NYC Career Connectors

The Fall semester was definitely an exhausting one for me. From juggling classes and my teaching assistant position, to my job and my two positions at WTOP10-TV, I was looking forward to Winter break by mid-November. My ultimate plan for Winter Break 2012 was to catch up on all the sleep I could possibly catch up on in six weeks. I also knew that I was going to attend the NYC Career Connectors event held by the SUNY Oswego Alumni Association.

NYC Career Connectors is this amazing event that takes place during Winter break, this year it was on January 10th, that gives the opportunity for SUNY Oswego students to come down to New York City for a day and network with the various Alumni of our school. This was my second time attending this event and it was definitely a very exciting time.

One of the perks of attending Career Connectors is being able to go on a tour of a location that is pertinent to a student’s major. This year, some of the places students could have toured included Madison Square Garden, NBC Universal, KMPG LLP, Kathy Hilton Showroom, Perry Capital, and NEP Broadcasting. I was lucky enough to attend the tour at NEP Broadcasting, and it was an opportunity of a life time.

For those of you who do not know what NEP Broadcasting is, they are a company that gained notoriety for their broadcasting trucks. What they essentially do is build and rent trucks that are basically a control room on wheels. They are also known for their non-mobile studios and some of their more famous clients in NYC include The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Unfortunately, we did not get to tour those studios, but we did get to see one that they are currently building and working on. It was definitely a great chance for broadcasting students to see how a studio is built and Tony Minecola, our guide and NEP employee, was definitely very good at answering questions that any students had about the broadcasting industry. I learned a whole lot and gained some insight as to what to do when I graduate and am seeking a job.

After the tour ended, it was basically time for us to trek on over to Fashion Institute of Technology, where the main networking event was taking place. After a speech from this years Keynote Speaker, Marcia Thompson-Young, and great networking tips from Gary Morris, students quickly lined up to speak to all the various alumni.

There were over 30 alumni who attended, and I was lucky enough to speak to three who gave me really good advice and even critiqued my resumé! It really was an amazing event and I am very glad I was able to meet some alumni and make some great connections!

Tony Minecola showing students some of the equipment

TOswego students get to tour studio currently being built

Professor Jane Winslow speaking with NEP Engineer Rob Statkus

Students lining up at FIT to speak with different Alumni!

Group picture at NEP Broadcasting! :)

Meeting Jon Chopan

This semester, I am taking CRW (Creative Writing) 300, which is Living Writer Series, and the primary activity that the course involves is listening to writers speak and asking them questions, and today, I had such an opportunity. I listened to a writer named Jon Chopan speak. Jon grew up in Rochester, NY, which, as I’m sure you know, isn’t too far from here, and in an effort to blend fiction and non-fiction together, he is publishing a book called Pulled from the River. In preparation for the speech, I read the first thirty (or so) pages of the book, since it has not yet hit the market (it’s due on the eleventh of December), and I really enjoyed what I read, so I was really excited to listen to him speak tonight.

Jon shared a lot of interesting viewpoints, such as his belief that the job of a writer is to capture the world around him and then to interact with what he or she has captured. He also said that in order to be a good writer, you have to love everyone (you can’t hate anyone), and although I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that (just because I know as a fact that not every writer, such as J.D. Salinger, for example, is a “people person,” if you will, yet they are still considered great writers), I think it’s interesting that it’s a viewpoint that he holds. The last point that he made upon which I would like to touch is his viewpoint that fiction and non-fiction need not be regarded as being such different worlds, because it isn’t necessary.

Jon explained that Pulled from the River is highly autobiographical. All of the characters in the book were and/or are real people, and most of what happens in the book actually did happen, but a few “plot” points were either slightly altered from reality or fabricated completely, but what’s especially interesting is that enough of “the truth” remains to think of the book as a work of non-fiction, yet the alterations and the fabrications are still there, however minimal they may be, which means that the book, obviously, is not wholly non-fiction; it is also fiction. This is very unique, because it certainly isn’t something that a reader comes across every day.

What I will especially never forget, however, is the opportunity that I had to sit down with Jon for dinner after the speech. Anyone that wanted to go to the Water Street Café after the speech was welcome to do so, and I opted to do so. My reasoning was that it certainly isn’t everyday that one has the opportunity to have dinner with an “up and coming” writer with a book on the way, and I seized the opportunity. Much to my delight, the group that had opted to have dinner was very small, which allowed for a lot of conversation. He is a really fun, funny guy, and I am really glad that I was presented with and took this opportunity, and my only regret is that I didn’t bring a voice recorder to capture the speech. If you’re at all interested, again, his book is titled Pulled from the River; it is due in December, but it can pre-ordered now via Amazon.

Just Do It

Cloud nine can’t even begin to describe the state of euphoria I am in right now.

After working all day,  my fitness editor, Mary, asked me to attend a press event with her. Clearly, I said yes. Then I found out it was for Nike and we were testing their new products that are launching in July. I couldn’t have been more psyched.

After our car service dropped us off at 555 West 18th Street, we mingled with other editors in attendance and waited for the event to start. For those of you who are not familiar with the media industry, press events are attended by various editors, writers, staffers and bloggers from multiple magazines. The goal is to find out about new products and come back with any new, exciting information that could possibly run in the magazine. Usually, you get gift bags as well so that all of the promoted products can be tested!

When the program began, a lot of the new products were discussed and technologically explained. Nike’s new gear is launching in July, and it ranges from new sneakers to sports bras. Everything discussed today was geared toward women because, well, everyone there was female and worked at some form of a women’s magazine. I’d tell you about the new stuff coming out, but you’ll have to check out my health and fitness blog, The Pulse, for that insider info.

A huge surprise came next.

Michael Johnson, four-time Olympic gold medalist and world record-holder for the 400-meter and 4 X 400 m relay, spoke to us about proper preparation for running. I was slightly star struck. To make it better, he also Skyped (possibly another system used, but I think it was Skype) with Sanya Richards, the defending U.S. and world champion in the 400-meter. She provided tips specifically for females to prepare their mind and body for running. But again, if you want that info, you’re going to have to check out The Pulse.

Finally, we were decked in Nike’s latest gear from head to toe, all the way down to the socks and sports bras. Everyone decided to run two, four or six miles and Nike brought in professionals to pace us throughout our run. I stuck with two because of my blood disorder, but I think next time I’m going to tough out four. Oh, and Michael Johnson ran with us two-milers! (I finished the run before he did, if that counts for anything.) And yes, we got to keep all of our gear, so I now have a ton of new fitness gear!

So this is just a few toes dipped into the ocean of things that magazine journalists are able to experience. I can’t wait to dive in.