Category Archives: Career Networking

An Evening to Remember: Trustees’ Council of Penn Women (TCPW) Los Angeles Career Women’s Networking Event 2017 “Women in Entertainment”

By Michal Clements

Photo Credit: Moises Vazquez, Los Angeles. Instagram: @moisview  – Photo Gallery

The Trustees’ Council of Penn Women (TCPW) held the Los Angeles summer women’s career networking event in Santa Monica on Wednesday June 7, 2017.  Approximately seventy-five Penn alumnae and guests gathered among the fruit trees and jacarandas in the gardens of our hostess, Meredith Stiehm. The alumnae met with TCPW members during the opening speed-networking portion of the program, and to learn from the all-star entertainment panel as the centerpiece of the evening.

tcpw1Elizabeth Kopple (Wharton Club of So Cal board) and Rebecca Zavaleta (Penn Club of LA board) welcomed guests to the event.  Guests were directed to high top tables where TCPW Members led the lightning rounds of speed networking. Members present and leading the tables were TCPW Chair, Hildegard Toth, Meesh Pierce, Julie Platt, Melissa Weiler, Leanne Heubner, Denise Winner, Abby Feinman, and Donna Nadel.

tcpw1.2tcpw1.3The entertainment industry panel was expertly moderated by Fiedling Edlow (C’95). Panelists included Jennifer Gwartz (C’90), Meredith Stiehm (C’90) Alison Hoffman, Allison Schroeder and Veena Sud.  The discussion was lively, and there were a number of key takeaways that applied across industries, as well as some that were entertainment specific.  Some highlights include:

What advice would you give to your 22-year-old self?

  • Explore non-linear paths
  • Be kind to yourself. Remember nothing is wasted, and you are exactly where you need to be
  • There are no wrong jobs and no wrong experiences
  • Avoid thinking and writing about “how I ruined my career”
  • Have a lot more fun!

What’s an appropriate way to approach a mentor?

  • Research the mentor in advance, and if you make the ask, be really prepared
  • Invite them to an event. Instead of saying, “What can you do for me?” show them what you can do for them. Example: One Penn alumni sent an email for two years with a critique of the show
  • Let them know if you win an award, such as the Stanford playwriting award
  • Time your approach right. For example, avoid the middle of pilot season

How should you go about smart and effective networking?

  • Keep it casual and really light
  • Take them out for coffee
  • If it doesn’t work, move on, not all networking will
  • Never walk up to someone and say why they should NOT hire you or why others are not hiring you, e.g., people find me abrasive. Don’t belittle yourself

tcpw1.4How can you get the first job in entertainment?

  • Take a job as a PA (Production Assistant), which means you start at a really low level and get coffee and lunch
  • Be nice to the people around you
  • Whatever job you have, do a really good job of it
  • Be appreciative
  • You will likely have to get a second job or live at home, etc. to make ends meet with this first job

How can you get an agency that works for you?

  • Seek a smaller agency with someone that’s starting out. Suggestion is to find your peer as an agent. For example, one panelist had a “big name” agency, but realized that their “reps are not working for you” which was a painful realization
  • Make sure the agency has the right expertise, e.g., one panelist was given bad advice from a literary agent in New York because they weren’t knowledgeable on LA TV market

How did you deal with sexism in the industry?

  • Make your skin really, really tough
  • Look to your allies and make them aware. They can’t help if they don’t know
  • For example, if I (a woman) say something and nobody hears it, then a man says it and everyone notices, you have to call people on this. It happens all the time. Make your allies aware
  • Report actual sexual harassment. Don’t tolerate things like the “Fuck, Marry, Kill” game which asks, “Which of these three things should happen to a female colleague?”

How can you get by financially when at a low starting salary?

  • Live at home, share space and drive dad’s car or a used car. Live in the valley.
  • Supplement your income in one of several ways, e.g., by tutoring, being a script reader or an Uber or Lyft driver

What’s the next career milestone for the panelists?

  • Being the President of the United States
  • Running a network
  • Going back to the Academy Awards
  • Writing a novel
  • Continue having fun and working with others I enjoy

 

As a follow up from the event, alumni and student attendees were encouraged to consider forming writer’s groups, and to continue their involvement with Penn through alumni interviewing, Penn Serves LA community service, Penn Club LA and the Wharton Club of So Cal.

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Filed under Career Networking, Entertainment, Los Angeles, Michal Clements, TCPW

October Education & Career Events

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Join us in October for one or more of the following Alumni Education & Career Networking events!

October 16: Penn To You: Washington, DC
Join Penn Alumni, School of Arts and Sciences Dean Steve Fluharty, and three SAS professors for “Sustainable Energy Policy: Impossible Dream or Absolute Imperative?” To register for this evening of intellectual and social engagement, visit http://bit.ly/ZuenAt.

October 22: Live Faculty Lecture Series: Cary Coglianese (Webinar)
Does regulation kill jobs? Find out during our next online, Live Faculty Lecture! Join Penn Law and Political Science Professor Cary Coglianese on Wednesday, October 22 at Noon EDT for an interactive webinar and Q&A. For more information and to register, visit www.alumni.upenn.edu/facultylectureseries.

October 25: If/Then Broadway Show Event
Join Alumni Education in New York City on October 25 at a matinee of Broadway musical If/Then. Afterwards, we’ll have a meet and greet with cast members and show producers (and Penn alumni!) David Stone and Marc Platt. Next, we’ll head to the Penn Club of NYC for a discussion and faculty talk with Penn Professor Cary Mazer and a reception. Tickets are limited, so register today! http://bit.ly/1vTWXcV

October 28: Career Tools Series: Global Opportunities – Students & Alumni Seeking Work Abroad (Webinar)
Considering looking for a job outside of the United States? Participate in the next Career Tools webinar on October 28 when our expert presenter will cover different approaches to considering an international career and review topics such as managing the job search, securing a foreign position, and adjusting to live once you make the move. To register or learn more about this event and other professional development webinars exclusively for alumni, visit http://bit.ly/ZfMSes.

