Activities at Stonehill
Intramural Flag Football; Treasurer, Active Concerned Educated Students (ACES)
Universal Pictures, Hollywood – Marketing Assistant to two directors of media
Los Angeles, CA
Advice for incoming students
Share your goals with your Stonehill professors – they can give you an extra boost to help you achieve them.
If Chris Gagne, ’09, learned anything from his four years at Stonehill, it was this: Don’t choose your career by default.
The Maine native always had an itch to move west and pursue writing in Hollywood, but he initially couldn’t see a path to make it happen. So he opted to major in economics, following in the footsteps of his father. “I didn’t necessarily want to be in finance, it was just something I picked,” says Chris. “I didn’t have connections in Hollywood, and at the time, neither did Stonehill.” But Stonehill did have professors who recognized – and encouraged – Chris’ true interests.
Following a financial internship in New York his junior year, Chris decided to remain in the city for the summer, finding a unique internship writing copy for television’s One Life to Live. Communications Professor Ron Leone, taking notice of both Chris’ resourcefulness and his interest in work in television and film, encouraged him to pursue it further.
Returning to Stonehill for his senior year, Chris took Leone’s advice and gave more thought to his options. Though he’d never been to Los Angeles, he created – and delivered to 50 students at the Kruse Center – a presentation highlighting how Stonehill students could find an internship there. Then, during senior year spring break, he ventured there for the first time. “It was the first time I’d been west of Chicago,” he says. “But it seemed easier in some ways than what I’d already done in New York.” He decided to move there upon graduation, initially interning with America’s Funniest Home Videos creator Vin Di Bona, then as a Page for NBC/Universal.
Now working to promote movies in the heart of Hollywood for Universal Pictures, where he routinely rubs elbows with marquee celebrities, Chris says Stonehill helped him find the self-awareness he needed to find his true passion. He now gives back to his alma mater by expanding the Stonehill network and finding internship opportunities for current students as Stonehill’s Los Angeles Internship Coordinator.
“Stonehill helped me realize what was possible,” he says. “The support I received helped me identify my true dream – to be a writer in Hollywood.”