Mid-Atlantic Emmys hold resume workshop on campus

Written By Andrew Brinker, Co-News Editor

Point Park was host to the Mid-Atlantic chapter of The National Academy of Television on Tuesday, February 19 for a workshop entitled “Boost Your Media Resume,” designed to aid broadcast students in the Pittsburgh area with building their resumes, improving their broadcast work, applying for jobs and submitting nominations for Mid-Atlantic Emmy awards.

The event was organized by Gina Catanzarite, a broadcast professor at Point Park, and featured a panel of top Pittsburgh media professionals.

The panel included Lisa Washington, a reporter at KDKA-TV who hosted the event, Hilary Wavrek Totin, a producer at WTAE-TV, Tim Holoman, a retired WPXI-TV editor, David Solomon, an executive producer at WQED Multimedia, Jonathan Otte, producer of the Pittsburgh Penguins’ show “In The Room,” Carrie Moniot, a student media advisor at Robert Morris University, Zak Boyle, a digital content producer at WQED and Tara Faccenda, the executive director of the Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards.

Conversation at the workshop began with an initial discussion regarding what producers search for when hiring applicants, which led the panel to a consensus about the importance of an applicant’s resume reel, and storytelling ability.

“You can pull a lot of people with those reels,” Solomon said. “But I need to see a story as an accent – start to end of a story. I want to see something with a great beginning, middle, and end, and the visuals to go with it.”

Faccenda also emphasized the importance of storytelling, saying that the Emmys tend to place the most value on human stories.

“You all are producing a lot of stories that people care to see,” Faccenda said. “Human stories. And it’s really important to keep telling those stories.”

The panel then shifted into discussion on the importance of flexibility and reaching into different areas outside of a broadcast student’s niche.

Otte told the audience that flexibility in college was responsible for his current job with the Penguins.

“I came from this school, this Division I hockey school in Minnesota, where I would shoot a lot of the hockey games,” Otte said. “When I was first interviewed over the phone by the Penguins I showed them my demo reel with all of my sports shooting and stuff like that on it. They were basically like ‘that’s cool but tell us about this documentary that you were a part of that was about beef cattle in Minnesota.’ So, yeah, we need to be flexible.”

The event was then opened up to student questions, which led to an in-depth conversation on Mid-Atlantic Emmy submissions and what common elements could be found in winning pieces.

Each panelist eventually provided the audience with parting words of wisdom to take away from the event, which was followed by a networking opportunity for students.

In her parting words to students, Catanzarite emphasized the value of awards in media and the potential weight that they can carry.

“We’ve talked sort of interchangeably about awards and jobs,” Catanzarite said. “If it’s good enough to get you a job, it’s probably good enough to get you an award. If it’s good enough to get you an award, it’s probably good enough to get you a job.”

While Catanzarite spoke about the importance of awards, Washington used her final words to the audience to highlight the importance of resources within the broadcast industry.

“Utilize your resources,” said Washington. “You have a wealth of resources; your university, internships, contacts – utilize those. If people see that you are willing and eager to learn, then they don’t mind helping you.”