With Peter Thiel’s ugly forecast for the fate of higher education and the exponential rise of student loan debt, there’s more cynicism now than ever before towards four-year universities. It is definitely difficult to rationalize the financials, especially in the face of six-figure private school tuition. People have asked me whether I felt my degree was “worth it.” My response? Absolutely.
Today’s guest post is by friend and fellow USC classmate Lauren Gabel. Lauren currently coordinates talent for Alloy Digital and authors a great blog, Destination Hollywood, about navigating your early years in Hollywood. She beautifully paints the primary reason I have been able to actually embrace my degree:
Enter Lauren Gabel:
When you are young and in school, you hear over and over again how important networking is in the entertainment business. But I don’t think that ever really sunk in until I graduated and entered the real world. Personally, I loved USC film school. I learned so much about filmmaking—the process, the business, production, etc. But I think the best thing about going to a school like USC is the contacts you graduate with. Sure, I’ve found the occasional job on Craigslist or Mandy or the USC Job Board, but all the really great positions I’ve landed have been thru a personal connection. I met so many wonderful people while at school and I guess I made a good impression on them as well because I am continually called up and offered various gigs and positions. I am currently gainfully employed with a job that I love, which is due in part to a very good friend and the owner of this blog (you’re the best, Craig!).
I have been very fortunate, and in return, I always make sure to pass along as many opportunities as I can. When I hear about a job thru a connection, I’ll pass it along to my USC friends and people I have worked with before and can vouch for. I have gotten so many kind responses from people thanking me profusely just for sending along a job posting that only took like 5 seconds out of my day. I love seeing my friends land great jobs and helping to further the Trojan network. Maybe someday that girl that I recommended for an assistant gig at Disney will be running the studio and offer me a great job! It’s a definite possibility. We might be the assistants of today…but we will be the filmmakers and studio execs of tomorrow. After all, what goes around comes around. Right?