Torriel Simon, a native of New Orleans, is a student in the School of Communication & the Arts at Regent pursuing a degree in Cinema/Television. Her long-term dream is to own her own production company, and through networking, she has already seen doors opening.
Almost as soon as she started at Regent, Torriel stopped by the school's Career Services office and, having been a longtime fan of Tyler Perry, indicated her interest in completing an internship with the BET Network. Grace Alegre, the Career Services Coordinator, helped her find a connection with BET through an alumnus. Although an opening didn't develop immediately, Torriel was eventually given the opportunity to intern with BET in the Washington, DC area in the summer of 2009. After the internship, Torriel stayed in touch with her supervisor, sharing her long term goal of involvement with television production. The supervisor was able to introduce her to a BET contact in Los Angeles who has continued to offer mentorship to Torriel. She hopes to next move to LA and complete a west coast internship at BET alongside her professional mentor. This summer, she will be attending the Cannes Film Festival to showcase her own short film, "True Happiness." Who knows what doors that experience may open?
Torriel says that networking is indispensible to realizing a dream. "I was able to meet so many new people that are doing so many great things and able to learn their story - everyone has a story on how they got into this business. Learning new things and being able to take a leap of faith on things really helped me." Her advice to other students seeking to get inside the industry is, "Sometimes it's better to take an internship, even if it's not exactly what you wanted to do. You can learn so much and through that open door you are able to open more doors. You never know who someone else knows and what opportunities that can come as you network."
Torriel encourages students to "connect with the resources given to you when you come into the program -your advisor, your career services office. They will go out of their way to help you get where you want to go."