By Patty Zubov
As a member organization, NATAS can offer student members the tools to break through the cocoon of the education system and soar into the professional world. Members build relationships and skills through member perks such as networking mixers, educational workshops, behind-the-scenes field trips and mentor matching. In mid-May, the Academy of Art University invited NATAS to participate in its annual “Spring Show,” to offer advice to graduating students of the School of Communications & Media Technologies seeking to be hired for that “dream” job.
Fifty students went through a variation of “speed dating” for about 10 minutes each with reps from ABC 7, iHeartMedia, Salesforce, NBC Sports Bay Area, Empire Music Distribution, Arnoitz Creative, CNET and me. “Many wonderful connections were made,” said Michelle Kennedy, Career Services Manager for AAU’s School of COM, “and the interviewers were incredibly impressed.”
One on-camera hopeful impressed me by including her headshot on her business card – makes sense, but other similar candidates didn’t do that. Another student has a name with a certain significance in her native language, so on the spot we designed a simple logo to highlight that! A suggestion to find things that help you stand out, remain memorable.
We were asked to evaluate the usual interview points like promptness and appearance, but one extremely important attribute is preparedness: know about the pro you’ll be meeting so questions can be targeted to that person and organization. A few basic things to avoid in the future: typos on the resume / bio, bringing a cup of coffee to the interview, rambling on and on, using casual LA “valley girl” speak, or the opposite – being too stiff and not having a “conversation” with the pro.
The Academy of Art University is known as the largest privately owned art and design school in the US. The current Director of the School of Communications & Media Technology is no stranger to NATAS: Jan Yanehiro, host of KPIX TV CBS 5’s “Evening Magazine” from 1976 to 1990, is a Silver Circle Class of 2003 honoree.
The “Spring Show” – taking place at a large industrial space in San Francisco – is an immersive artistic experience where viewers can see firsthand how a formal education can help turn “a passion into a profession.” Besides the School of COM, the Academy of Art University’s other 40 disciplines were represented, including Motion Pictures & Television, Writing for Film, Television & Digital Media, Advertising, and Web Design & New Media.
Student Membership has its privileges:
After our interaction at the Spring Show, a handful of AAU’s students have become NATAS Student members and will be assisting with the Emmy® Awards Gala on June 8. They’ll be making good connections with industry professionals who might be hiring, and getting a glimpse into what could be their own future achievements.
Student Membership is $15 (all regions).
After graduation, upon getting a professional job, upgrade to a Professional membership at the discounted Renewal rate of $75.
Otherwise, the Professional new member rate for San Francisco / San Jose / Sacramento is $120.