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Live Faculty Lectures, Career Tools, & Travel Webinars

Join us for the following events this month! 

Our Live Faculty Lecture Series kicks off tomorrow, September 24, 2014 at Noon EDT with Michael Horowitz, Assistant Professor of Political Science. Please join us for his talk, “Who’s Afraid of Killer Robots? How Robotics, 3-D Printing and Other Innovations Will Affect the Future of War”. Registration and more information can be found at www.alumni.upenn.edu/facultylectureseries.

 

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The Career Tools webinar series begins next week. On Tuesday, September 30 at Noon EDT we’ll be hosting an Introduction to Career Services for Alumni. Registration and more information can be found at www.alumni.upenn.edu/careernetworking.

 

Alumni Travel

Join Penn Alumni Travel on October 1 at Noon EDT for The History and Culture of Tunisia! This live webinar, hosted by Jerry Sorkin, will be an informative and interactive discussion about the history, culture, and current conditions of the North African country Tunisia. Sorkin is a Middle East and North African specialist with degrees in Middle East studies and international business from Penn. Registration and more information can be found at http://www.alumni.upenn.edu/travel.

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Upcoming Online Career Networking Events

Author: Alyssa D’Alconzo, GSE ’04, GRD ’11


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The Alumni Education Office partners with Career Services to offer a wide array of professional development seminars and workshops exclusively for alumni. Whether you’re expanding your network and looking for your first job, preparing for a mid-career change, connecting with other executives, or building your professional skills, Penn Alumni Career Networking is your guide.

Below is a list of upcoming online events; for a full list of upcoming events, click here. And don’t forget you can connect with Penn Alumni worldwide anytime using the new QuakerNet!

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Penn Spectrum Virtual Networking: Strengthen Your Connections
March 4, 2014
8:00 PM (ET)
Alumni Register Now!

Join a diverse group of alumni from around the country for career-focucsed speednetworking online from anywhere you may be: home, office, anywhere.  This is an opportunity to ask questions, provide answers, exchange contact information, and build your Penn alumni network.  Choose one of four career “booths” and be matched with others at random for text-based chats.  You never know whom you might meet, so don’t miss this chance to seek career advice, share your professional experiences, and strenthen your connections. *This is an alumni only event.

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Penn Alumni Network Roulette: Career & Alumni Connections in California
Build your Penn network in Northern & Southern California
March 25, 2014
9:00pm (EDT) – 10:00pm (EDT)
Students and Alumni Register Now! 

Penn Alumni Network Roulette enables you to speed-network from wherever you are: home, office, library, or even on the road. Students and alumni will be randomly matched for 9-minute text-based chats that provide an opportunity to ask questions, make new connections, and exchange contact information. Choose one of two geographically focused sections to be paired with others in Northern or Southern California.

Penn Alumni Network Roulette: Career & Alumni Connections in India
April 1, 2014
10:30am (EDT) – 11:30am (EDT)
8:00pm – 9:oopm IT
Students and Alumni Register Now!

Are you an alumnus with advice for current students or new graduates? Do you want to share your industry experience? Is there something you wished you had known when you were an undergrad? Are you a current student seeking advice from someone working and living in India? Students are encouraged to take advantage of this unique opportunity to build their Penn India network. Alumni currently living in India are invited to give back to Penn by offering advice and helping students interested in working and living in India. Choose one of four geographically focused sections to be paired with others in Bangalore, Delhi, Kolkata, or Mumbai.

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Penn Alumni Network Roulette: Career & yPenn Alumni Connections in Chicago and Boston
April 8, 2014
8:00pm (EDT) – 9:00pm (EDT)
Students and Alumni Register Now!   

Are you a yPenn alumnus with advice for current students or other young alumni? Do you want to share your industry experience? Are you looking for a great, simple way to give your time back to Penn? Are you a current student seeking advice from someone working and living in Chicago or Boston? Are you a young alumnus looking to switch cities or careers? Whichever side of the chat you’re on, sign up today to connect with members of the Penn community in one of these exciting cities! Choose one of two geographically focused sections to be paired with others in Chicago or Boston. We welcome all who currently live in one of these two cities, or who are just interested in learning more about working and living there!

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Women Returning to Work – Two Part Series

  • PART 1. Webinar Co-Sponsored by Alumni Career Networking, Career Services and the Association of Alumnae
    April 29, 2014
    11:00am (EDT) – 12:00pm (EDT)Join us for a webinar with three experts who will address finding fit and branding, resume writing, and recruiting.
  • PART 2. Penn Alumnae Network Roulette: Women Returning to Work
    Co-Sponsored by Alumni Career Networking, Career Services and Association of Alumnae
    May 6, 2014
    1:00pm (EDT) – 2:00pm (EDT)
    Alumni Register Now! Would you benefit from expanding your professional network and advice on returning to work? Do you have experience transitioning back to work that you are willing to share with others? Take advantage of this unique opportunity to connect with other Penn alumnae who have or are looking to return to work. Join alumnae from around the world for a career transition focused networking session. Penn Alumni Network Roulette enables you to speed-network online from wherever you may be: home, office, or even on the road. Alumnae will be randomly matched for 9-minute text-based chats that provide an opportunity to ask questions, make new connections, and exchange contact information.  Join the webinar prior to the networking session.

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