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Alumni Spotlight - Syler Hand


Syler Hand, Cross Platform Optimization Coordinator at Nickelodeon


Oh, what a year-and-a-half it has been! From graduating from Pace University to starting my first full-time job at Nickelodeon in New York City as a Cross Platform Optimization Coordinator, life has felt surreal.


I always knew I wanted to work in the media and entertainment industry, especially after interning on the Social Media and Digital teams at Food Network and TLC in college. But landing a full-time job? On the coattails of a pandemic? That’s where things can get tricky. But thanks to a plethora of connections that I made through FUTURE NOW, that process was a lot less challenging (and scary).


If you have told me I would be working on slime-filled, kid-tacular Digital projects three years ago, I would have been highly doubtful. Pandemic-related hiring freezes and general uncertainty shook the industry. So, I knew getting a job was going to be even more difficult. When I heard about the FUTURE NOW conference in March 2020, I knew I had to apply. This seemed like a great way to put myself out there (virtually, mind you) to expand my network and knowledge. Throughout the conference, I had the opportunity to speak with so many talented industry experts from countless companies and organizations. I made wonderful connections with attendees and speakers alike.


I left the conference feeling so hopeful and inspired that I decided to apply to the Mentoring Program. After receiving my acceptance letter (another pinch me moment), I spent 9 months building a genuine personal and professional relationship with a highly skilled industry expert. I learned and grew so much during my time with her, and she even played an instrumental role in helping me during my job search at the end of my senior year of college (thank you, Lisa!). A year later, I got to interview her on ‘stage’ eat the Conference about our time together.


The main takeaway from these experiences? Network, network, network. People want to see you succeed, even in times that may seem hopeless. Thanks to FUTURE NOW and all of its incredible opportunities, I not only ended up in my favorite industry, but I work at a company that was a major part of my childhood.


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