Entertainment is easily one of the most coveted industries to break into for young adults seeking an exciting and fast paced environment. Here at SEE, we are fortunate to have amazing resources and connections that can launch students’ careers into the entertainment industry. I decided to sit down with SEE’s former president and alumnus, Catalina Mejia, to discuss her career goals in this industry and how SEE has set her on a track for success.
Christina: So let’s start from the beginning. How did you first hear about SEE?
Catalina: When I was a prospective student, I participated in an overnight program with a girl and followed her on social media. The summer going into my freshman year I saw SEE on the girl’s social media and reached out to SEE’s membership director at the time. She let me know that applications would open in the fall and to keep an eye out. I pulled an all-nighter to submit that application, but it was honestly the best thing I could have ever done. The hardest decision I had to make while at school was to leave SEE my senior year so I could study abroad. I miss it all the time.
Christina: During your time at SEE, what positions did you hold?
Catalina: I first applied to be Special Events director, which was amazing because I got to experiment with different event ideas and it was less structured than other positions. Following that, I ran for president and was fortunate to be elected into the position. It was an amazing opportunity to be one of the first junior presidents on the board and it gave me a lot of great connections while teaching me about how to be a leader.
Christina: How has SEE helped you in your professional life?
Catalina: One of the biggest things SEE has taught me is networking and knowing how to handle myself in different environments. Also, it has allowed me to get entertainment experience in an area where entertainment is not very popular, like in D.C.
Christina: Can you tell us a little about your internship experience?
Catalina: I interned at Facebook in New York two years ago on their marketing team. This past summer I got to intern at NBC, specifically Telemundo for the morning entertainment shows. I got to do talent coordination and even a few celebrity interviews. SEE really helped me prepare for that, just knowing how to act professionally in front of public figures and how to carry myself. SEE offers a lot more than what meets the eye.
Christina: Going off of that, what was the best part of your internship at NBC?
Catalina: I think the best part of my internship was the interviewing experience. As a journalism major, learning how to conduct an interview is so valuable. My birthday week was the best week of that summer, not only because it was my birthday, but also because on that Thursday I got to interview Al Gore and the following Saturday I was interviewing Salma Hayek and Samuel L. Jackson. It was an incredible experience.
Christina: You obviously have some good experience getting your foot in the door in the entertainment industry. If you could give someone advice on how to be successful in the industry, what would you tell them?
Catalina: The biggest thing is to be opened minded. There is not one clear cut path to get to your dream job, especially in the entertainment industry. Try some things out, work hard in the opportunities you get, and see where the journey takes you. Just be willing to put yourself out there.