University of Bedfordshire graduate and talent agent Sarah Jane Cass took time out from her busy schedule in Los Angeles to pass on top industry tips to a group of media students.
Sarah Jane, who worked on the reality TV show Big Brother after graduating and now has her own talent company, Talent SJC, urged students to be passionate, ask questions and be persistent to achieve their goals.
In 2014 Sarah Jane was recognised as an under 30s Broadcast Hotshot in the media trade magazine Broadcast.
“Don’t take rejection personally and don’t give up,” she said. “I remember applying for work experience at Nickelodeon when I was 14 but I was too young. I re-applied two years later and was successful – by being persistent.”
Sarah Jane graduated in 2007 in Media Performance and Radio and is now a talent agent and manager representing actors, TV presenters and on-screen experts in the US and UK entertainment industries.
She was asked to share her experiences and expertise with current Bedfordshire media students by course coordinator and senior lecturer in media performance Rachel Clark
Rachel said: “Sarah has been giving talks to students for more than three years. She has a wealth of experience in her field and students can learn a lot from her.
“I knew she had moved to LA so I contacted her to see how she was getting on and asked whether she would consider doing a Skype session with students. She was delighted to help and the session went down really well.
“The students were thoroughly engaged, took note of Sarah’s advice and listened intently to her experiences. She was able to provide the students with insights from an agent’s perspective and enabled students to ask questions about the casting process.
“Sarah has offered the students her details so that they can contact her whenever they want to. Her enthusiasm inspires others to follow their dreams.”
Sarah said: I really enjoyed my time at Bedfordshire and the course I studied. If I had my time again, I would take advantage of learning to edit, shoot and produce so I had prepared myself more for the practical side of things within the industry.
“The University’s equipment is of a high industry standard so students should make the most of hiring it out and collaborating with fellow students to create their own films and video content.”
She urged students to target the right people and start building their CVs with work experience and to make use of the social media site Linked-In to connect with new contacts.
“Once you get a job opportunity make the most of it,” she said: “Turn up early, be helpful, go the extra mile. The creative industries can be tough to break in to but with passion, persistence and being a nice person you will go far.”
During office hours
+44 (0)1234 400 400
Outside office hours
+44 (0)1582 74 39 89
University of Bedfordshire
UK, LU1 3JU