As a production assistant at Half Yard Productions, Gregory Caligiuri ’08 has hired quite a few Adelphi University interns.

What if your best friend from Adelphi became your business partner? What if your favorite Adelphi professor connected you to a job in your dream industry or helped you recruit fellow alumni to your company?

For a growing number of Adelphi alumni, these are far from mere fantasies. They are encapsulations of how the network they created as students has fueled them as professionals—and how it continues to nurture today’s students. 

Gregory Caligiuri ’08

Gregory Caligiuri ’08

Gregory Caligiuri ’08 had little intention of pursuing a career in film when he entered Adelphi’s General Studies Learning Community. That changed one day in his freshman year while he was waiting in Blodgett Hall and got approached by Terrence Ross—now an associate professor in the Communications Department— who told him he looked lost, then talked to him about the department.

“I’d always had an interest in film,” Mr. Caligiuri recalls. “Being told I could study that for a profession, for an actual career—I was all about it.”

At the encouragement of his professors, Mr. Caligiuri sought opportunities outside of school. In his senior year, he interned at Live with Regis and Kelly, then later at Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and came to realize just how valuable internships could be.

“Production is very, very, very hard to get into,” says Mr. Caligiuri, who was ultimately hired as a production assistant at Half Yard Productions, which produces Say Yes to the Dress, among other shows—a break he considered “very fortunate.” Empathizing with soon-to-be Adelphi alumni, Mr. Caligiuri decided to concentrate his effort toward helping them get hired as interns at Half Yard. Among the first interns he helped bring to the studio were Andrea Dove ’11 and David Mills ’09, who both, like Mr. Caligiuri, credit Associate Professor Joan Stein Schimke with urging them to seek internships.

“Working at Half Yard got me to where I am now—at True Entertainment, working as a post-production coordinator for The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” Mr. Mills says. In the entertainment industry—as with many other industries—connections are crucial. “In every spectrum of entertainment, your name is only as good as what it’s attached to,” Mr. Caligiuri says, adding, “and the more connections you make, the better you’re going to be.”

This piece appeared in the Adelphi University Magazine Spring 2014 edition.

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