The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Heigi Family Career Center hosts cinema television career panel

In a downtrodden economy that has left many talented people without jobs, college students are left wondering how to compete against those with more experience and ability. Fortunately for SMU students, the Heigi Family Career Center has been hosting a number of panels over a broad range of potential careers to help students find advice and connections in order to find a job after graduation.

The Heigi Career Center hosted one of those panels on Tuesday, April 7 in the first floor lounge of the Mary Hay residence hall for cinema-television students. The panel consisted of five experts from various angles within the cinema-television realm. Several were employees or owners of their own production studios and one was a professor of SMU.

The most discussed issue during the panel was that of internships, as many of the attending students are currently seeking them. However, with the current state of the economy, most companies are only willing to offer unpaid internships, which leave students frustrated due to a lack of financial ability. The panelists, though, all agreed that unpaid internships were common even when they first started.

“I did a lot of side jobs when money was short,” said Carolyn Macartney, a professor of cinema-television here at SMU. “And if you’re going to stay in this field, you’re going to have to get used to it.”

Jennifer Loeb, an employee of the Studios at Las Colinas, agreed with Macartney.

“You might have to work for free,” Loeb said. “It’s a competitive business and people will be impressed if you’re willing to put forth the time and services despite the lack of payment.”

Students were unhappy with unpaid internships because they felt that companies were “stringing them along” by letting them intern with the company but never offering a real job. When students questioned how long they should stay with an unpaid internship, the answer was for roughly a semester. But, the panelists told the students they shouldn’t be unhappy with an internship, even if it is unpaid.

“These companies are doing you a favor,” Macartney said. “They’re letting you play with and use their equipment.”

Tim Lannon, an employee with Reel FX Creative Studios, gave students tips on how to stand out above peers when looking for an internship.

“If you’re not doing extra work outside of your normal class work, you’re already behind,” said Lannon. “If all you’re doing is the class work, then everyone else will have the exact same credentials as you. You have to go out and do stuff on your free time.”

Nathan Harris, a junior Cinema-Television major, is grateful to the Heigi Career Center for putting on the panel. Even though the world of cinema-television is broad and questions are limitless, he feels that these panels always have things to offer.

“At these panels, for every question you get answered, you have a hundred more to ask,” said Harris. “I hope these sort of panels happen more often. One hour is nothing since there is so much to talk about.”

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