• Bridget Fornaro, alumna

One Year Since I Graduated from CSUN

As I approached my one year mark from graduation, here are a few things I have learned.

Before graduation, my whole mantra was, I must secure several internships, become a part of several extracurriculars, and do whatever it takes to land my first job.

As my last semester of school rolled around in 2019, I was applying to every job under the sun. I was networking as much as I possibly could and setting up informational interviews with people to learn their craft and see if I could make it in the entertainment industry with a focus in public relations and marketing.

By February, I was interviewing for full-time jobs and packing a full schedule with my internship and school work. Nothing stood in my way as I was being contacted by hiring managers. When I officially graduated, I had completed close to 80 interviews at all the big entertainment companies. Despite all of my efforts, I had not secured a full time job.

One of the biggest resources I used attaining my job was Linkedin. Finally, after being found on Linkedin, I was brought into my current job’s business for a public relations assistant position. My boss hired me on the spot! I was brought into the company the following week. It has almost been more than a year since I graduated from college, here are some tips and tricks for those looking to find a job.

Do not stress about getting a job while in college!

Little did I know, a lot of hiring managers are looking to hire ASAP. If you are applying for jobs prior to graduation, a lot of the positions are looking to be filled sooner than later. Here is what happened on an interview I applied for while still in school when the hiring manager asked me about my schedule: “I have class during those hours on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9:30am to 4pm..." “Oh, you are still in school? I am looking for someone to start Monday." Before I could respond, they hung up.

Use LinkedIn NOW!

If you are not on LinkedIn, you should be. It is the best way to connect with professionals in the workplace. I had reached out to an executive at CBS and wanted a one-on-one with them and they invited me to the studio lot and let me pick at their brain for 30 minutes. This was much more insightful than what I could’ve learned in the classroom. Having connections is SO important! Connect with your fellow NMC/GenZ members! We are all here for the same reason.

The right job will come to you.

My mind was set on working in entertainment PR and marketing. Through LinkedIn, my company found me. Since working in PR full-time, I have worked red carpet events, set up press interviews, worked a film festival and made connections with the press. The biggest difference in working for a smaller company, is you can learn a lot in such a small time frame. Within my first few months, I was putting together press lists and writing pitches to journalists. At a bigger company, I would be doing more administrative tasks like managing a calendar and phones.

If you can’t get a full-time job, consider consulting and/or freelancing.

If you are not in the job you want to be in right now or you are having trouble finding work, consider freelancing. I have freelanced for another publicist and built a whole regional press tour in Texas and Arizona for an independent director. I became a freelancer to help build my skill sets. I had the opportunity to work on smaller campaigns and build out press lists.

I also delved deep into the podcast space and booked the director on several Apple Podcasts. I also freelanced as a VIP merchandise assistant for CID Entertainment. It was a great opportunity to work with others in the live music business. I got to take photos of fans with their favorite influencers and help coordinate meet and greet experiences. Freelancing is an excellent way to fill in your LinkedIn and resume.

What have I learned since becoming an assistant?

In a nutshell, everyone in the entertainment industry knows everybody. This business seems gigantitc, but it is actually a small one. Be nice to everyone because you’ll never know who knows who. If you want to make it as an assistant here are few ways to get by. You will learn to become your own problem solver. Need to know how to create an email blast in Mailchimp? And the nitty gritty of a Pitney Bowes system? Google is your best friend. You will become creative in every way to get the job done.

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