I gained a variety of connections and eventually transitioned to freelance producing. I pursued the freelance route for a few years which eventually led me to start my own production company, Huffman Creative.

What is the best advice you have received and what advice would you give to current students?
Seek out new opportunities over money, and don’t ever become stagnant. For example, if you have a free weekend, find a set to Production Assistant on, because each set provides the chance to make new contacts and meet potential collaborators. In fact, there are 4 to 5 people I have personally mentored, who have followed this seemingly unconventional path, (in terms of working for opportunities and ditching the agency route) and they have been able to gain creative and financial success within their interests at a much quicker rate.

What classes or programs did you find to be most useful for you?
Production and set management with Professor Kiku was my favorite class because it was where I learned the logistics and roles of being on set, how each position operated, and proper etiquette. Overall, the foundational experience helped shape the way I produce very much as I do now.

What is your favorite memory from your time at Chapman either social or academic, or both!
My favorite memory is most definitely, Semester at Sea. The experience to travel the world and explore different cultures and beliefs all within a single semester was amazing. I developed lifelong friendships and got to see the true meaning of happiness by observing and meeting people from all walks of life.

Any parting thoughts or insights?
Know that everything takes time. We live in a world where comparison is the thief of joy and the overflow of content and social media negatively affects you from staying in your own lane and focusing on what is important. The takeaway is to work at becoming extremely savvy within your niche, be friendly, and always stay open to new opportunities and collaboration.