Elizabeth M. Daley, dean of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, today announced that the school’s First Jobs program has passed the 1,000 mark for the number of recent graduates it has helped place in entry-level paid positions in the entertainment industry. (The tally currently stands at 1,019.) Some 64 alumni have already been promoted to positions for which they were originally hired and/or have been rehired by the same employer.
The program is the brainchild of top television producer Aaron Kaplan, president and CEO of Kapital Entertainment, alumnus of USC Marshall School of Business and member of the SCA Alumni Development Council, who started it with SCA in 2017. At the initial launch, Kaplan was joined by SCA alumni including Nahnatchka Khan, Josh Schwartz, Tim Story and the late John Singleton.
“First Jobs is an invaluable resource for our talented students spanning all divisions and programs and provides them with opportunities to learn from the best and brightest in the industry,” Daley said. “I am incredibly proud of our alumni and our dedicated staff who ensure our students are ready to succeed once they enter the industry.”
Over the past four years, the program has grown to more than 700 participating companies that have access to recent SCA graduates; membership in SCA is not a condition of participation. Applicants to the program are recent SCA graduates or minor degree holders (1-5 years) who have gone through the application process. First Jobs is supported by SCA’s Office of Industry Relations and overseen by Lisa Fox, Media Talent Development.
“I am grateful to all of our partners who have made First Jobs a great success,” said Kaplan. “Finding your first job at any company is a challenge and while finding over 1,000 jobs for qualified USC graduates is fantastic, the 642 jobs we’ve secured during Covid is something Lisa Fox and the First Jobs group should be incredibly proud.”
Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment has employed 60 alumni to date. Other companies that have repeat hires through the program include 101 Studios, Amblin Entertainment, American Cinematheque, Baz Luhrmann, Brillstein Partners Entertainment, CAA, CBS, Company3, The CW, Disney, FiegCo Entertainment, Fourfront Media, The Gersh Agency, HBOMax, ICM Partners, Interwoven Media, Legendary Entertainment, Lionsgate/Starz, LucasFilm, Mattel, MJZ, NBCUni, Netflix, Paradigm, Suzanne Todd Productions, The Underground, UTA, ViacomCBS, VOX Agency, We’re Not Brothers Productions , Zucker Productions and many more.