Fresh Outta College is a weekly District column that documents the post-grad life of SCAD alumni pursuing creative careers. If you ever doubted your ability to get a job post-SCAD, tune in and let these alumni ease your worries.
For this East Windsor, New Jersey, native, post-grad life looks a whole lot like Disney World and Universal Studios. Working with Phoenix Rising as an artist and fabricator for props and sets for themes parks such as Disney and Universal, Dan Brookwell is doing exactly what his SCAD production design degree prepared him for.
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. he works with a small team designing, constructing, doing the finishing on and installing props and sets into theme parks alongside art directors. And on the weekends they explore Orlando or visit Disney or Universal parks.
Atypical to most students, Brookwell didn’t wait for a job opening to inquire, he sought one out himself.
“I found out about the company through a contact I made at Walt Disney Imagineering while on SCAD’s Experience Orlando study abroad trip in winter of 2016,” said Brookwell.
“Once I learned about the company, I sent a cold email asking if they were interested in hiring me,” said Brookwell. “I didn’t respond to or see any job postings.”
Ambitious and ready to put his learning into practice, Brookwell actually had his first internship last summer with The Nassal Company, also located in Orlando.
“I got that from a small networking event I went out on a limb and went to in Florida. Best decision I’ve made in my career so far,” said Brookwell.
With a ‘good things comes to those who hustle’ attitude, Brookwell leaves current students with these words of advice:
“Get out there and look beyond the limits of the job portal and SCAD and start getting involved in the industry and meeting people who do what you want to do.”
Written by Asli Shebe.
Editor’s Note: Shortly after publishing this article Dan Brookwell was hired as the Set Decoration Intern for Walt Disney’s Imagineering program.