LaQuin Alexander G'16

February 7, 2018

"Newhouse opened my eyes to career fields like production coordinator, production manager, and being in a writer's room."

A photo of LaQuin Alexander G'16
LaQuin Alexander G'16

How did you obtain your current position, and what positions did you hold before it?

After graduating, my advisor connected me to another Newhouse alumni who took me under his wing. A few months later, I was offered a production coordinator position on an independent feature film. After that ended, I networked and was able to land multiple jobs throughout the year.

What are your job responsibilities?

I find, hire, and manage crew. I’m one of the first points of contact for vendors and locations (if there isn’t a locations manager). I handle and organize all paper work for the production including crew deal memos, release forms, and payroll. I work with the production manager and line producer to manage budget and keep track of all money going out. I manage, organize and submit all receipts after a shoot, and make sure all money is added up and accounted for. I liaise with vendors (i.e., catering and lunch options, rental houses, etc). I basically handle all logistics for the shoot and keep a clear line of communication with everyone involved. It’s my job to make sure all the pieces are in place come shoot day.

How do you feel Newhouse prepared you for your current job?

I think Newhouse prepared me well. I learned how to work with people, developed better organizational skills, strengthened my networking techniques, and most importantly, I learned how to be myself. Sometimes we get so caught up with how successful someone is we forget to be our true selves when interacting with people in this industry. I learned confidence in myself and in my craft. Newhouse reinforced my passion for film and helped me figure out exactly who and where I want to be in this industry.

Did Newhouse open your eyes to new professions you may have not considered when applying?

At my core I am a director and writer, which is what I focused on. Newhouse opened my eyes to career fields like production coordinator, production manager and being in a writer’s room. Coming from an undergraduate film program I was already pretty familiar with the different positions in the industry, but Newhouse helped me put some of these positions into perspective, enlightening me on certain responsibilities specific to certain job titles.

Why did you select Newhouse for graduate studies?

When doing my research for a graduate program, Newhouse stood out to me because of its reputation. I read professor profiles and class lists, and was impressed with the kind of variety the program offered. I appreciated that the graduate program would give me freedom to try my hand at new areas, which was important to me. I wanted a place where I could experiment, while still getting the proper encouragement and education needed to succeed in such a fluid and ever-changing industry.

What was unique about your graduate program?

In our program we were exposed to everything from the creative and business sides of production, distribution and marketing, entertainment law, the performing arts and theory. We weren’t restricted to a single track and were allowed to take classes on a variety of topics (editing, directing, media research, acting, entrepreneurship, virtual reality, writing and so much more).

Describe your most valuable/significant experience at Newhouse.

My most valuable and significant experience involved meeting new people. Newhouse has some of the most talented students and professors. My favorite part was collaborating across programs (outside of our classes). At this moment I still keep in touch and brainstorm project ideas with people from broadcast and digital journalism, multimedia photography and design and public relations. Some of my best work was created during these cross collaborations.

How did the Newhouse Career Development Center assist you?

I love the CDC and thank them for everything they did for us. They were very active within our program and really made it their responsibility to get us prepared to enter the work force. They helped me come up with a focused plan and never hesitated to connect me with people who they thought could be helpful.

What advice do you have for current or incoming students? Any classes or professors that you recommend?

I would say come in open minded and soak up as much as you can. Connect with professors outside of the classroom, network with your classmates because you never know what kind of connections they have or where they’ll end up. In addition to your coursework requirements, collaborate with other students on personal projects. Newhouse loves helping students in any way and will encourage extra-curricular projects that will enhance your portfolio. Pay attention in Professor Thompson’s class, know that Schoonmaker has your best interest at heart when delivering heavy criticism, Evan Smith is amazing, and take a class with Peggy Droz even if you don’t want to be an actress/actor. One of my favorite classes was Directing, taught by Professor Comstock, he’s great and really helped me find my directorial style. Get involved in the Orange Television Network and get to know Professor Robinson. He has so much great advice to give. Mary Ann in the television, radio and film office is the best and will literally be your lifeline.

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