Working It: How this grad landed her first gig
Issue: September 1, 2012

Working It: How this grad landed her first gig

Amy Rosenberg graduated from Indiana University in May, and through her own legwork, networking and maximizing of opportunities, has scored her first position as an editor’s assistant at Hooligan ( in New York City. 

Rosenberg initially planned on attending Indiana University as a business major, with an interest in fashion, but after working as an intern at the Free People showroom, the 20-somethings female clothing line, she knew it wasn’t for her.

“The type of work wasn’t for me,” she recalls.

An “Introduction to Telecommunications” course opened her eyes to a new career path — one where she could still explore her interests in fashion, music and lifestyles. 

“I loved it,” she says of the program. She took three different introductory classes and realized her calling was for production and design, which she then immersed herself in, learning how to edit via Final Cut Pro, and create graphics using Adobe After Effects and Maxon’s Cinema 4D.

She made use of the school’s resources, but also took initiative to develop her skills outside the classroom.

“The program at Indiana University kind of flies under the radar,” she notes. “It’s not like USC or the bigger film schools, but we did have a full studio and lots of equipment at our fingertips.”

At the time, the school’s primary camera for acquisition was the Sony Z1. As part of the program, she was also able to load the Adobe suite of tools on her personal computer. An internship with the athletic department gave her a chance to work in the field, but being ambitious, Rosenberg purchased her own DSLR — a Canon 5D — which led to a steady string of freelance gigs.

“I was ambitious. I realized that there might have been more opportunities at other schools to get involved. The extra work wasn't always there, so I made up for it with freelance opportunities. A friend worked as a promoter at Jakes NightClub, and I ended up cutting a promo video for them. I was hired for other events and to create graphics for other bars on campus. They started calling me.” 

After creating a promo she was later hired to cut videos and promos, as well as to create motion graphics for various other events, bars and clubs on IU’s campus, as well as in New York and LA. 

The annual “Little 500” bicycle race at the school, gave her a chance to work with different artists, managers and producers. She also helped plan the school’s Multivisions conference, which looks at careers in the field and introduced her to pros that would later become mentors.

“Networking is huge, but only takes you so far,” says Rosenberg of her experience. “You still have to impress people with your passion, persistence and personality. I call it the three Ps.”

Originally from Chicago, she took on an internship at Protokulture, but realized she eventually wanted to move to either Los Angeles or New York. She reached out to some of her contacts at production companies and agencies, which led to an introduction to the folks at Hooligan in Manhattan. She cancelled a Spring Break vacation to travel to New York for an initial meeting, and then again a few weeks later to meet the company’s partners.

“I loved it here,” she said of her first impression. During her interviews, she talked about her experiences and the aspirations she has for the future. She also made it clear that while she wanted to be a hands-on editor, she realized there was still a lot to learn, and that she was OK with putting in the time to improve her skills.

“I still do freelance work on the side,” she notes, “music festivals, etc., and when doing freelance, I’m my own boss. [But as an employee] I’ve learned a lot about formats, transcoding, editing, and workflow. It’s changed the way I edit. The little things that you pick up on — I would have never learned on my own.”

In the few months that she’s been with Hooligan, she’s already contributed to numerous commercials and short documentaries. 

Her advice to recent graduates going on their first interview? 

“Be themselves. Show your true personality and passion. Talk about your work and experiences. Ask the company questions and what they are looking for? While experience is important, what matters more is that you are the right fit for the company.”