Alumni in entertainment industry emphasize importance of passion, hard work to freshmen, sophomores


Photo credit: Zoe Gazzuolo

Panelists Josie Craven (’12), Chelsea Thomas (’05), Erinn Cawthon (’07) and Sabrina Jaglom (’10) speak about their journeys in the entertainment industry. They presented to freshmen and sophomore students in the amphitheater Tuesday, Jan. 31.

By Audrey Chang, Editor-in-Chief

From participating in Archer’s theater and robotics programs to writing and directing film and television, alumni have applied experiences from their time at Archer to a variety of careers in the entertainment industry.

Freshmen and sophomores reported to the amphitheater Tuesday, Jan. 31, to hear from four alumni on the Alumni in Entertainment Panel during the Culture and Community FLX Block. Seniors Isabelle Verdery and Paulina DePaulo moderated the event and introduced the speakers. Both Verdery and DePaulo have been involved with creative productions at Archer, including participation in musicals and plays.

Erinn Cawthon (’07), Josie Craven (’12), Sabrina Jaglom (’10) and Chelsea Thomas (’05) spoke about their journeys and careers in entertainment, their time at Archer and advice they have for current students. After the speakers answered the prepared questions, Verdery and DePaulo asked the audience if they had additional questions.

Cawthon is an entertainment attorney and former CNN journalist who works at RadicalMedia as counsel in Business and Legal Affairs, where she advises on TV shows, documentaries and commercials. She also volunteers with California’s Innocence Project.

Cawthon said that although her career path has changed in many ways throughout her life, the skills she learned from her experiences at Archer, specifically being a part of the robotics team, have continued to help her in many aspects of her career.

“Even though I’m clearly not an engineer now, it has allowed me to take those skills and be very meticulous with details, and that has allowed me to be a better attorney,” Cawthon said. “My career path has really changed from robotics to journalism to now law, so there’s no one straight path. Just know that this is your time to shine with whatever you want to do.” 

Jaglom is a Los Angeles-based writer and director, and she graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Film and Television. One of her most recent projects includes the feature film, “Jane,” which is set at an all-girls school. Similarly to Cawthon, Jaglom spoke about the unique nature of career paths in the entertainment industry and the importance of passion when pursuing a career.

“[Industries are] all difficult in certain ways and great and wonderful, but in entertainment, there isn’t always one clear path, and things change a lot and people move companies more than other industries,” Jaglom said. “You have to find the thing that you love and not shy away from that … no one is going to advocate for you unless it’s yourself, and you really have to find the thing that you’re passionate about and … have that be your guiding force — not expectations or an idea of how it should be.” 

Craven is a Senior Director of Development in the Film and Television at Hello Sunshine, where she is working on 15 of the company’s projects including adaptations of “Daisy Jones and the Six,” “The Last Thing He Told Me” and “From Scratch.” Craven spoke about the opportunity she has had to represent a variety of people through her work with storytelling.

I’m very grateful for a lot of these conversations are embedded in the fabric of stories that I’ve worked on,” Craven said. “We have a lot of thoughtful conversations with our team and just across the board of the company about what is the authentic way to tell these stories … [We want] to mirror what our society looks like, and not just a piece of it, so I think it’s an important conversation.”

Thomas began working as an assistant for the head of the talent department at 42 West after graduating from Emerson College. She is now a Senior Talent Publicist at The Lede Company, where she works with various clients in film, television, sports and music. Thomas emphasized the importance of belief and accountability, especially in the entertainment industry.

“You have to know — as I think everyone on this panel has said — to really believe in yourself and know that you can do it because not everyone is going to want to support you,” Thomas said. “We’re all human [and] mistakes get made, but how you own up to those mistakes says a lot about your character, and I think that’s also hugely important in the entertainment industry … The more that you study and love what you do, the better you’re going to be at it in order to keep persisting to succeed in what you want to do.” 

Additional reporting by Staff Reporter Zoe Gazzuolo (’25).