Executive Feature (Response #1): Shannon Fitzgerald

Shannon Fitzgerald came to Colgate on Thursday afternoon to speak to the women of Colgate about her experiences working in the entertainment business. She proclaimed a love for our generation, which she described as a group of eighty million people that rely on text messages, Facebook, Twitter, laptops, and the social connections and immediate updates that feed our conversations and our interests. Fitzgerald currently works as the Senior VP of Series Development at East Coast MTV, but her career was not a simple transition from university life to the world of employment and subsequent ladder climbing. In fact, Fitzgerald independently moved to London when she was sixteen and landed her first job, “pushing paper” as she said, at the BBC.

Despite the many ups and downs of her career, Fitzgerald remained confident that her instinct to work in entertainment  was the right one. Her presentation focused on three key points to direct currently unemployed students into fields of employment which they will enjoy and find meaning. Fitzgerald reiterated that confusion, fear and lack of instinct are okay, despite the pressures that family, friends, money and potential happiness all play in this mixture.

1, 2, 3

Dream. Act. Be Resilient. Finding one dream and brainstorming jobs that include aspects of that dream will help guide you in the right direction. Acting upon that dream and fighting to keep it alive are the tougher parts. Fitzgerald emphasized the resiliency it takes (and inevitably, the time) to have your dream become a reality. She quoted a statistic that a majority of people in our generation change jobs five times in ten years after graduating college. She also pointed out that, even after changing jobs five times, we may not know what it truly is that we want to do.

Finding a job “for the rest of your life” has now become an outdated saying. Fitzgerald is wise to this fact and as a seasoned woman in the world of employment, specifically entertainment, it’s safe to say that she understands difficulty, disappointment, the meaning of a dollar and the importance of work ethic.

In closing, Fitzgerald urged us to use the tools that we grew up with to our advantage. Post videos on YouTube, Tweet at well-known celebrities and stalk people we know in our dream career to see which path they took and how they achieving a personal form of success. If plan A does not work out, and neither does plan B or even plan C… do not give up. Fitzgerald reminded the young women of Colgate last night that there are still twenty three other letters in the alphabet.


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