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Alumni Spotlight | Paying It Forward

FUTURE NOW alumni EMILY PAGANO, SOPHIE BARCUS, and MELISSA PARSONS, attended the FUTURE NOW Media & Entertainment Conference in May, and today, they are fast friends and together working as Co-Directors of the FUTURE NOW Campus Ambassador Program (FNCAP). The FNCAP program was first piloted last year at Temple University by FUTURE NOW alumni, SAMANTHA TAN and SOPHIE YOU, and is now being launched widely across multiple campuses around the country.

As Co-Directors, Emily, Sophie and Melissa, are training and getting students excited about being the face of FUTURE NOW on their campuses and spreading the word about next year's conference. For them, it's about giving back, paying it forward, and it's personal. They know how challenging the current job market is and how important it is for students to gain valuable hands-on experience in leadership, networking, and marketing, and build their resumes...all things that they believe FNCAP provides.

EMILY, a senior at the Lubin School of Business at Pace University, majoring in Integrated Marketing and Communications with a concentration in Arts and Entertainment Management, has worked as a production assistant on numerous films, commercials, promos, and events, including: A Nice Girl Like You; The Tribeca Film Festival; In Ice Cold Blood (Ice-T), and Black Is King! (Beyonce). "Attending the conference allowed me to picture myself working in a different sector of the industry that I originally would have never thought of. It also introduced me to so many new friends that I hope to one day work with!" "FUTURE NOW really is the door opener to those trying to navigate how to enter the media and entertainment industry. Its mission to build future leaders remains at the forefront of everything they do and they will do everything in their power to help students make the most of their academic and professional careers!"

SOPHIE, a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in communication arts, is the Digital Arts Chair for the Communication Arts Student Association at her school, and hopes to pursue a career on the creative side of the industry in digital media or public relations.

"I think that the most important thing that I learned from the conference is how important it is to get yourself in front of the right people. I literally learned so much; it was insane.

"I loved the camaraderie and networking that occurred so naturally and quickly between all of the attendees and the industry experts. It made me immediately feel so much more comfortable and gave me confidence to speak up and talk with others, which was such a pleasant surprise. I truly came out of the conference with a new network of people and new friends that I can now rely on as my career begins! "

"I am excited about FN CAP because I think that the more people who are able to be introduced to FUTURE NOW, the more people can benefit from the incredible panels and networking that take place through the conference. For those who struggle with networking, FUTURE NOW offers powerful opportunities to connect with others. Also, it's really fun. We have a great time, and the team's amazing." MELISSA, a recent graduate of Pace University with a degree in film and screen studies and minors in arts and entertainment management and digital media studies, currently resides in Northern California, working in marketing, and is interested in pursuing a career on the creative side of the entertainment industry. "Besides being a moment of stability and grounded-ness during the chaotic start to the pandemic, my favorite part of the FUTURE NOW Media and Entertainment Conference was the networking sessions. Attendees both get to meet peers that are interested in the same industry as well as professionals that are currently working in entertainment. It was very inspiring and eye-opening to what the future can hold."

"The FN CAP is a great way to get involved with both FUTURE NOW, but also with key players and fellow students on your campus. Through this position, you're able to practice your leadership skills, time management, networking, and public speaking skills - all of which are essential for any career in the entertainment industry!​." ***************** Join the Co-Directors for an INFO Session about the FUTURE NOW Campus Ambassador Program on January 13, 12p - 1p ET. All are welcome. Register HERE.

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