Creative Careers on 11.11.11

11/11/11 has certainly marked itself as a day for creativity. Today, I attended an event at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) called Creative Careers Seminar. I am not an Ivy League  student, but certainly should have been at CMU when Mark Zuckerberg was there recruiting software and computer gurus with the intention of finding new talent. Nope, I am more of your passionate spark in the mix of students. And this is where Creative Careers comes into play.

Creative Careers Seminar is sponsored by 14 surrounding colleges and universities in Western PA like CMU and Point Park University to engage their students with professionals in creative fields. This year was Point Park’s first year to be involved and I am giving a warm thank you to Amy Bittner the Career Counselor from Point Park that came to me first about this event looking for on-campus marketing ideas. She was a positive contributor throughout the event and I am happy to consider her as an “ally” (a new word I am learning to use from the book I am currently reading and not telling anyone until I have written a review of it…lol). Yes, thank you Amy!

So, the seminar was very successful in terms of attendance. There were so many students dressed in professional attire as you should be when going to networking functions like this and the panel discussions were very informative and light. I don’t recall anyone sleeping during the session which is a good thing.

Deborah Hosking, a media and professional artist, was the keynote speaker for the event and she did a wonderful job illustrating her journey and experiences. She has been to China and originally planned out for a three-month excursion there, but the game of life had her stay for a little bit longer…. try nine years she remarked.

While listening to her words and watching her photography being projected onto the screen, I delved into the mindset of asking myself why this specific speaker. The answer quickly came to the surface and I realized I am here for others who cannot attend. Hosking’s presentation spoke to me for my mother. 

I made this association purely on the fact that my mom’s favorite store is JCPenny (R) and Hosking had worked there. Yes, you can make a connection like that and suddenly realize profound things. Well, my mom’s life has been strictly constructed around the roots of bearing and raising children. From her embedded family values at a very young age to remarrying and still living up to this feminine role today. Hosking’s journey did not consist of being driver’s license-less (she did say she didn’t have a car though) or not having a high school diploma like my mother’s past shows, but it did whisper into my ears that my mom can continue her passion of art, scrapbooking, photography, reading, writing and speaking her Aries mind for her future work in a creative career. 

I have witnessed and learned that technology makes it possible for stay-at-home moms to get ahead while tending to their children. The power of the Web 2.0 establishes a playground to write, post and share information easier and the advances of social media has stepped this up even more. I believe the Internet is a great waiting room for people trying to discover their purpose or what they want to do in life because hobbies come together online and jobs at home are easily manageable through your computer. Maybe that’s why I love the idea of Freelance so much because the will and drive is in your hands. Through Hosking, I was reminded that my mom and anyone else has the ability to achieve great things even if it seems the odds are against them (and they aren’t…positive thoughts here). So believe me, I am determined to pull this flower from the mud and show the world all she can do. My awesomeness does come from her, duh.

After Deborah Hosking’s moment the event followed with panel discussions in areas of arts management, public relations, and performing arts to name a few. Including more awesome advice like “Marry well” as Nancy Martin, author of 48 pop fiction novels, recalls advice given to her and others from Kurt Vonnegut as well as somewhat controversial guidance “You don’t need to actually go to graduate school.” But the overall goal of Creative Careers was accomplished; students networked with professionals from companies like Brunner, Women in Film and Media, and ModCloth.com. In addition to absorbing what it takes to be in a creative career of the 21st century on a day that only comes once every 100 years.

For more information on Creative Careers and panelists biographies go to Creative Careers Seminar.

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