Thursday, January 05, 2006

New York Networking....amazing.


A group of us is in New York City this week for Network Days and Night -- and I can't imagine why every single Park senior isn't with us. (OK, so the course only enrolls 15 students....but I can't believe at least 50 of you weren't begging for overrides.....)

On Wednesday, we spent the morning with David Lebow, vice president and general manager of AOL Media Networks. He offered students some outstanding but very commonsensical advice about how to get a job, how to keep a job, and how to love a job. Bottom line: Want to be successful? Do what you love. Have passion for your work. And do what it takes -- meaning jump higher, stay longer, start earlier and work harder than everyone around you. Pay your dues, hang on to your integrity, don't burn bridges, and learn to take a calculated risk (as in, sure, yes, I can do that.....even if you only THINK you can do that....). I took lots of notes; even at my age, this is very good advice.

On Wednesday afternoon, Andy Kadison, senior vice president of Sony Music Studios, and his amazing staff spent more than three hours with us, talking about life in what has to be the country's most successful, active, and fabulous recording studios. We took a tour of the facilities -- unbelievable -- and he told us all kinds of stories about the stars, from Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash and Kanye West to Cold Play and Kelly Clarkson. One of the studio's employees, a Park alum, got his job after he visited the studios seven years ago -- during Network Days!

A smaller group of us were lucky enough to get tickets to the Daily Show on Wednesday night, thanks to alum Chris Regan, one of the show's senior writers. Jon Stewart is funnier in person than he is on television -- and so was the guy who warmed up the crowd. Pretty cool.

This morning, Stuart Zimmerman, senior vice president of advertising sales for Sony Pictures Television - Tri Star, introduced us to the realities of the television business. Students came away from that presentation understanding that the process is so complex and so enormous that just about anybody who wants to do anything -- from production to public relations -- could find a job at Sony.

And this afternoon, the group went to ABC News 20/20, where Angela Chambers, a producer, gave them the grand tour.

Tonight, we're headed to the Copacabana Club for an evening of networking -- an annual bash that draws between 150-200 IC alumni interested in meeting each other, and in recruiting graduating seniors for jobs.

All in all, it's been an extraordinary couple of days. I'll head home tomorrow more convinced than ever that Park has some of the most generous, thoughtful, and successful alumni in the world. And the most incredible part is that they would all be delighted to help you find that first job. Or second. Or third.


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