Joan Rivers and networking

Joan Rivers opens the E4 Udderbelly Southbank ...

Joan Rivers (Image via Wikipedia)

I heard recently from Catherine Sawin (’09).  She’s a plucky new JMU graduate who, armed with her BBA in marketing and her minor in music industry, headed west to tackle the job market head on.  Catherine landed a job as a production assistant on E! Entertainment’s Fashion Police.  For those of you who aren’t fashionistas, Fashion Police features a panel of judges who praise or pan the fashion choices of Hollywood’s glitterati. The show is funny, irreverent and often brutal. Panelists include comedian Joan Rivers and Ozzy Osbourne’s daughter Kelly. Networking — which Catherine says she learned at JMU — was the key to changing her status from jobless to employed. Added to her hard work and determination, she landed a great job.  Catherine reports that at one point she was holding down six part-time jobs!  But I’ll let Catherine tell you her own story….

A year ago today, I took a giant leap and landed in Los Angeles. Inspired by the big city, I endured the frustrations of getting out of my comfort zone and searched for a new adventure. At one point, I had six part time jobs…but after a year of extremely hard work, I GOT A JOB!

It was a tough road finding a full time job; especially in today’s economy … but it can be done! There were definitely times when I wanted to take the easy road out and go back home, but I’m glad I didn’t give up.

Living in Virginia my entire life, I knew I wanted a new and exciting experience once I graduated from JMU. When I first moved to Los Angeles, I got a part time job at the Riviera Tennis Club. Through networking, I got a few other jobs including: another tennis shop job, stringing rackets, babysitting, Administrative Assistant to a financial company and marketing for The father of one of the families I babysat for is in TV development at E! Entertainment. He offered to get me an interview for the weekly series Fashion Police as a Production Assistant. Luckily, I got it!

It’s essential for college students to understand and prepare for the most important transition of their lives — school to the real world. The material students learn in class is important, but the most valuable tool I learned from JMU is networking. Developing and maintaining relationships is a skill that isn’t necessarily taught in a specific course but is an asset that is gained throughout the college experience. Learning how to socialize and interact with people is vital in today’s job market.  It’s about who you know! Once you’ve landed your dream job, what you know will help you strive and grow within the company.….

Catherine would certainly want you to know that Fashion Police airs every Friday night on E! Entertainment. (Check local listings) Her credit rolls at the end!

And our thanks go out to Catherine’s former music professor, Joe Taylor, for passing along Catherine’s story to Be the Change.


About James Madison University
This blog is about the people of James Madison University — a caring, committed and engaged community spread all over the world, making lives better and brighter, healthier and safer, kinder and bolder. As Gandhi suggested, we are taking steps to BE the CHANGE we wish to see in the world. And these are our stories....

One Response to Joan Rivers and networking

  1. Jan Gillis says:

    Love the Fashion Police! Even more, I love what Catherine learned at JMU–the importance of people skills. She’s so right about the importance of networking, and it’s confirmation that Madison teaches students how to communicate, collaborate and cooperate! I wish her well…and this news will make watching the Fashion Police even more fun, knowing one of our own is making it happen!


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