Held every other year on College of the Canyons’ campus, the 2019 Media Day lineup included Hollywood directors, broadcast journalists and Dreamworks animators.
Over 300 students from both COC and the William S. Hart Union High School District signed up for this year’s event, and officials believe, despite the rain, close to 250 of those were in attendance, walking from lecture to lecture, guest speaker to guest speaker.
“Today’s event is about getting kids to think about their future, because I don’t know if kids really know what they want to do,” said Jennifer Overdevest, a COC faculty member and one of the three event co-organizers for the event. “They’re not going to choose today, but to hear from all these professionals on how they got into the business, every kid that wants to go into film, broadcasting, animation… (they learn) how to get into it.”
From 8:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and divided into four blocks of equal time, those in attendance, whose ages ranged from junior high to college-age students, heard from upwards four professionals in the field they’re thinking about joining one day.
“When I went to school and got my broadcasting journalism degree, I think the first professional I talked to was in my junior year of college, and it was just one person,” said Ryanne Meschkat, event co-organizer and Canyon High School broadcast journalism teacher. “So, the opportunity for students currently in high school, or even middle school, to be able to talk to professionals and ask questions for free is irreplaceable.”
West Ranch High School senior Minju Cho said she and her friends are members of West Ranch High School’s student television broadcast program and hoped the event would give them more insight into her future career.
“This is the field I’m interested in pursuing when I go to college,” she said. “My teacher introduced me to this event where people from this industry come and talk about their experiences and give you advice.”
“You get almost a mentorship (at this event) even though it’s a short while that you’re here,” fellow West Ranch senior Heeli Lounivos added.
The third member of their company and fellow student broadcast producer, Ananya Mehrotra, said she is currently split between choosing a career in law or journalism, and the day’s event gave her more clarity on which of the two she’ll decide on before she leaves for college next year.
“It’s important about learning more about these fields before I go to college,” said Mehrotra. “And just seeing how passionate everyone is about their jobs, that’s something I want to have in my career. And I think I’m leaning closer to journalism after today.”
“It’s an amazing event for students in general who are interested in media arts, journalism, film, animation, sound or even public relations and communication,” said Dave Brill, event organizer and COC faculty member, who said that the days speakers were a combination of his and Overdevest’s old students. “(The returning students) are excited to come back and talk with these students. So, it’s just a win-win for everybody.”