Colloquium Speaker Series

Professor Robert Scott Speaks to Students About His Latest Projects

news-robert-scottThe Colloquium Speakers Series kicked off on September 18 as Robert Scott, a communication professor, spoke to graduate students about his experiences post-graduation.

The colloquium is part of the graduate program. According to the graduate program handbook, the class allows first year students the chance to get to know their professors and classmates while learning about basic resources and research. Scott started out by saying that his search for what he wants to do is still continuing today.

Scott grew up in New Jersey, not far from the University. He graduated high school from Christian Brothers Academy and spent almost two years in the Coast Guard. Scott then enrolled at Monmouth College (now University) where he studied history and political science and was a DJ for WMCX.

He admitted that he was a bit lost in college because what he really wanted to do, which was to write, was considered more of a hobby by his parents, who wanted him to get a degree that would lead to a career preferably in the business field.

When Scott graduated college, he realized that apart from a degree in business that did not appeal, he had no idea what he wanted to do in life. He took career aptitude and personality tests and realized that his passions were sailing, fishing and writing. So, Scott spent six years on a fishing boat, sailing up and down the East Coast, writing for a fishing magazine and working the occasional job as a bartender.

When he realized that he wanted more than writing, fishing and sailing he tried substitute teaching and mortgage banking, neither of which really spoke to him. He eventually took the advice of a friend and went to film school.

Scott said that even though he is still paying off student loans, going to the University of Florida for film was the best decision he has ever made.

This time around he took advantage of every opportunity offered to him. He started working on movie sets during school and started his business network. That was the first piece of advice Scott offered the students present: “It’s never too early to start networking.” The second piece of advice was that no job is too small when you are just starting out.

When he graduated from film school, Scott moved to California and started temping. He worked for Fox, Warner Brothers, Disney and Paramount. These temping jobs got his foot in the door and eventually led to a job with Disney and New Technology and New Media.

Scott spent seven years, full time at Disney and has continued for 10 years as a consultant for them. Scott again took every opportunity offered to him and used these opportunities to give himself some exposure. He made a documentary about himself for a staff meeting and they loved it so much they created an in-house cable channel for the trade show documentaries he made.

He edited books and wrote for magazines. A recent book Scott has edited is “The Real Animal House.” It’s a book about the real life Fraternity that inspired the movie.

Scott also wrote speeches for other people. He told the group that he really enjoyed this job because, “When you like the person you’re writing for or with, it can be fun because it’s a collaborative effort. If you just don’t click, it can be trying, but still really cool.”

Throughout Scott’s speech, he stressed the importance of good communication skills. Being able to connect with others, to write and to be a professional he said are ways to stand out in a sea of qualified applicants.

Scott closed the evening with his hope for students still in school or about to graduate: “What I hope for you is that you pursue what you want to pursue - what is interesting to you - don’t hold back. Please pursue what you’re passionate about. Don’t wait too long.”

Graduate student, Francesca Piancone said, “I’m a grad student, so I had to come tonight, but I thought it was interesting.”

John Cavallo also a graduate student said, “It was a worthwhile colloquium.”

PHOTO COURTESY of Robert Scott