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Entertainment Industry Day connects students with media companies

Published on November 06, 2023

Entertainment Industry Day connects students with media companies

Students engage in conversation with representatives of NE Video Entertainment LLC, a video production company based in Hartford.

Representatives of Arias Pro, a film production company based in West Hartford

In entertainment as much as in any industry, networking is vitally important. Eastern Connecticut State University’s Entertainment Industry Day, which took place Nov. 3, opened the lines of communication between aspiring professionals and organizations in need of their services.

Above all skills, the 12 companies at the event scouted out personalities among the students who attended. Eastern alumnus Andrew Meagher ’22, promotions coordinator at Hartford Yard Goats Baseball, was in search of “go-getter type personalities.”

Students network with Ronnell "Rvoice" Monts, a freelance public service and sports announcer who hopes to take on interns next year.

The Hartford Yard Goats are a minor-league professional baseball team. The “Yard Goats experience” involves “family-affordable and fun entertainment,” said Meagher. This commitment to the fans means employees at the Yard Goats must “be prepared to work longer days.”

Several other companies at the event incorporated sports into their repertoire of entertainment. Arias Pro, a video production company based in West Hartford but operating on a global scale, makes promotional material for a highly ranked professional pickleball player, according to founder Paul Arias.

A common strategy used by Arias in training his interns is to give them a full project to edit right off the bat, because “you need to learn how to edit” in the film industry. “We start interns (by) getting their hands dirty with equipment,” he said.

These sports entertainment ventures were of particular interest to Fernando Jeronimo ’24, a double major in communication and sports/leisure management. Jeronimo advised other students looking to get into the entertainment industry to “keep an open mind” as they may encounter “names you’ve never heard,” which can give way to “opportunities you didn’t know you had.”

These opportunities exist outside the realm of sports as well. Ryan Carson, owner of Artist Haven Media, was on the lookout for interns in the areas of graphic design, web design, search engine optimization and social media.

Tracy Flater (left) and David Addis of Playhouse on Park

Artist Haven Media, based in Vernon, is a multimedia production company suited to “people who want to work somewhere that people appreciate their work,” said Carson.

Meanwhile, at Playhouse on Park, a nonprofit theatre group in West Hartford, there are always openings in production, according to operations manager David Addis. “We’re trying to help foster that next generation of people coming up (into the entertainment industry),” said Addis.

Co-founder and Executive Director Tracy Flater made the point that getting one’s foot in the door at Playhouse can lead to further professional opportunities. “When you’re working in theatre, you’re networking in theatre,” she said.

A popular company among students at the event was NBCUniversal in West Hartford, represented by Chris Weedon, Jr., ’15, account executive and sales representative. For Weedon, “continuing to bring young talent into our organization” involves an up-to-date understanding of “how people consume their news,” which has shifted largely to social media in recent years.

As a former Eastern student, Weedon said that Eastern’s “liberal arts background was huge” in fostering the skills he has used in his professional career. He also encouraged students to get “real-world experience” through on-campus involvement, internships and careers.

Written by Noel Teter