One school has organized an activity to bring Salt Lake Community College students and faculty together outside of the classroom.
The School of Arts, Communication and Media will host a meet-and-greet Thursday, Jan. 19 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the South City Campus multipurpose room. Josh Elstein, program manager for the Center for Arts and Media, describes the gathering as an opportunity to build camaraderie among students and teachers.
“It’s going to be set up like a reception,” Elstein says, adding that the event provides a “very casual setting” where students can ask questions and talk to faculty and staff about the different programs.
Academic advisors and Student Services representatives will be in attendance, and Richard Scott, the dean of the school, is also expected to make an appearance. Free refreshments will be served.
Connections become collaborations
The meet-and-greet is a relatively new activity designed to encourage arts and communication students to learn more about other programs at the South City Campus and how they can work together on different projects.
“When you’re working on a film, you’re going to be reaching out to music students for your score or to graphic design students for your graphics,” Elstein says. “You’re going to be working with the theater department for your actors — you’re going to be reaching out in this professional networking way throughout your studies here.”
Although arts and communication students can take professional advantage of the meet-and-greet, any student is welcome to attend and talk about programs of interest with their peers.
“Part of being a college student is making these connections with your fellow students,” Elstein says.
Networking leads to job opportunities
Students who attend the meet-and-greet can also speak to faculty in the program. Stephen Williams, who was recently hired to teach a screenwriting class, has personal experience on the importance of connecting with teachers.
“Five years ago, I ran into a former teacher at 24-Hour Fitness,” he says. “He called out to me, ‘Stephen, come over here! I need to talk to you!'”
The two then exchanged contact information and, several weeks later, Williams was brought on to be a script doctor for a feature documentary.
“The experience opened up a new tributary in my professional life,” he says.
Events like the meet-and-greet give students the opportunity to make connections with potential mentors and colleagues.
“Keep in touch with your teachers. It might just turn out to be mutually rewarding, both personally and professionally,” Williams says. “The reality of most industries is that people hire people they already know.”