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Emergency Notification

From the Dean

October 7, 2019

October 2019

Dear Arts & Letters Community:

ADG member speaking with a student.As we approach November 1, the whole College is coming together to produce a day-long professional development event for our students: Connect the Dots – Pathways into the Creative Industries. Have you ever wondered, “What is a ‘best boy’ anyway?” “Does the City of LA really hire artists?” “Am I going to need a graduate degree to get my first job?” or anything else related to working in the creative industries, then go ahead and register for some or all of the sessions we are hosting on November 1. You can brush up your resume or website in the morning, or learn the financial vocabulary you need to be a freelancer; get some coaching from faculty about effective networking over lunch; meet creative sector professionals in the afternoon in a small-group format; hear from successful alumni about how they parlayed their Cal State LA degree into a career; and then meet everyone again face-to-face over snacks in the Music Courtyard. 

I am working on my own remarks for the opening session: “Making Creative Careers Visible.” When I was a freelance lighting designer traveling around the country, I was often asked by my random airplane seatmate after they heard what I did, “Really?! That’s a job?” That conversation, which I continue to have to this day, is the inspiration for my talk and, in a way, the event as a whole. Years ago, when I was teaching a large lecture (think 300+ students and stadium seating) “Introduction to Theatre and Film” course at another university, I would scroll through the credits of the most recent blockbuster film to show my students the wide diversity of skills needed for which degrees in theatre and film (and now I would add all the other majors of the College of Arts & Letters) might prepare one. Multiply that by all the many sectors of the creative industries, from advertising to museums to design or publishing, and there is a very robust market for students with the knowledges gained and skills learned in our College’s nine departments. 
During Connect the Dots, students will have the opportunity to meet professionals from many sectors of the creative industries in the “Meet the Pros” session on November 1. In this session, we will have 12-15 tables set up at which will be seated 2-3 industry professionals. Tables will be labelled with a number and a sector description (e.g., art directors; advertising; nonprofit arts; game design; and so on). Students will enter the room and join the tables in random groups of six-eight. At fifteen-minute intervals, students will be prompted to get up and move to the next table. In this way, participants will be meeting with approximately 7 different small groups of industry professionals.
The “Meet the Pros” session is intended to give students the opportunity to: Practice networking skills; Ask questions about jobs in specific industries; see that career paths and success can be direct or indirect, traditional or non-traditional, planned or unexpected; and that there are possibilities in fields about which they may not have even been aware.
Whether you are a student, alumni, or community member, please join us for a professional networking reception in the Music Courtyard 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm on November 1. But don’t wait until then to come and see us! There is so much going on in the College: Angels in America; the Ronald H. Silverman Fine Arts Gallery features selected works of current and former full-time and adjunct faculty; the first choir concert of the year; and the Department of Philosophy explores the possibility of the multi-verse(s) in Parallel UniversesYou can read more below.
Looking forward to what’s next,
Dr. Linda Essig, Dean