Lauren Dolgen ’97, Amy Kaufman ’01 and Marjorie Light ’06 share their thoughts on thinking outside the box at Pitzer and beyond.
What drew you to Pitzer College?
During the college search process, I was looking for a college that reflected the high school I attended, which was very liberal and free-form in a way. I visited a bunch of colleges and I could tell immediately if people wanted me to be there or not. My parents had suggested Pitzer in the first place and they were right.
Growing up in Los Angeles, how did you feel about going to college so close to home?
When my parents first suggested Pitzer, I thought, “Claremont—I am not going to Claremont.” It’s not the most picturesque drive, but after you make a few turns you can see and feel the charm of Claremont.
I was a double major: History of Ideas with Barry Sanders and Environmental Studies with Paul Faulstich. Both of them were amazing influences. I think they influenced who I am today, but not necessarily what I do today.
What ultimately led you to the entertainment industry?
My dad has had an incredible career in the entertainment industry. He influences me a great deal because he is incredibly intelligent and inspiring. I did not grow up knowing that I would be in this industry but it is exciting to know I wound up following in his footsteps to a certain extent.
What solidified for me that I wanted to work in this industry was an internship I completed with MTV’s Press Department in the UK.
I started working with VH1, which is in the MTV Networks family and it led me to this job at MTV.
Congratulations on your recent promotion. How long have you worked for MTV Networks?
MTV is twenty-five years old and I have been here nine years since I graduated from Pitzer. It’s great to be able to grow. Starting in production, I eventually was able to make my way to development, the creative side. I love what I do. With my promotion to vice president of series development I report to the senior vice president of MTV and to the executive vice president of MTV Programming.
What series have you helped develop?
Jack*** is a big series that has grown into successful films; WildBoyz, which is another big series for us that was a spin-off of Jack***; and Viva La Bam, which is about a pro-skater who was a cast member of Jack***.
I also do dating shows such as Parental Control and Date My Mom. I have a new series which is called Yo Momma.
Can you describe a memorable experience of yours while attending Pitzer?
I was involved in the organic garden when it was first dug up. We were the first on the scene and were responsible for removing all of the rocks. We made quite a mess of it in the beginning.
What advice would you give to students interested in working within the entertainment industry?
I am open and encouraging to Pitzer students to apply here for internships. If you show you are a hard worker, smart and dedicated, you can learn a great deal during an internship; they enhance the college experience. The Pitzer interns possess the Pitzer mentality and have a lot of drive, stepping up just as they do in the classroom.
How have you remained active within the Pitzer community?
The friendships I built carried me through all four years. One of my best friends from Pitzer, Amanda Crosby, passed away about four years ago, and a group of us started a memorial fund in her name. We all had such a tremendous four years at Pitzer that we thought this would be a good tribute to an amazing woman.
How would you summarize your Pitzer experience?
Overall, college was a great experience for me. I was close with professors, took interesting classes and benefited from amazing opportunities. Socially and in every way it was a great experience. I have a lot of love for Pitzer.