After the new normal of teleworking, zoom meetings, and hybrid work schedules, we were finally able to join our Los Angeles cohorts all together in-person! At last, on July 28th, 2022, the Paramount Veterans Network in the West Coast were able to assemble in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic. And what better way to do so than a day trip to the historic Paramount Studios lot in Hollywood, CA? As the longest operating and only remaining major studio in Hollywood, Paramount Pictures seemed like the perfect place to gather. We spent the dayeveryone exploring Paramount’s history and spent some time idea generating and planning for the future!
Paramount's Senior Director of Global Sourcing and VetNet’s Director of Community Engagement, Bryon Stopfer, and VetNet’s Director of Creative and Communications, Brad Mueller, hosted the event. In attendance were Paramount Veteran Immersion participants, Nicole Koutelos and Chris Murray, along with VetNet alums and now Paramount Hire and Localization Coordinator in Content Acquisition, Alissa Prewett. In addition, one of VetNet’s VIP participants, Nicole Koutelos, put in the hard work of assisting in organizing this event for everyone.
“Paramount VetNet is an amazing family. Helping plan out the LA meet-up was a lot of fun. It was special to bond with the company; further, it was a wonderful experience, and I look forward to hopefully helping to plan another one!" says Nicole Koutelos, Veteran’s Network VIP participant.
The day began with a tour through the one-of-a-kind New York Street backlot, which features ten different city neighborhood backdrops, transporting us to NYC and the rest of the New York-based Paramount Veteran Network team in spirit! Following the New York Street backlot, we enjoyed a lunch-in, where we spent time engaging in face-face conversation and networking. Post lunch was a private-led studio tour, showcasing Paramount's rich history that spans over 100 years and seeing where all the magic happens, from “Sunset Boulevard” to “Top Gun”!
After all that Hollywood magic, the team themselves got to feel like celebrities as we proceeded to take headshots in front of the iconic Paramount Pictures studio gate arches! To keep the entertainment going and wrap up the eventful day, Paramount Pictures’ private Paramount Theater had the movie “Black Phone” playing, a thriller that will keep you awake and on your toes!
The in-person event was a success, leaving the team elated. Being able to connect in person, grow friendships and community, and feel the magic of what drew everyone into pursuing a career in the media and entertainment business, all while maintaining the supportive military bond, is something you can’t put a price tag on.
“I’ve got to say that Paramount’s Veterans Network goes above and beyond to support the veteran community and career transitioning process. Spending the day inside the iconic Paramount Studios was an experience a young version of myself could only dream of doing. Yet, it still doesn't compare to the connections and support network I'm building by being a part of the Paramount family. The dedication towards veterans, working closely with exposing them to different sides of the industry, coupled with a big support group, is second to none! No one does it better." - Chris Murray, Veteran's Network VIP Immersion Vet.