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By Cole Friedman

Graduating into a global pandemic is not something I would ever recommend. Finishing my studies at Tufts University in the Fall of 2020, I found myself unemployed, stuck at home, and disconnected from the work I wanted to do in media. How was I supposed to make connections and find community when I couldn’t meet people in-person?

As luck would have it, a networking group I was in posted about the then upcoming 2021 FUTURE NOW Media and Entertainment Conference, which piqued my interest. An opportunity to get face time with working professionals in the media and entertainment industry? Sign me up! I quickly put together an application using script coverage I had written for a previous internship and an essay that spoke about my dream of working in television and hit submit. When I heard that I was accepted, I was elated. The Conference seemed like the perfect place to learn more about the field I wanted to work in.

As the week of the Conference approached, I combed through the bios of every speaker, fascinated by the diversity of paths each person had taken throughout their careers. As someone who only knew the names of writers and directors in TV and film, it was stunning to realize the breadth of people involved in bringing these stories to life; all the programming executives, advertising assistants, and consulting groups involved. The Conference taught me that there was more than one or two jobs available within the media and entertainment landscape for recent graduates.

Attending the Conference virtually, I was also surprised by how a digital community was fostered. Having the chance to break out into smaller rooms with other attendees allowed me to meet students from across the country who had similar stories to mine. Chatting about the isolation we were feeling and the aspirations that felt just out of reach really made me close to these strangers in a beautiful way.

After the 2021 FUTURE NOW Media and Entertainment Conference, I felt both less alone and more engaged than I had been previously with the industry. Knowing that there were other students searching and that there was more than one door for us to enter through gave me some peace of mind as I moved forward in my job search. Now that I’m employed, no longer living at home, and a part of this vast media landscape, I’m so excited to connect with more students this year at the 2022 FUTURE NOW Media and Entertainment Conference. Apply now!



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