By Melissa Morales
Coming into Brooklyn College in fall 2019, I knew what I wanted to major in. Having a background filled with creative and editorial writing as well as an interest in film, I immediately registered as a screenwriting major. But this, I realized, wasn’t exactly accurate.
I always had a passion for writing stories and always will, but after taking the different workshop courses in the film department, interning for multiple organizations, attending meetings for several clubs and extracurriculars, and involving myself with the Magner Career Center, I realized the above statement was false.
I “thought” I knew what I wanted to major in, but realized I wanted to continue to explore more of the hands-on aspects of the film department, which is why I officially switched my major to film production this past semester in spring 2022.
I decided to make this decision because I didn’t want to just limit myself to screenwriting. Even as a film production major, I’m not interested in just one thing – I enjoy directing, producing, script supervising, set designing, being a production assistant, and even acting. I currently consider myself someone who’s looking to pursue a career in both the multimedia and entertainment industries.
For other students like me, who are interested in the entertainment and multimedia industry but aren’t sure where to begin, I’d say to start with three things: (1) what you’re passionate about and love doing, (2) what you’ve never really explored but are interested in, and (3) what you’re already good at.
I personally think that by expanding your horizons in terms of specific career choices, you’re opening yourself up to much more possibilities and therefore more experiences, networking opportunities, and overall becoming a more multifaceted person.
To start off, the Magner Career Center at Brooklyn College is such a valuable resource that students should look into as early as their first semester. I’m extremely thankful for all the help I’ve been given by the center, especially from the School of Visual Media & Performing Arts liaison, Michael Sarrao. It was from his assistance with resume-building, cover letter assistance, and interview help that I was able to secure multiple internships in two semesters, all of different varieties yet still connected to the multimedia and entertainment industries.
Furthermore, I started off my internship search with the website Entertainmentcareers.com, seeking opportunities with small production and media companies to begin with. After securing multiple internships including an editorial internship with Young Hollywood, a script coverage internship with Alta Global Media, and a film festival internship with HollyShorts, I continued to expand my horizons by applying to other types of internships that interested me as well, using different websites, job postings, and flyers from Brooklyn College’s and the Magner Career Center’s websites.
Another thing I wish to suggest for all BC students to do is to join clubs! And don’t start late; start getting involved as a freshman!
Last semester, I was a Content Editor for Stuck in the Library’s literary magazine and am now Vice-President for the club, as well as a Staff Writer for the lovely Vanguard and Secretary for the Brooklyn College Student Film Society. I also attend club meetings for the Puerto Rican Alliance and have written for the Junction as well. The more actively involved you are in clubs and extracurriculars, the more friendships, networking opportunities, and experiences you can list on your resume.
Similarly, enrolling in courses and electives outside of your major or double majoring/minoring is another great way to explore your career interests. For myself, taking electives in TREM, PRLS, Women’s Studies, and English – Creative Writing helped me find other things I enjoyed learning about and may pursue in the future. Always look outside the box!
One of the most valuable experiences that I’ve gained so far, however, is becoming a self-starter. I wrote, directed, and produced my first three short films within three months in order to fully learn the inner workings of being a director and producer, which enabled me to collaborate on other student films and work on more sets.
Because of this, I’m especially looking forward to making my thesis film this semester and developing more skills in film production. For students interested in film production specifically, always look into crew and even casting calls. Make the most out of your workshop courses and gain as much hands-on experience as you can with equipment in classes and follow film production groups on Facebook, Backstage, and Discord for freelance job postings.
As I continue to explore different aspects of the entertainment and multimedia industries in my career path, I hope this self-reflection helps you.