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Successful Alumni Using the CDC – Gayle Saunders
Name: Gayle Saunders
Career: Legal Coordinator – MTV Networks/Nickelodeon Business and Legal Affairs/Football Writer – NBC Sports/Rotoworld.com
Hometown: Waterford, CT
Degree, major & minor (if applicable): Communications
Major Concentration: Media Arts
Month & year of graduation: April, 1999
On & off-campus involvement (clubs, organizations, professional associations, etc.):
My plan after graduation was to find a way into the entertainment industry, no matter how difficult that task would be. With close to zero contacts into the world of media, I knew I needed a plan to get to where I needed to be. My first plan of action was to let everyone I knew — that had contacts with anyone in media — know that I was looking for a job. The month after I graduated, I had worked 4 part-time jobs and volunteered my time at a local production company. It was there that I was able to gain the necessary experience to get me started. When I began my career search, I knew I had to treat “looking for a job” as a job all in itself.
While working at the Career Services Office, there were various programs and events that we put together for students. I would put together handouts that were given out; while at work, I would literally soak up the info being shared. Sitting outside the offices of Maureen Gernert and Anthony Ciarleglio, I was able to listen to them give students valuable information about building a career path. Those parttime jobs I spoke of earlier were all found in the “job postings” that the office posted daily.
My advice to students is to follow your heart, but always trust your instincts. Never underestimate the power of networking and putting yourself out there. If people don’t know what you do, or what your passion is, then how can they help you? Be patient, because networking within your future industry is an art form, and timing is always everything. By failing to prepare, you are basically preparing to fail (shout out to Ben Frankin). Make sure you’re prepared; doing the work and your research is essential, before asking people to help you on your journey. Another valuable way to learn from someone in your field is by having a mentor. You’re already ahead of the game, if you can ask questions of someone who has been there and done that.