Q&A: Timing is Everything

By Christian Perez

 Isabelle Carasso, Film and Media Studies and English double major, describing her experience at NBCUniversal.

Isabelle Carasso, Film and Media Studies and English double major, describing her experience at NBCUniversal.

When graduating from college, one can feel anxious about finding the first post-grad job in the ‘real’ world. But Film and Media alumna Isabelle Carasso’s story offers solace to those of us worrying about leaving the university. She dove head-first into a highly competitive field -  the entertainment industry -  and got a job as a Page at NBCUniversal.

Carasso graduated in 2016, but now lives in Los Angeles and now works on the development of television shows that are ready to be produced.

In a recent interview, we spoke to Carasso about her time at UC Santa Barbara, how it affected her career path, and her post-university actions. She even gave advice to those of us who are graduating this spring.

Q. What's your position at NBCUniversal?

A. I’m a Page here. If you’ve seen 30 Rock, I’m Kenneth. If you haven’t seen it—please go watch it, it’s really great—the Page Program is a 12-month ambassadorship for NBCUniversal, where pages rotate through four departments to learn anything and everything about the industry. So far, I’ve been at Universal Television Development during show staffing season, Universal Television Publicity during their Emmy campaign, and Universal Cable Productions to learn about all the work that goes into taking a show that has been greenlit by development into physical production.

Q. How did your university major affect your career and how did it help you in the field?

A. I doubled in Film & Media Studies and English. Studying Film allowed me to understand classic film theory, global cinematic movements, and the history of movie studios. It got me passionate about the industry. I didn’t mean to major in English, but I found myself taking English classes as electives so I formally declared that too. I’ve known I wanted to write for a long time, so studying film helped me see the bigger picture of the industry while English informed my analysis of story.

Q. What would you say to Seniors who are graduating in 2018 and are worried about finding a job?

A. I’d say have a healthy amount of stress about it. This is to say that it’s more important to grab dinner with your roommate of two years who is moving to start a grad program a couple hours away  - and you likely won’t see them every day after you graduate  - than it is to edit your essay that’s on its fifth draft.

Q. How long after graduating from the university did you find a job?

A. About a month. I think you have to live in LA to find a job here, so I moved here, and started temping at [the entertainment company] Lionsgate while I looked for a full-time job. After a month of temping, I got a six-month contract at NBC to work as a television production assistant for their reality TV app called ‘hayu.’ I did my six months there and started the Page Program the week after my contract ended. Timing is everything.

Christian Perez is a UC Santa Barbara senior majoring in Chicana/Chicano Studies.