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An Entrepreneurial ‘i’ for Talent KATE HOLLOWAY, CONTRIBUTING WRITER


amie Arkin ’11 has always wanted to be an entertainment manager, which was why she planned on transferring out of the Syracuse University School of Information Studies (iSchool) when she was a freshman. Instead, after a few classes, she discovered she really liked information technology and could apply what she learned in her iSchool classes to the career she planned for herself in the entertainment industry. “It’s not really set in stone what you do at the iSchool, unlike the other schools,” said Arkin, a senior Information Management and Technology major. “I got to personalize what I wanted to do in my classes. I really like marketing, design, communication, networking, and learning about social media.” Arkin has channeled her passions into an entrepreneurial project combining photography, video, web design, and content management for four handpicked Syracuse University drama students: Lori Pasqualino ’11, Joseph Fierberg ’13, Francesca Santoro ’14, and Christian Leadly ’11. The project started when her childhood friend, Morgan Modugno, a senior majoring in business administration at George Washington University, requested a promotional video to open the path to a planned acting career in LA after graduation. Modugno flew to Syracuse from Washington, D.C., for a weekend, and Arkin set up photography sessions with a green screen and other props. “I was really impressed with everything she’d put together,” Modugno said. “Jamie has been really good at the kind of stuff she’s doing now, but she always did it as a pastime or hobby, making short movies about stuff we’ve done. One day, she just put it together, that this is what she really liked and she could make a career out of it.” Modugno’s portfolio web site was just a jumping off point for Arkin. She needed more content for a project in her Digital Documentation for the Arts class, and because Modugno lives in D.C., creating original content for just her was difficult due to the distance. Arkin’s instructors, Jaime Snyder and Anne Cofer, suggested that she solicit the help of the drama department to create content for other students. “We weren’t sure she would follow through with our suggestion, and she could easily have just continued to focus on her friend,” Snyder said. “But, in fact, that very week she made a connection with one of the drama faculty, who let her announce her project to his students, and she got an overwhelming response.” Arkin estimates that 15 actors showed up to her audition, of which she selected the four that stuck out in her mind. “I just felt comfortable around them, and I wanted people with distinct personalities because that would be best for photos and film,” she said. “I chose people I remembered at the end of the day.” Arkin then solicited the help of photojournalism student Matthew Ziegler ’11 to help shoot artistic portraits of the actors. She also wanted

to go beyond traditional headshots to allow the actors to convey a sense of their personality and identity. “All these scenes are describing who they are and how they want to present themselves,” Arkin said. “I already started building the web site, but they had to write a bio for themselves, in the third person. I thought it was a good idea to have their personality in their bios.” For example, on Lori Pasqualino’s shoot, the team focused on old Hollywood glamour. “I like to think of the theme as a classy and elegant throwback to the ’30s and ’40s. That’s also how I plan to portray myself in the music industry,” said Pasqualino, who hopes to use the site Arkin is building for her to market herself once she graduates in May. “This is a really good opportunity for a drama student who, of course, doesn’t have the type of money to be getting new headshots, a photo shoot, and a web site made for them all at once. Headshots alone can cost up to $500 just for a sitting, not including the prints.” Arkin is creating web sites for each of the Jamie Arkin ’11 actors using a Wordpress content management system. In the process, she is learning PHP, HTML, and CSS so she can build more customized web sites for the actors. She plans to host videos, slideshows, bios, and headshots in one place for the actors and also hopes to build these web sites into a marketable business for herself as a talent agent. “Jamie embodies the entrepreneurial spirit that lives within so many iSchool students,” said iSchool Professor of Practice Anthony Rotolo, who is teaching IST 400 Social Media for the Music Business, a course Arkin enrolled in. “She is incredibly passionate about her goals and I have no doubt her commitment and dedication will pay off for the artists and performers she works with. It is inspiring to see Jamie applying her information management and technology skills in such creative ways to realize her dream career.” Though her back-up plan is to move to Los Angeles with her childhood friend, Arkin has applied for the Fifth Year Engagement Fellowship in order to continue creating the business as well as to work toward a graduate degree. But she doesn’t just see her business as a way to make money or to catapult her best friend to Hollywood stardom. “I always wanted to change the world in some way,” she said. “I want to figure out a way to change the entertainment industry, even if it’s just the portfolios and the way that management works.” !

