By Mallory Harris | Staff Writer
Hosted by the Baylor Alumni Entertainment group and College of Arts and Sciences Board of Advocates, the Women in Entertainment event brought three alumnae to speak to students about how their time at Baylor prepared them for the industry.
Students were able to hear from Kara Killmer, a successful actress, Liz Suggs, an award-winning musical writer and Mallory Thomasson, a successful marketing executive.
A major theme for the event was highlighting the differences within the panelist while also seeing their connection through Baylor’s preparation. The panelists answered questions from theatre arts lecturer and moderator, Sam Henderson. They talked about their time at Baylor, their life post-graduation, networking tips, mentorships, faith and more.
Forney senior Katelyn Hammack said she came to the event to earn a creative arts experience credit. She said she enjoyed hearing real-life experiences from the panelists about their post-graduation life and felt the event was very inspiring.
“One thing that I did like was [when] Liz Suggs talked about how there are other sides of the industry other than just acting,” Hammack said. “I’m an English major and I’d love to be a writer one day and so I think [being a] novelist has always been at the top of my list, but really listening to her opened my eyes that there are other options other than what I thought I had.”
Hammock also said she found comfort in knowing she can still have a Baylor community after college. After Killmer and Thomasson said they still lived with Baylor friends well into the early years of their career because they already had that foundation built.
“It reminded me that I’m not alone, that after I walk out of Ferrell in a couple of months — it reminded me that no matter what, I still have a community,” Hammack said.
Santa Teresa, N.M. senior Caitlin Erramouspe said she really enjoyed the honest conversation the event brought up and asked the panelist about networking. Erramouspe mentioned how she had an internship in New York this previous semester and was selected because of her connections.
“So, [for] a lot of the jobs it’s not what’s posted on LinkedIn or Handshake, it’s who you can connect with to get you those jobs,” Erramouspe said.
Reflecting on their past, the panelists emphasized that networking and building mentoring relationships are key to finding your place in the industry. Thomasson said how going where you will be invested in is key, while Suggs talked more about the importance of creative partnerships for the writing side.
Additionally, Killmer said it only takes one person to invest in you and others take notice of that investment, which can go a long way.
Overall, in the sense of networking, the panelists noted that though everything has been changing in the past five years, talking to people and trusting the process have consistently done them well.
Both Hammack and Erramouspe said their similar experiences to the panelists at Baylor made them relatable. Hammack is in a class right now that Killmer also took and said it was impactful how Baylor professors can have a lasting effect on students.
As a senior, Erramouspe said her ideas of post-graduation plans were broadened and the event showed her new ways in which she can grow.
“They motivated me even more to network and get to know other people,” Erramouspe said. “I’ve had networking events, I email people that I generally wouldn’t email on a whim. [They’ve] motivated me to be bolder in who I connect with in order to get the job I want.”