On February 15, 2023, the Center for Career Education (CCE) held its Creative Industries Showcase, an exploratory event that connected employers with students and alumni interested in careers within the industries like the Arts, Media, Communications, Publishing, Fashion, and Design.
More than 70 undergraduate students from Columbia College, School of Engineering & Applied Sciences (SEAS) and the School of General Studies attended, looking to meet with and learn from our participating employers:
After the panel discussion, students were invited to network with employers, recruiters and Columbia University alumni working in these fields.
ICYMI, here were the key takeaways from the event:
Preparing for the Arts
The panelists, all coming from a variety of roles, agreed that when it comes to the arts, putting yourself out there is key.
Natasha Carroll-Manuselis (Zeno Group) and Cara Donaldson (Quarto Group) touched on the ways in which their college degrees helped get their foot in the door of their respective industries. Having that baseline knowledge, they said, helps with the transition into the field.
Lia Hartman (Hachette Book Group) eased any anxieties on majoring in the “right thing” by adding that her degree was not perfectly aligned to her current role. She shared, “I did not major in English. I don’t think you need a major in English to work in publishing. I did a lot of different internships that I think prepared me for working and trying my hand in a lot of different areas.”
Changes, Insights, and Trends
In an ever-changing technological landscape, the digital pressure to evolve is felt across industries. In the world of publishing, Hartman and Donaldson reflect on how the wave of digital literature has shifted the ways in which publishing groups go about their work.
Hartman offered, “You always hear that publishing is always dying, but it is not! I think you see growth in other areas, like audiobooks – It’s an area that’s becoming more popular with the rise of podcasts and kindles and things like that.”
Our panelists also offered great insights into their respective industries, shedding light on both their roles and on growing trends.
Carroll-Manuselis shared, “PR is not the sex and the city Samantha Jones job where you’re running around going to glamorous parties and events… It’s a lot of sitting behind a computer and planning and going through excel and powerpoint.”
In both publishing and PR, leaning into diversity and inclusion continues to gain meaningful traction. Storytelling, and the variety of mediums this can happen through, has become a vehicle for highlighting voices that have often been left in the margins. Additionally, when working with different clients or companies, there is an expectation in the world of marketing and PR that these entities have opinions and take stances rooted in current events. Helping clients and companies figure out what they want to stand behind is part of this changing landscape, Carroll-Manuselis shares.
Getting Your Foot in the Door
When it comes to breaking into any field within the arts, our panelists agreed that putting yourself out there is the bedrock to your professional journey. Here are some skills and experiences they look for:
Consistent Curiosity“I like to learn a little about alot!” — Cara Donaldson
Genuine Interest“This is a passion-driven industry… and there is more of an emphasis on your interest and hunger to learn.” — Lia Hartman
Industry Awareness“Even if you haven’t necessarily worked with different organizations, [it’s] understanding the world in which they’re operating in.” — Natasha Carroll-Manuselis
What about the student that does not necessarily have relevant experience?
Our panelists graciously covered that as well, offering the following advice and insight:
Internships, internships, internships! As Carroll-Manuselis outlined, many organizations in the arts rely on their internship programs to scope out talent for future hiring.
Get to know your professors. Donaldson reminded the crowd of students that their professors “have a life outside of teaching.” In addition to being knowledgeable about their respective field, they may have opportunities worth sharing or wisdom worth imparting through a mentor relationship.
Put yourself out there. Whether you have experience or not, it’s worth asking for. The worst they can say is no.
EXPLORE INDUSTRY-SPECIFIC RESOURCES
Schedule an appointment with a career counselor to continue the conversation about exploring careers in the Arts, Media, Communications, Publishing, Fashion, and Design!