To continue to mentor and cultivate the next generation of young creators, the Television Academy Foundation partnered with the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) for the College Television Awards Nominee Summit. On Saturday, March 16, the prestigious talent agency welcomed all 2019 nominees to their Century City office for an early morning of networking, career development workshops and panel discussions.
CAA executive Ruben Garcia moderated a panel called "Building a Career in Television," which featured top industry professionals and creators: HBO Director of Programming Ada Chiaghana, CAA agent Austin Densuk, MACRO executive Greta Fuentes, and Gran Via Productions producer Myki Bajaji. The nominees learned about the vital role that talent agencies play across the industry and how they can be a source for opportunity for young creators. Chiaghana candidly discussed her career path of working at a talent agency on an entry level and eventually working her way up, earning her place now as a top executive. "It was important to see that there's not just one linear path into the industry," said Scott James, a Brigham Young University student nominated in the Commercial category. Students learned that navigating the industry is more than just knowing your craft but also understanding the business aspect. "We learned the difference between a manager and an agent, and it was important to realize that they are not the same thing," said James, who also participated in the "Elevator Pitch" workshop offered during the visit. "It was great to know exactly what these big agencies do and how important they are to breaking into television."
The Creative Artists Agency visit concluded the three-day nominee summit during which students were provided rare access to educational and informative panel discussions and opportunities to network with industry executives. "We've been so honored to be here," recounted Peter Heckel, a Chapman University student nominated in the Comedy category. "We've been able to go to companies that normally you wouldn't be able to," he said. "So having the honor to go inside and learn from the [executives] has been eye-opening." During the Nominee Summit, students were also inspired by meeting other passionate young creators. "I learned a lot from [other] nominees. Everyone has something unique to share—I gained a lot from that," said Hadley Hillel, from Chapman University and a nominee in the Drama category. Students left the nominee summit feeling educated and empowered. "We learned a lot about this industry and how to break into it," said Seth Mollerup, a Brigham Young University nominated in the Commercial category. "We feel like we're really prepared now to hit it hard and do great."
Click here to view all the College Television Award nominees and winners.