Elizabeth M. Daley, Dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, announced today that the school’s First Jobs program has cleared the 1,000 mark for number of recent graduates it has helped place in paid entry-level entertainment industry positions. (The tally is currently at 1,019.) Some 64 alumni already have been promoted from positions they were originally hired for and/or have been hired again with the same employer.
The program is the brainchild of top TV producer Aaron Kaplan, President and CEO of Kapital Entertainment, a USC Marshall School of Business alum and a member of the SCA Alumni Development Council, who launched it with SCA in 2017. In the initial launch, Kaplan was joined by SCA alumni including Nahnatchka Khan, Josh Schwartz, Tim Story and the late John Singleton.
“First Jobs is an invaluable resource for our talented students spanning all Divisions and programs and provides them with opportunities to learn from the best and the brightest in the industry,” Daley said. “I’m incredibly proud of our alumni and dedicated staff who work to ensure our students are set up for success once they step out into the industry.”
Over the past four years, the program has expanded to over 700 participating companies that have access to recent SCA graduates; affiliation with SCA is not a requirement for participation. Candidates in the program are recent SCA graduates or minor degree holders (1-5 years out) who have gone through the application process. First Jobs is supported by SCA’s Office of Industry Relations and overseen by Lisa Fox, Media Talent Development.
“I’m grateful to all of our partners who have made First Jobs a great success,” Kaplan said. “Finding your first job in any business is challenging and while finding over 1,000 jobs for the qualified graduates of USC is fantastic, the 642 jobs that we have secured during Covid is something that Lisa Fox and the First Jobs group should be incredibly proud of.”
Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment has employed 60 alums to date. Additional companies that have repeat hires from the program include 101 Studios, Amblin Entertainment, American Cinematheque, Baz Luhrmann, Brillstein Partners Entertainment, CAA, CBS, Company3, The CW, Disney, FiegCo Entertainment, Fourfront Media, The Gersh Agency, HBOMax, ICM Partners, Interwoven Media, Legendary Entertainment, Lionsgate/Starz, LucasFilm, Mattel, MJZ, NBCUni, Netflix, Paradigm, Suzanne Todd Productions, The Underground, UTA, ViacomCBS, VOX Agency, We’re Not Brothers Productions, Zucker Productions and many others.
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