It was 56 degrees on a Saturday morning. Undergraduate and graduate students held on to their portfolios as they arrived at The Eugene Lang College: The New School for Liberal Arts. As they entered, they were given name tags, a star to indicate what they were looking for, an internship or an entry level job. They were given a brown bag with a program, a notepad, a nutrition bar and a New York Magazine with the front page titled “The Drones: We’ll fly up Toward the Sun.”
In the entrance hall, the students mingled with their peers coming from universities such as NYU, Syracuse, and Rutgers. Others had traveled further, from Paris and Georgia.
Some students were getting coffee. Some were counting the copies of their resume. They were waiting for the FindSpark conference to begin.
FindSpark is a community dedicated to helping creative students obtain the tools and resources needed to excel in creative careers. They provide workshops to help students with their resumes and cover letters. They hold networking events where students network with employers in the industries they aspire to work in.
FindSpark was launched in December 2010 and founded by Emily Meithner, an alum from Hofstra University. Every year since they started, they hold their national career conference in Manhattan. This year, they would include representatives from companies such as Google, NBCUniversal, HBO, Time Inc, Hearst Magazine and much more. The speakers would offer advice to students based on the different sessions in the day. They would also connect with the students during the opportunity mixer.
Emily Meithner, the founder of FindSpark told the audience about her experience. She expressed that as she was a young creative when she finished her undergraduate, she was uncertain of what to do. She said that it seemed as though, there were not enough opportunities for students with a creative degree. However, she discovered that it was beneficial for her to go out, meet others and take advantage of social media. Hard work and a great network was the key.
The key speaker was Mr. Giangrande, Chief Human Resource Officer of Time Inc. Mr. Giangrande discussed the necessity of being flexible and having various skills. He loved media and publishing from a young age. However, he is now in Human Resources and loves it. Mr. Giangrande said that creative students that are seeking jobs need to know five things:
- Know how to play the game
- Go on a charm offense
- Be humble
- Crush it
- Think about what leaders inspire you.