Media professionals offer career advice

Professionals from the news and entertainment industries visited GW to speak to students Friday at a daylong symposium coordinated by the School of Media and Public Affairs.

The event, called Media 2000, focused on women in the industry in honor of Women’s History Month and gave students an opportunity to discuss careers with professionals in their field of interest.

The speakers today really talked a lot about how to get your foot in the door, sophomore Matt Ramsey said. It was really enlightening and inspiring to hear about how these people got started and how they are now living their lives.

Students spoke with the visiting professionals on a range of issues, including the Internet’s expanding role in electronic media and what goes on in television control rooms.

The speakers included network news correspondents, an editor from ABC’s Nightline and marketing executives and writers from the entertainment industry.

Speaker Delle Chatman, who has written everything from a weekly television series to movie scripts, offered students her 10 virtues that can’t be taught but must be learned. Students must figure out why they are put on this planet at this time, and for what reason, Chatman said. She also addressed how students could figure out if they are meant to be in the media business.

Some students said they enjoyed the opportunity to participate in some beyond-the-classroom learning.

I really enjoyed the speech by Delle Chatman on screen writing, sophomore Heather Kay said. It gave me a lot of ideas for a script that I am currently writing for my script-writing class. Some of the things she talked about you cannot learn by reading a textbook.

David Kaminow, the senior vice president of Marketing for Miramax films, and Amy Delouise, the president of Take Aim Productions, talked about how the Internet was used for marketing. They also addressed the difficulties women and minorities may encounter when breaking into the entertainment business. Both said they don’t receive many applications from minorities. They said this may be because minorities do not see a lot of others in the business and may feel discouraged to apply.

Professor David Liban, the director of the Electronic Media Program at GW, said the program was a good opportunity for our students to talk to professionals in the field they are studying and be able to find out more information on the business.

The event was made possible through a donation by Carole Simpson of ABC News to the National Council on Media and Public Affairs, said Jean Folkerts, the director of GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs.

(The council) is an advisory council we put together of media leaders like Charles Bierbauer of CNN, Bob Schieffer of CBS News and Greg Ricca, the executive VP of MTV networks, Folkerts said. They help us with fund raising for (SMPA), and they also give advice about curriculum development.

Liban said students took home more than just a good understanding of the media business.

I think we got a very positive response from the students today, Liban said. A lot of the students were talking to the speakers and getting their business cards.

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