Networking is important to any aspiring professional. Finding networking events can be difficult during a national pandemic. In my internship, I work with many different departments virtually at WNED. Mainly, I work with Lynne Bader and Matt Sanfilippo in the production department. On Wednesdays each week, I work with the web development team with Christy May and Nathen Schneekloth. When I am working on video editing for WNED, I talk to members of the video department including Chris Bove and Chris Thomas.
Luckily, at my current production internship with WNED, I have been able to go into the building and network with other professionals in the field. A few weeks ago, I took the opportunity to come to a large production event where WNED was producing an opera show. Lynne Bader gave me the opportunity to speak to and work with some of the producers they hired outside of the organization. I networked with ESPN producer David Tasca and casually spoke with him about his job and my interests in video production. I also networked with Buffalo Opera Unlimited director Tim Kennedy and spoke with him about production during lunch. I got the opportunity to speak with a studio supervisor Tami Coleman about lighting and studio design for big production events. All of these people were more than happy to talk to me about their jobs, and it gave me perspective on all the different roles that go into producing a television show.
Another opportunity I had to network was through the informational interview. I spoke with Lee Fiener about his job. Then, I had the opportunity to connect with his sister who works at Bravo. I added both of them on LinkedIn, and now I feel comfortable speaking with them and potentially connecting with them when I am looking for a job in the field.
LinkedIn is an important resource when it comes to networking. Many of the people I networked with at the WNED Opera event connected with me on LinkedIn afterwards. This made me feel confident enough to connect with other people in the field. Through this networking social media site, professionals in the field can see my resume and experience. I have found that, during this semester, I have gained more connections on LinkedIn than I ever have before. Recently, professionals in the field who I have never met have been asking me to connect. This may be due to the variety of connections I have made through WNED this semester. LinkedIn is the perfect way to network during a pandemic, because there is no in-person contact. In the future, hopefully the pandemic will be over and I can network with these new connections in person. I felt comfortable enough in all of my professional conversations where I can reach out to them through LinkedIn messages or email when I am searching for a job.