In your last year of college things can start to become a little scary. The biggest question we have is "Where am I going next?" and most importantly "What do I want to do now?" Once we graduate our identity as a student kind of slips away and we become part of the real world where we flex what we know. Then we can become swamped with more questions like "What do I know?" and "How can I apply that to a job?"
In this week's AMG Meeting we were lucky enough to have to Jessica Dutra, a recent graduate of SDSU come in and talk to students about what their next few years will look like as creators. Jessica Dutra an assistant producer for the Kramer and Geena Morning Show for radio station 93.3 . Let me tell you, this girl was so real with us and I could not have asked for a better glimpse into the world I would be stepping into.
Jessica Dutra told us how being a creator is one of the hardest jobs out there and it really doesn't matter what industry you're in. Coming up with new original content, making an impact, and being given a chance to make an impact all starts from where you decide to apply and how you decide to use the experience. The realest thing she said is that as we are applying to these jobs or internships we are definitely going to start at the bottom and "that's okay". In her experience she started in promotions and running a social media account, and through her work there she moved up to being a morning show producer, and a radio host on the weekend. Though Dutra is closer to being where she wants to be she is still having to work a second job, sometimes a third to support herself financially. In the entertainment industry Dutra has told us that its an uphill battle and even when you get to where you want to be or close it may not be exactly what you pictured, but as you are putting in these months and endless hours of experience you are strengthening your skills and expanding them. More than anything she stressed that the struggles you are going through to do all this matters, and that on some days "it's really gonna suck and you might cry." Emotions are totally normal because you care and you want to succeed. The key to getting through the hard days is thinking about where you want to be and through changing your attitude to a more optimistic mindset, this mental change can lift you up through these hard times.
As daunting as that may have sounded at first Dutra also reminded us of an even more mind shattering truth: if we give up our creativity and try to do something else that is easier, our lives would be even more miserable because that work wouldn’t be closer to getting us to what we truly want to do--CREATE. The work would become boring and in a way less meaningful and nourishing for you as a person. Her talk really reminded me of the song "Come Hang Out" by AJR. Essentially as you are on this journey to where you want to be, the time you put in can be consuming, you might have to miss some outings with friends and family, you are going to be working hard with multiple jobs and getting lost in the balance of it all-- it can be scary and overwhelming. Her biggest message to me for that fear was : If you believe in you, you can do anything. Also, that the struggle and balancing act you are doing is not embarrassing, you are working towards something, and doing everything at your disposal to maintain what is important to you. Be proud of yourself.
Another helpful tip she gave when working in entertainment is focus on your work, and nourishing the ideas you want to create. Nourish yourself. In a lot instances you will be working with people that want to succeed and move up just as much as you do but once you start looking at other people and comparing yourself you start to lose what is important to you in the process. One way Dutra has combated this pressure is doing projects on the side like her "Catching feelings" segment on her Instagram tv. Here she talks about real life topics and things people are afraid to talk about and truly breaks down the barriers between her and her audience. Her real talks create and inspire her audience to leave deep and vulnerable comments which allows her to connect more with her audience as a human.
As I take a step closer to the real world this coming May I feel scared but in a way relieved to know a little bit about the world I am stepping into. As students it is vital to connect with people in your industry who can give you insight and help relieve some of your most burning questions. As you begin this journey as a creator, as you face the juggling act, nothing changes the fact that YOU ARE DOPE.
Written by: Dominique Torres