Sunday, September 17, 2006

Where are All the SMC AET Internships and Jobs?

Santa Monica College's Academy of Entertainment and Technology (AET) has been around for almost a decade. However, it has not delivered on all its glorified promises. Let's look at those juicy internships with industry partners that were supposed to launch us into high paying careers.

When AET's website first started back around December 1998, it stated that it offered "internships leading to proficiency in each of these fields with the goal of immediate employment. The Advisory Board's members currently represent motion picture and television studios, visual effect houses, theme park operators, distribution companies, and multi-media and music companies." [emphasis added]

You can browse our handy
SMC AET Industry Partnership chart to see all the alleged entertainment companies that were supposed to partner with the Academy program. Now, although AET has once again redesigned its website, there isn't even a single mention of any company being a current partner of the AET program. So, what happened? In fact, you will see the following:

The Entertainment Technology program works in close collaboration with the entertainment industry to ensure that students learn practical, job-oriented skills. Certificate students develop professional portfolios, work in teams, and may participate in internships with industry partners when available. [emphasis added]


Here's a screenshot I made:

SMC AET Entertainment Technology page mentioning Internships


On the
support page, AET internship coordinator, Gloria Mottler, seems to be shamelessly begging companies to provide internships and job placements. The page reads:

Companies who want to support the Design Technology Department by providing internship or employment opportunities for students and graduates can contact:
Gloria Mottler, Internship Coordinator


Here's a screenshot I made:

SMC AET Support Webpage re Internships and Job Placement


The fact that AET Dean Katharine Muller is also begging for "donations of equipment and software" as well as "financial contribution[s]" from "an individual or company" should throw up a huge red flag for any prospective student considering enrolling in the AET program.

And where's those "employment opportunities" allegedly guaranteed to AET students? In Santa Monica College's "Request for Approval of an Educational Center," dated November 8, 1996, to then Chancellor Thomas J. Nussbaum and The Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, SMC (by and through then President Piedad Robertson) wrote the following:

As these programs have been identified by the major employers as meeting their most critical workforce needs, there is a high level of confidence that students trained in the Academy's programs will find employment in California at above average salaries in positions with potential for six figure incomes with a community college education.

Six figure incomes? A high level of confidence? Didn't Robertson receive a vote of no-confidence from SMC? Didn't she abandon SMC and the AET program to take up shop at the Education Commission of the States in Denver, Colorado? There's a huge difference between "above average salaries" and "six figure incomes." Where's the hard data to prove these claims? AET's Alumni webpage only lists one graduate from AET working in the industry: Steve Rembuskos. And Rembuskos graduated five years ago!

Where's all the other AET alumni reeling in those six figure entertainment industry salaries? AET shamelessly offers an AET Alumni Google Group in which Gloria Mottler states in her little press release the following:

I wanted to welcome each and everyone of you to this wonderful new feature on our AET website. This is a great way of communicating with fellow students both past and present. Let us know what you are currently doing and share your experiences here at the academy and in your current career. I look forward to hearing from you!

Only two students responded to her call to adventure: Bob Paulson and Jason Marley. And remember that Bob Paulson worked for both Mottler and Jim Keeshen. (See our blog article: Family Guy Pilot Episode Scandal and Lawsuit). And what did Jason Marley write about his life after AET? Here's the relevant excerpt from his blurb:

I just stumbled across this group, but I am an Alumni of The AET. Just wondering where everyone is and what happend [sic] to the Business Module? I was one of the few special students in the Production Management Module but I see that it is no longer existing...

Marley points out that the Production Management certificate no longer exists. Also, he mentions that he's currently "consulting as a Multimedia Specialist." That's a bit vague and ambiguous. If he were working for some major entertainment company, you'd think he would brag about it. Paulson's entry is entitled "yo this place is deserted" and gives a nice visual of tumbleweeds passing by. Paulson makes two additional postings, but mentions nothing of his lucrative career in the entertainment industry. This reminds me of that saying: "Buyer Beware."

-- Des Manttari,
Editor-in-Chief,
Phoenix Genesis

(c) 2006: Phoenix Genesis/MBS LP

Feel free to link or print this; just include the SAVE SMC URL: http://savesmc.blogspot.com/

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2 Comments:

At 10:33 PM, Blogger Bob Paulson said...

hello there! just wanted to put my own two bits in.. Thanks for quoting me in your blog. Boy it sure was deserted it took me this long to walk home from the AET site. lol

I was one of the first graduating class students of AET and from our group (very small- around 10) I can think of at least 5 that are working full time at large entertainment studios. Many you see their names on the big screen and on the video games. I myself am working doing 3D/graphics and animation at a television studio down here in San Diego and we just got another emmy. yeah.. and am also freelancing.

These students that are working busted their a$$es off to get those jobs. You mentioned Richard Greenspan in your previous entry. He did in fact get that job for a few reasons, 1- it was an internship (I applied at the same time.. damn him..ahaha just kidding) 2- sony is RIGHT next door to AET, and 3- Grinch (his nick) is one super 3d/artist.

It is not all the school's fault that people aren't getting jobs. but I totally agree with you on not getting what was exactly promised.

also, BTW, we ALL got screwed by the whole family guy thing, first during the pilot and then to top it off, when they put it on DVD and we got screwed with no credit again.. nice eh? and yes I have a copy of the complete pilot WITH the credits..

enought rambling, thank you for your blog and I am extremely happy that you are keeping your eyes on eveything. thanks again, Bob

 
At 10:35 PM, Blogger Bob Paulson said...

hello there! just wanted to put my own two bits in.. Thanks for quoting me in your blog. Boy it sure was deserted it took me this long to walk home from the AET site. lol

I was one of the first graduating class students of AET and from our group (very small- around 10) I can think of at least 5 that are working full time at large entertainment studios. Many, you see their names on the big screen and on the video games. I myself am working doing 3D/graphics and animation at a television studio down here in San Diego and we just got another emmy. yeah.. and am also freelancing.

These students that are working busted their a$$es off to get those jobs. You mentioned Richard Greenspan in your previous entry. He did in fact get that job for a few reasons, 1- it was an internship (I applied at the same time.. damn him..ahaha just kidding) 2- sony is RIGHT next door to AET, and 3- Grinch (his nick) is one super 3d/artist.

It is not all the school's fault that people aren't getting jobs. but I totally agree with you on not getting what was exactly promised.

also, BTW, we ALL got screwed by the whole family guy thing, first during the pilot and then to top it off, when they put it on DVD and we got screwed with no credit again.. nice eh? and yes I have a copy of the complete pilot WITH the credits..

enought rambling, thank you for your blog and I am extremely happy that you are keeping your eyes on eveything. thanks again, Bob

 

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