By Anna Harrison, FN alum '21
My life has been very hectic lately. Preparing to move across the country for a new job is quite an undertaking and time seems to be running away from me, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I am originally from Atlanta, and though it claims the sobriquet of “the Hollywood of the South,” the name is not entirely earned. The Georgia peach has become a common sight at the end of movie credits (during the 2022 fiscal year, film and television productions spent $4.4 billion in Georgia), but if you don’t want to work in physical production, Atlanta is limited.
I was lucky enough to get a job as a program planning assistant at Cartoon Network soon after graduation thanks to the networking opportunities at FUTURE NOW. Cartoon Network is a legacy of Ted Turner and now part of Warner Brothers Discovery. It’s been a great learning experience during a lot of change at the company. And now, I am making the move to Los Angeles with a new job. Again, thanks to FUTURE NOW!
I attended my first FUTURE NOW Media & Entertainment Conference in 2021 as a graduating senior from Emory University and loved it so much that I raised my hand to join FUTURE NOW as a volunteer on The NOW team. At this year’s conference in June, I had the honor of being asked to moderate a panel called “The New Creator Economy,” featuring a wide range of accomplished members of the industry, from podcasters to food bloggers. One of the panelists was Andy Yeatman, President at Moonbug Entertainment, an animation company known for shows like CoComelon and Blippi (if you’re over the age of eight and haven’t heard of these, don’t worry—you’re not the target audience!). When he mentioned that Moonbug was hiring, I reached out to him and applied.
I’m excited to share that I’ll be starting my new job as a Distribution and Content Sales Coordinator in a few weeks. It was a quick turnaround from the offer to the move, and though it is a BIG DEAL to move across the country, I knew that if I turned it down, I would just be delaying the inevitable and staying in my comfort zone. I am confident that this is the right move for my professional and personal life, as it forces me out of my comfort zone and into something new and exciting. (If anyone needs a roommate, let me know…!)
I am acutely aware of how lucky I have been in my professional life so far, but luck was not the only factor. Attending my first FUTURE NOW conference and volunteering with the organization since then has opened doors for me and made all this possible. The conference introduced me to some great mentors, who provided important guidance on how to navigate the industry and building these relationships and investing time in FUTURE NOW as a volunteer has been vital to my growth and success.
I would encourage anyone looking to gain experience and craving to break into and be part of the media community to lean into FUTURE NOW. Attend the events, apply for the conference, be a Campus Ambassador, volunteer. There are so many opportunities and things to learn, but you have to seize the day.
Had I not applied to attend my first FUTURE NOW conference, had I not started volunteering, had I not worked hard at my first job, had I not moderated the panel at my second FUTURE NOW conference, had I not taken a leap of faith to reach out to Andy Yeatman and consider moving across the country, none of these things would have happened. I worked hard and I am grateful and don’t take any of it for granted. I am excited for the future! LA, here I come!