There’s no denying something special happens when a group of Full Sail graduates get together. It’s more than a shared passion for the arts and entertainment industry, although our students, grads, and faculty all have that in common. It goes beyond networking, though a strong network of peer support exists among our more than 50,000 graduates. It’s something both easily felt and difficult to define. It’s a weaving together of individual stories to form a larger narrative — that of our community and our school.
This effect was on full display last month when over 100 grads, students, and Hall of Fame inductees came together for a Career Networking Event in Los Angeles, California. The event featured dozens of industry leaders and employers, including Pixomondo, Bunim/Murray Productions, and 360 Heroes. Sponsored by Full Sail’s Career Development department, representatives from the team were on hand to guide attendees through the process of participating in onsite interviews, open-flow networking, and demo reviews.
The day kicked off with breakfast and a series of scheduled pre-select interviews between graduates and employers.
Recent Digital Cinematography grad Cris Good was on the road by 5 a.m. to make the three hour drive from her home in San Diego. She hoped the experience would put her in contact with potential mentors.
“I’m a musician with a background in fine art,” she said. “Filmmaking has always been an interest because it bridges other artistic disciplines. I’d like to find someone who sees my potential, and who I can pour back into as well. I look at mentorships as symbiotic relationships.”
Around noon, Full Sail President Garry Jones welcomed the grads and guests, including Hall of Famers Sebastian Krys, Keith Gurrette, Culley Bunker, Tom Boyd, Dylan Dresdow, and Troy DeVolld. Also on hand were grads Stephen Beres (Film, 2004) and Brett Novak (Digital Art & Design, 2007). Stephen currently serves as Vice President of Media for HBO West, while Brett makes jaw-dropping short skate films that have been featured in Rolling Stone and The Huffington Post.
After lunch, grads were treated to open flow networking sessions, where they were able to engage in conversation with Hall of Famers and employers. Grads gathered around in small groups to discuss everything from how to make a resume stand out to the benefits of working with industry specific unions.
Brett, Culley, and Tom ended the day with a handful of graduates from film and television related degree programs. Each grad presented their demo reel and received feedback on what wasn’t working—and what was.
Film bachelor’s and master’s grad Amanda Bovea was nervous to present, but walked away amidst a chorus of praise.
“For any visual medium, your goal is to evoke emotion. I felt emotion while watching your reel,” said Culley. “The music fit all of the pieces, and your editorial points lined up well with the music.”
“I would say this reel is ready to send to an agent,” added Tom.
As the day wound down, a small group of grads lingered in the conference room. Many of them had started the day as strangers, but as they exchanged contact information and made plans to connect in the coming weeks, it was apparent fast friendships were forming. The group eventually migrated to the hotel restaurant, where they shared a meal and conversation with Garry Jones.
Career Development plans to hold more events around the country in the future, beginning with one on June 16 at the Ramada Plaza in Atlanta, Georgia. Employers will range from national companies like Pixomondo and Turner Broadcasting to regional representatives like the Atlanta Braves. A third event is slated to take place in Orlando on June 28 in the Full Sail Live Venue. Head on over to CareerSync for more information and to RSVP.
In the meantime, check out a few photos form the L.A. Networking event below.