Faith Kelly is living the Hollywood life, booking stylists and servicing press.
After graduating from Chapman University as a public relations & advertising major in the fall of 2021, Kelly snagged a job as a talent assistant with Narrative PR, progressing day by day towards her dream job as a PR agent.
Kelly’s alma mater, Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, ranks as a top film school. However, Kelly didn’t use its career services to find her current position.
The entertainment industry is difficult to break into, and most believe that a top film school should teach students how to navigate the industry.
Kelly relied on her sister and her own research to find a job after graduation.
“My older sister actually sent me the job application, so I worked [on] my cover letter and resume and applied,” she said.
Joe Rosenberg, Dodge’s Director of Industry Relations who helps oversee the new Careers Office, says finding jobs should not be the sole burden of the student.
“We are here to do the heavy lifting and provide those opportunities,” he said.
Rosenberg himself was a career agent in Hollywood, representing A-list talent for a number of years prior to taking the position at Dodge.
“The Dean and I like to joke that I now have 1,600 new clients,” he added.
He invites students to the shiny, new Careers Office. Outside, students lounge around with their laptops open, waiting for their appointments. There’s always a welcoming box of donuts sitting in the corner.
Sophomore creative producing major Isabella Spagnoli used the study space for the first time recently and noted how modern the space was.
“I could definitely see the potential. They mentioned how they were going to add a mural to the center,” she said.
According to its website, the Dodge Careers Office helps with resume building, internship support, career training, specialized workshops and building an alumni mentor program.
This larger initiative began when Steven Galloway became the new dean of Dodge College in 2020.
“It was more or less building upon what was here, making it bigger and more comprehensive, scaling up, hiring people, and building an office,” Rosenberg said.
A way that the center is scaling up is with free workshops with industry professionals.
In late February, a workshop was offered to students with Eve Light Honthaner, author of, Hollywood Drive: What it Takes to Break In, Hang In & Make it in the Entertainment Industry.
Film production major and junior Liam Abbott was one of the roughly 40 students in attendance.
“Navigating the film industry after graduation is something I really don’t know anything about because it is missing in regular classes,” he said.
Abbott became aware of the Careers Office because Joe Rosenberg came into his documentary class to talk about the opportunities presented to Dodge students.
“Now that students are becoming aware of the Careers Office, they have been using our services more and more everyday,” said Rosenberg.
Dodge College does not yet have the statistics to measure the effectiveness of the new Careers Office, but Rosenberg says he is already seeing higher turnout by students.
Rosenberg has even gone into Dodge classes to individually find students to fill internship positions.
As a guest speaker, Rosenberg urged students like broadcast journalism & documentary sophomore Nate Markquart to apply to The Kennedy/Marshall Company internship.
“I just applied, and I got called back,” he said.
At this internship, Markquart will have the opportunity to work with a small group of filmmakers, transcribing footage and doing research. This is just the practical experience he needs to add to his resume as a budding documentary filmmaker.
Kelly says she wishes that this center would have come earlier, so she could see its effect on her own career.
“But, I’m interested to see how it will be able to help future students reach their goals,” she said.
Vivienne Ayres is a sophomore Broadcast Journalism & Documentary major from Nashville, TN. She loves thrifting and going to concerts.