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Re: Studying for the business - looking for helpful advice

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Mike Cohen
Re: Studying for the business - looking for helpful advice
on Nov 5, 2009 at 5:16:20 pm

The fact that you have come to the COW seeking advice for your future career shows that you have a good brain inside your head already!

Excel in your course work. And I mean be the best. Sometimes (always) college video assignments can be hokey and seemingly not useful, but if you have chosen the college route, then do your absolute best work.

Get access to the gear. I was the guy who knew the ins and outs of our studio and I had a part time job as a teaching assistant and studio assistant. The best part about this aside from the $5.50/hour was the magnetic key card that got me into the equipment room 24/7. Not only could I grab a camcorder at 3AM, but I was also the gatekeeper for 50 other students. That meant a lot of free meals at the dining hall.

If your instructors or the career office don't have a line on local internships, get on the phone. And learn how to network. My sophomore year I took a no-credit adult ed course in the evenings put on by the advertising club of Hartford. One of the guest speakers was a big whig at the local CBS station. A few months later she got me an interview for an internship and that was my first one. 3 months at the news assignment desk was fun and I learned a lot, and learned that news was not necessarily for me. But that didn't stop me from getting another internship at the much larger ABC station in Boston. There I had a lot more responsibility and actually got some videos I edited on the air. Simultaneous to this I was involved in starting a campus tv newscast.

The next summer I interned with a local cable advertising group, learning all about making 30 second local spots (the $250 or free spots that are discussed often in this forum). The final internship was with a high end corporate video company. We did work for some big Fortune 50 type companies and they had one of the first AVID systems in the region at the time.

In summary, find opportunities to learn everything, on your own time. As Mark said, don't wait for a professor to pick you out of the crowd. There is a ton of useful material on the internet, but when you are first starting out, the best way to learn is by doing, and from spending time with people with more experience.

Good luck.

Mike Cohen

PS - When I was your age, we didn't have the COW. We didn't even have the Web. We had to find people and talk to them in person.

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