Daniel Park ’20

Major: Media Studies, Film/Video Concentration

Profession: Creative Advertising Coordinator at The Walt Disney Studios

Hometown: Pohang, South Korea

What are you doing now?

I am working as a creative advertising coordinator at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California, where I help market a handful of live-action films to be released in future weeks to years. My role is both administrative and creative, highly interactive, fast-paced and can look quite different day-by-day.

How did you get there?

I spent a lot of time wandering and feeling uncertain about my major, but once I felt firm about working in visual arts after college (ideally in film), I committed to media studies and sought more creative praxis. Excitedly, I enrolled in more production classes while also starting to collaborate on multimedia projects with other students.

I also went abroad to Prague on a 16mm short film production program to gain more hands-on filmmaking experience and skills. With the guidance of an amazing mentor I met through SagePost 47, I then landed my first internship in film development while returning for my junior spring semester (where I analyzed movie scripts), which led to the next (post-production), then the following (TV/digital programming). Eventually, I had enough of a body of visual work to begin freelancing in photography and film/video projects on campus and in the Greater Los Angeles area.

Graduating during the pandemic, I helped create and distribute a series of mass communications via press, informational graphics and video productions in a student-run fundraiser that sustained hundreds of peers who had nowhere to go (including my graduating class of 2020). Combining that and my continued freelance work, I was lucky to float by until I could apply for film industry jobs that were slowly opening up. I landed my first role as a creative coordinator at an entertainment agency called Mocean in Spring 2021 (where I had interned in post-production). I spent a few months there learning everything I could, then found myself experienced enough to transition over to a similar role at Disney.

How did Pomona prepare you?

My journey at Pomona felt truly interdisciplinary, with classes spread across the consortium and various disciplines in each semester: cultural psychology/research, art history, dance, music, theatre, Korean, Spanish, Asian American studies and media studies. The flexibility to explore my numerous academic and artistic interests from multiple disciplinary angles was extremely beneficial in honing my imagination. Additionally, I had access to incredible stories from all over the world that constantly stimulated new ideas, critical questions and multimedia collaborations.

But beyond the mind-bending academics, extracurriculars, campus jobs, resources, spaces and stellar opportunities in and outside of campus, I feel most grateful for my relationships with the incredible people at Pomona that really prepared me for post-grad life and the responsibilities of my current job. As a student, I felt deeply supported by my professors, mentors, fellow creatives, warm communities and friends who encouraged me to follow my artistic intuitions and affirmed what I enjoyed. As such, I left campus without specific answers to what was immediately next–but certainly with a profound confidence in myself to navigate the spectrum of possibilities ahead.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

No clue! I’m still figuring things out day-by-day and enjoying what I’m applying and learning in my current role. More importantly, I really appreciate the people I work with every day. I might eventually like to pursue more education and/or teach in some capacity, but I’m having fun playing in the dark right now.

Any advice for current or prospective students?

Give yourself permission to change inside-out and let the changes in and around you color your choices. Spend lots of time with communities, ideas and activities that make you feel lively (and find a creative outlet). Surround yourself with friends that bring out the best in you and make you more kind. Talk with your professors often, ask people for help and help them back. And please don’t spend all your time working! Go dancing in L.A., have a beach day, go to Joshua Tree and throw snowballs on Mount Baldy when it’s capped. You’re brilliant and you’ll figure it all out–so you might as well have the most fun you can.