Two Silicon Beach executives and fellow LMU graduates reflected on their college lives and shared career advice with students and alumni at a recent Playa Vista networking event.
The Sept. 28 gathering at the Centerpointe Club featured a wide-ranging conversation with LMU President Timothy Law Snyder, Ph.D.; Claudine Cazian Britz, '00, head of entertainment partnerships for Instagram; and Sean Kane, '99, entrepreneur and co-founder of the Honest Co.
Before joining Instagram, Cazian Britz worked with TV and radio personality Ryan Seacrest, and was instrumental in the launches of the hit programs American Idol and On Air with Ryan Seacrest. Kane began his career as an accountant before shifting to ecommerce and managing various aspects of the online comparison shopping website, PriceGrabber.com.
"This is the perfect mixer because students, this is where you network and get jobs," Snyder said, addressing the audience. "This is a good thing, and there are great people here interested in you."
With Snyder, Cazian Britz and Kane discussed how their careers evolved after graduation and what values they took away from LMU. They mentioned what they see as desirable traits in potential employees – those who are creative and can find solutions to problems, for example – and how those characteristics benefit the workplace.
"Say you were hiring somebody or seeking to work with somebody. How do you gauge their creativity? How do you put your finger on it?" Snyder asked.
"I just talk to them ... and ask them to tell me their story," Cazian Britz said. "What they've accomplished, what they've built and how they built it, challenges they came up against and how they solve it. I think all of those things show how someone thinks."
For Kane, a person's level of energy and interests can also be important indicators of how they'll approach their work.
Snyder asked the alumni to offer three tips to students with which they should walk away.
"Stay curious, that is a number one tip," Cazian Britz offered. "I think that when you're out of school, learning is just beginning, and to really push yourself to continue to be curious and learn from the people all around you in all different fields."
Added Kane: "Be gracious, show gratitude to the people who have supported you, and the people who will continue to support you, for everyone in the community."
"Life is short. And we only have a finite amount of time. You can always make more money. You can never get back the time," he said. "Always appreciate the moment."
The networking event is one of many ways that LMU is leveraging its Silicon Beach partnerships and proximity to Playa Vista tech firms to offer educational and career opportunities to students.
In fall 2018, LMU will open the Playa Vista Campus, which will house School of Film and Television graduate programs in a 50,000-square-foot space in The Brickyard. The white-glazed brick building is at Jefferson Boulevard and Centinela Avenue, near the 405 Freeway.