One student organization is helping students increase their chance of finding employment in the entertainment industry by connecting them with industry professionals.
For those seeking a career in media production, Hollywood Badgers can help make your dreams come true. The club helps students make connections with like-minded peers and entertainment professionals. Almost every week the club hosts a speaker, each with unique specializations and insight. The speakers’ occupations range from behind-the-scenes production to actors on the big screen.
“It always baffles me seeing people who are really interested in having a media related job who aren’t in Hollywood Badgers,” said Joseph Hushek, president of the org. “Anyone who’s interested in that should be involved.”
Meetings begin with a recap of industry news, so members can stay up to date on current events. Afterward, the speaker of the week will give an introduction describing what they do and how they got there and continue on with an informative talk, usually ranging from 30-45 minutes, Hushek said.
Speakers wrap up with a Q&A, and also share their email and welcome students to have an open line of communication. Getting personal talks from real industry professionals is hard to find elsewhere on campus — but the perks don’t stop there.
The club’s dues — $20 for the semester, $30 for the year — pay for the org’s IMDB Pro account. This allows users to find information otherwise not offered, such as contact information and messaging features, Hushek said.
When the org can’t book a speaker for the week, students come together to get hands-on experience. Collaborations with the communication arts department and photographers allow members to make works of their own.
“We do an iPhone movie contest,” Hushek said. “For one meeting we all get into groups and every one makes a film on their iPhones in the one-hour time span. Then they’ll edit them and the winners get a prize.”
For those who aren’t interested in the production side of Hollywood, other activities allow members to think creatively. The org has pitch contests, where students get together to think of the best possible pitch — for any aspect of production. This experience will go far for those in Hollywood, where one’s ability to pitch ideas well can make or break a career.
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Many students know what type of career they are working toward, some may not want to hear from certain speakers or participate in certain activities. Luckily, the executive board reaches out to members prior to meetings letting them know what will be the week’s topic of discussion.
“We don’t take attendance or anything,” Hushek said. “If we have a speaker who does marketing for someone and you want to be an actor, you don’t have to come.”
The org not only connects students with professionals but also allows them to connect with each other. Members will form connections based on similar interests and will help each other with personal projects down the road. If someone is interested in filmmaking and another acting, the two usually collaborate to increase their skill levels, Hushek said.
All students with an interest in any aspect of the media industry should consider joining. Some members want to be actors, while some want to be producers or work behind the scenes with lighting and equipment. No matter what path in the industry someone is interested in, there will be a speaker for everyone.
“It’s for people who are interested in working in some sort of media industry… in any way,” Hushek said. “We’re a resource here if you want it and want to be a part of it.”