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Stern Talks

Darren Campo 328x246
Stern Talks is a new Undergraduate College series that invites NYU Stern alumni to give 20-minute "TED-style" presentations over various industries.

Ashish Bhatia, Assistant Dean of Students, Engagement, & Innovation, says the goal of the talks is “to get students excited about the different opportunities that are out there and to hear first hand about what they have to look forward to as they start down their own career path."

“This program takes advantage of NYU’s location and the many alumni still in the city that are doing really amazing things from tech, to finance, to entertainment,” Assistant Dean Bhatia added. "It’s an opportunity for alumni to come back and share their journeys with students who are just at the beginning of their careers."

At the December 3 event, Darren Campo (BS ‘95), Senior Vice President at the Food Network and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Entertainment, Media, & Technology at Stern, shared his story working in the entertainment industry. He noted that “the business of entertainment is the business of storytelling.”

Campo talked about how, as a student, he viewed a career in entertainment as “very daunting.” When he was a senior at Stern, he realized he wanted to work at CBS, but worried that it was too late to get his foot in the door. However, nine months after graduation, he landed an entry-level position in the research department at CBS.

“Entertainment companies are real meritocracies. If you understand the audience’s needs, and you can help deliver that, you can move up really quickly.” A big myth, he said, is that “only top executives influence creative.” Campo proved this myth as false, when he went to bat for the pilot of Judge Judy, which has now been on the air for more than 20 seasons.

Another myth he helped bust is that “a successful creative career is rare and risky. But really, [NBCUniversal, Viacom, Time Warner, 21st Century Fox, and Disney] make up 80% of all of the domestic films and television. If you were to get a job at any one of these companies, anywhere in the company, I think you could move somewhere else in that company.”

After the day's presentations, Lauren Sens-Castet (BS '20), discussed how she is seeking a career that combines her creative and analytical thinking. "The talks today were really interesting because it reassured me that I can explore the creative side without compromising anything else."

Other industries represented at Stern Talks include Sustainability, Political Economy, and Real Estate, Accounting, Advisory, Audit and Tax, Consulting, Tech, Marketing, Investment Banking, Asset Management, Sales, and Trading.