Faculty and alumni all (rightfully) stress the importance of networking and cultivating authentic relationships in the entertainment industry. However, it was hard to get sufficient practice on main campus aside from guest speakers and LinkedIn. It became clear from the Newhouse LA orientation week, where we had four early morning and late night networking events while still adjusting to the new time zone, that this would be the semester to push myself to develop the necessary skills.
Networking can be anxiety-inducing when you start out. I knew that attendees were well-established professionals in the industry, and I was convinced that they wouldn’t be interested in talking to a student. But, I could feel my confidence and interpersonal skills improving with every event. I’ve learned that asking people questions about themselves and having distinct opinions on media trends can help you stand out in these conversations.
I attended a Television Academy networking event with my professor and recognized a high-profile woman whom I was a fan of. I ended up having a productive conversation with her and even introduced her to my professor for a potential collaboration between them. Early January Brigid would be surprised to hear that I was confident enough to achieve that. I advise Newhouse students to take advantage of the domestic “abroad” semesters to develop professionally, and to give yourselves grace when it gets difficult!
Brigid Moore is a senior in the television, radio and film program at the Newhouse School.