iSchool named PMI Education Provider


he Project Management Institute (PMI), the global organization responsible for certifying official project management professionals, has officially named the School of Information Studies a Registered Education Provider. “Having the designation of Registered Education Provider further establishes the validity of our Project Management curriculum, and it makes our courses even more valuable to students seeking eventual PMI certification,” said iSchool Assistant Professor of Practice Art Thomas. In order to become a Registered Education Provider, a local committee of certified Project Management Professionals critiqued iSchool

course materials in detail over the last several months. Their criteria for acceptance were based upon whether the course properly educates students in the Project Management Institute’s “Project Management Body of Knowledge” (PMBOK), an international standard of best practice in the field of project management. PMI is the world’s leading not-for-profit membership association for the project management profession, with more than half a million members and credential holders in 185 countries. The organization’s advocacy for project management is supported by globally-recognized standards and credentials, extensive research program, and professional development opportunities. !

Syracuse University student entrepreneur: ‘I realized I could make it happen’ |

2/16/12 3:24 PM

Syracuse University student entrepreneur: ‘I realized I could make it happen’ Published: Friday, April 08, 2011, 6:18 PM


Updated: Monday, April 11, 2011, 7:22 PM

The Post-Standard

By Jamie Arkin / Special to The PostStandard It was a Sunday night last August, and my favorite summer-night tradition was taking place. My friends were at my house watching “Entourage,” the HBO series that young dreamers like us watched in anticipation of the fame and stardom that we hoped adulthood would bring. About 15 minutes into the show, I glanced at my best friend Morgan, an aspiring actress, and was struck by inspiration. As her eyes met mine, I Lauren Long/The Post-Standard

blurted, “Wow, Morgan, I’m going to make you famous.”

JAMIE ARKIN, a Syracuse University senior, pitches her company called Cineaste to a panel of judges during the Emerging Talk competition April 1 at The Tech Garden in Syracuse.

As Morgan giggled, I realized this was not a random idea; I had envisioned this for quite some time. I could see it. I could map it. I realized I could make it happen. But first, let’s rewind. It’s 1999, the year I attended the VH1 Fashion awards. I was 10. It was my first encounter with the world of entertainment. I walked down the red carpet with lights flashing, surrounded by paparazzi. Celebrities filled every corner. I worked through the crowds, bumping into the rich and famous. I thought, “This is me. This is the life I want to live.” Editor's note I have no desire to be a celebrity. My dream is to discover untapped talent, to transform hidden potential. It seems like I was born to do this, but


The huge number of college students who enrich our entrepreneurial ecosystem is Brad Feld’s first reason for being optimistic about Upstate New York. Jamie Arkin, a senior at Syracuse University, is among that influx of Page 1 of 2

Syracuse University student entrepreneur: ‘I realized I could make it happen’ |

2/16/12 3:24 PM

my aspiration burst into reality on that night in

students. The Post-Standard invited her to write about her

August, when a vision of Morgan’s future ran

entrepreneurial spirit.

through my brain like an electric current.

Arkin, 21, of Bedford, is majoring in information technology.

When I got back to Syracuse University, my focus

She is building her business, Cineaste, an e-portfolio platform

went to schoolwork, the foundation preparing me

for the entertainment industry. She recently pitched Cineaste

to be an entrepreneur. In my Digital iCreation

at SU’s Emerging Talk conference. She has been accepted

class I was assigned to market a product with an electronic portfolio on the Internet.

into SU’s Student Sandbox at the downtown Tech Garden and has been named an SU Entrepreneur Engagement Fellow.

I called Morgan, who is a student at George

This essay is a companion to venture capitalist Brad Feld's

Washington University, and asked her to be my

"Five Reasons to be Optimistic about Upstate,'' also

“product.” She flew to Syracuse, and we

appearing in today's Opinion section.

developed content for a functional and marketable e-portfolio. In another class, Digital Documentation, my final project transformed my passion into a real-life experience. The project was to develop an individual e-portfolio. I reached out to Syracuse’s drama department, announcing my project as an opportunity for open auditions. Out of 25 eager participants, I selected four drama students. I recruited a photojournalism student to take photographs. After two months, my e-portfolio had a home, Best of all, it was emerging as an entertainment management website. Syracuse taught me that there is an entire world of opportunity at our fingertips. It gives us the ability to follow our passions and the confidence to take action. © 2012 All rights reserved.


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Jamie Arkin's Resume