By Mia Kweskin
Lights, camera, action. After graduating in May 2016, peer tutor Claudia Vaughan headed off to Hollywood where she currently works at Lionsgate Entertainment. At WUSTL Claudia majored in film and media studies and French with a minor in business leadership. In our Q&A, Claudia talks work life, celebrity sightings, and what she misses most about The Writing Center!
M: Where are you working now? Tell me about your job.
C: I work as the assistant to the President of Television at Lionsgate Entertainment. She heads the company’s business affairs department, which involves a lot of deal making and negotiating in order to assemble all of the necessary elements (directors, producers, talent, etc.) that form a TV show, so my day to day is helping to facilitate these conversations, keeping track of the status of deals, and essentially helping her day run as smoothly as possible.
M: What’s your favorite thing about your job? What has been most challenging?
C: The entertainment industry is very fast-paced, and I think one has to really hit the ground running when starting on an executive’s desk. It can be overwhelming at points, but, at the same time, I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to learn as I go and continually ask questions. My boss is great about serving as a mentor and taking time out of her day to explain concepts with which I am unfamiliar. The perks are pretty great, too. Lionsgate has free movie screenings for employees and recently had a viewing party for the Oscars. Lionsgate definitely has this collective family feeling, and it’s a lot of fun to be a part of.
M: Any cool celebrity sightings?
C: On my very first day of work, Chris Pine walked into the lobby right behind me. I turned and gaped, and the receptionist actually laughed at me. My favorite celeb sighting so far though was seeing Fergie and her husband Josh Duhamel in a dive karaoke bar. They watched politely from the bar as people absolutely butchered karaoke songs, and then when they got up to leave, Fergie actually stopped by some of the tables and complimented the singers. They seemed really cool and down to earth!
M: What’s your dream job or ultimate career goal?
C: Eventually I’d like to stay within the realm of television but move into something that is more creative. A dream for me would be getting to be a part of a Writers Room for a scripted drama.
M: What do you miss about being a writing tutor?
C: Mostly I miss getting to interact with and be surrounded by so many young people as you are on a college campus. That type of driven and open-minded environment is definitely hard to replicate in the “real world.” The Writing Center is full of such caring and dedicated people, and it always had such a homey quality to it. (Sounds like Writing Center propaganda, but I’m being earnest). And Rob, I definitely miss Rob. I think I always annoyed him a little bit, but he’s just the best. He really makes The Writing Center what it is.