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How a January Speaker Event and February Fireside Chat Became a Summer of Opportunity for Two MSLCE Students

by Thomas Wall

This past winter, Emmy-winning film producer and CEO/Founder of MWM (Madison Wells Media), Gigi Pritzker visited Northwestern’s campus, and left a big impression on many students over the course of her visit. In January, she shared stories from her life and her career with MSLCE students at a Speaker Series event, and followed that session up with a more intimate Fireside Chat in early February. The candid advice, colorful stories, and behind-the-scenes tidbits from the life of a Hollywood producer and self-made entrepreneur captivated all in attendance. But, for a few students, the experience helped to lead to a meaningful and productive summer quarter in Los Angeles.

For MSLCE students Alex Brown and Emily Marzonie, the value of both the speaker series and fireside chat didn’t end with the conclusion of Pritzker’s two events on campus. Both Brown and Marzonie will be interning this summer for MWM’s Universe Division, working with transmedia producers and storytellers as they help to bring various pieces of intellectual property (IP) to life in a number of different ways, across multiple platforms.

“Hearing Gigi Pritzker speak at MSLCE’s speaker event was so inspiring that I looked up internships the second I got home,” Marzonie said. “It was encouraging to see a woman leader getting so excited and passionate about her company‘s work. It reminded me of the energy I feel towards my own projects and fandom activation content.”

 “After the Speaker Series, I also attended an MSLCE Fireside Chat, and loved getting more of an understanding of what makes MWM unique,” said Alex Brown. “The internship I applied for was very much in-line with what I wanted to do and I’m super lucky to spend a summer with MWM’s Universe division.”

As students searched and applied throughout the spring for internships to fill their summer quarter requirements, they applied across the country and across the globe, spanning industries from dance to theatre to television and advertising. But, one common bond that each internship search shared was the quest to align personal passions with career goals. Through this opportunity with MWM, Brown and Marzonie have done just that. 

“The first thing that pops up when you go to MWM’s website are the words ‘Story Driven.’ If you could relate a pair of words to my career goals, it’s that. I love telling stories, creating worlds and expanding ideas,” Marzonie continued. “My plan for this summer is to successfully realize the ways my hobbies and passions can be utilized in my new career path while helping put new and innovative stories out into the world.”

For Brown, the early returns seem very positive as her first few days on the job at MWM seem to have lived up to her lofty expectations:

“Everyone at MWM has been so welcoming and amazing. It truly is a collaborative environment where interns are encouraged to speak up and share ideas,” she said. “There’s so much room to innovate, as we’re working on things that push against the status quo. My opinions are truly valued here, and that’s one of the things I love about MWM!”

So, while it can be difficult to picture any aspect of summer while in the throes of a brutal Chicago winter, the forward-thinking initiative taken by these two students following a chilly Speaker Series event has led to a few months of storytelling, sunshine, and script coverage, all made possible through MSLCE for helping to facilitate these new connections.

Start your own journey today! MSLCE is accepting applications for Fall 2019 admission. Apply now!