For Zahira Ulloa, Promo Pathway Graduate and now production coordinator at Studio City, Portfolio Night changed everything. As one of the ten students chosen to participate in the program, which takes place each year at PromaxBDA’s June conference, Ulloa’s work was showcased and adored. It landed her a meeting with Studio City’s hiring manager, and it wasn’t long before her new career path was being realized.
Daily Brief Contributing Editor Kareem Taylor sat down with Ulloa to discuss her experience in the Promo Pathway program, what it’s like to work at one of the hottest promo agencies in Los Angeles and what advice she’d give to prospective students.
DAILY BRIEF: How did you get this job?
Ulloa: I met the hiring manager at the roundtable night that was held at the PromaxBDA conference. They chose ten students to showcase the work we had done throughout the year, and I was one of ten chosen to be a part of it. It was a big turning point for me because I met a lot of great people that are in the industry doing what I want to do. From there, it was all about making those contacts with the people I met that night.
Awesome. So, you showed your work at portfolio night, went for a couple meetings and landed that role?
After sending out a lot of ‘thank you’ emails, letting them know ‘Pretty soon, I’m going to be out on the job hunt and I’m ready.’ It just happened.
As a production coordinator at Studio City, what does your day to day look like?
No day is really the same, or no night, because I’m the night coordinator. We do a lot of promos for the day time talk shows. I’m in charge of the finishing product. I do quality checking of everything we deliver; making sure the audio’s correct, graphics are done and spelled correctly, look at all the transitions and effects, video formats, all shots used have been cleared with legal. I’m the last stop before I proceed to the delivery to the stations. It’s very important to be on top of the offline editorial process to the online. Those are a few of the basics, but that’s what my nights look like. I work on all the promos for the Dr. Oz account.
Before the Promo Pathway program, did you know you wanted to go into entertainment marketing?
I always knew I wanted to be in the entertainment industry but it was a process for me to pinpoint where I saw myself. Growing up, my mom put me in acting classes so I explored that. As I got older, I realized that wasn’t the route for me. I juggled a lot of ideas around but being part of the promo world was one I hadn’t explored but I’m happy I was able to find such a specific niche.
How did you find out about the Promo Pathway program?
It was actually through a mutual friend. We were actually going to the taping of The Real and we were at the Warner Bros. lot. It was a fun environment to be in. I was telling her ‘I wish I could do something like this.’ She had just taken the program previously, and she told me ‘They’re about to start doing interviews. You should do it. It’s a great opportunity, you learn a lot and meet a lot of great people.’ I just went from there. I was like ‘What do I have to lose?’
For more information on Promo Pathway and Student Portfolio Night, contact Rachel Wyatt at Rachel.Wyatt@promaxbda.org. Applications are being accepted through May 1.
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