Catching Up With: Jessica Gagliardi (Meade)
Communications Graduate, Class of 2007
Jessica decided to major in communications because she knew she wanted to be involved in TV/Film in some way. Also, she was very interested in the music and entertainment business. Jessica didn’t know exactly what she wanted to do, but was interested in tying them all together. She added, “A communications major can take you in multiple directions so I thought it was a perfect fit.” At first, Jessica thought she would like to run camera, but the farther she dove into things, she realized organization and logistics were where her talents stood out.
Jessica’s favorite COM course was public speaking. In discussing the course, she described how it boosted her confidence. Jessica stated, “That class pulled me out of my shell and prepared me for my internship as well as each and every job I have had. I can’t count how many times I’ve had to address my company, lead presentations and host executives. It’s a class everyone should take whether they are a COM major or not.” She had many memorable moments as a Communications student. One that stands out in her mind was eating Japanese snacks during her Japanese Film class with Dr. Brian Cogan. She found it to be a very interesting course and he was very passionate about the subject. “I learned a lot about the Japanese culture, which has assisted me in my job today.”
In thinking about a piece of advice a COM professor gave to her, Jessica goes back to the time she had to narrow down her senior thesis. She felt that she was all over the place trying to think of something no one else had done before. Jessica explained, “Dr. Pribram really helped me zero in on the important points and find my thoughts. I remember her telling me to focus on the goal and everything in the middle will come together. She guided me through and the process was not at all as stressful as I thought it was going to be!” Jessica found the course organizational communication to be the one that has helped her the most in her career because it prepared her for leadership roles. It also helped her advance critical thinking and problem solving skills. Jessica added, “In the film/TV business, priorities shift within seconds and you have to be ready with a plan of action.”
Since Jessica graduated with her B.A. in Communications from Molloy College, she started her career as an audio post producer and moved to video post. She learned so much with both and had wonderful experiences such as post producing the CMA Music Festival, CMA Awards, ESPN specials, and multiple FOX and ABC nationally broadcasted shows. She recently moved on to becoming project manager/office manager for Yamaha Entertainment Group. In explaining the company and her position Jessica said, “We are a one stop shop record label that partners with artists to create music, films and concert experiences. We advance the Yamaha brand by various artist related activities including endorsements, marketing, concert productions, film productions, tour support, piano logistics, artist website development and strategic alliances.” Jessica’s current role is to manage the piano logistics/artist relations team in Nashville as well as assist the film production team, among many other office related duties. She provides direct support and directly reports to the Founder/VP of YEG, Chris Gero who is an Emmy award-winning, Grammy nominated industry executive, concert producer, record producer, artist relations executive, songwriter and composer.
The most important piece of advice to current students is to take internships extremely seriously and work hard because those experiences will help you make longstanding relationships. “Whether you’re fetching coffee or working on a film set, take pride in your role and do it well. The more you dive in and take initiative, the more people will remember you and ask you back. Always be one step ahead and use your critical thinking skills”, said Jessica. She believes that every job you have, you will learn skills and valuable lessons that will set you up for the future. Jessica’s advice for students graduating is that job searches can be tough but don’t get discouraged. In closing Jessica says, “Stay in touch with your internship supervisors and attend networking events. The more you put yourself out there, the better! Don’t ever burn bridges and continue to nurture relationships, as they will help you grow in your career.”