Media & Communication Department
Career of the Month
The Department is proud to feature monthly profiles of Media & Communication Department Alums, describing their individual career paths and sharing tips with students on how to plan for their own future careers. Profiles focus on the wide range of careers that our liberal arts oriented program has helped to launch.
This month the spotlight is on Television Production , featuring a profile of Steven Grossman , Class of 2000, Head of Non-Scripted TV & Branded Lifestyle at The Collective.
Steven Grossman '00
I think the personal attention and opportunities I got at Muhlenberg helped me initially realize my leadership potential. I learned how to motivate people, articulately express ideas and gained valuable critical thinking skills. I was also taught how to work both independently and collaboratively with others. ~ Steven Grossman
As children, we allow ourselves to dream of fame and fortune, to ask “what if I can make it to the big leagues?” We are taught that with hard work and determination, one can pursue their dreams of ‘making it big.’ The road may be more difficult for some, yet the reward will be greater for their efforts. Steven grew up in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania (population 6,000) which is known for its role in the American Revolution and its large passenger pigeon population during that period. He writes “I would have never imagined [a career in Hollywood] in my wildest dreams.”
During his time at Muhlenberg, Steven Grossman entered the media business as an intern at both the local ABC and WB affiliates in Philadelphia. His experiences in their news divisions helped Steven discover that “I loved meeting people from all different walks of life and was really proud to be the person to help tell their stories. However, I also learned that I didn't enjoy telling stories in mostly short 30 second packages… I suppose the real blessing was that this ultimately led me down another path.”
After graduation, Steven decided to move to LA and attend the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Another round of internships opened the door to the William Morris Agency, where he eventually became a talent agent. He says his friends back home often described his job as somewhere between Tom Cruise’s “Jerry Maguire” and the Ari Gold character on “Entourage.” Steven left William Morris to transition to one of their competitors ICM (International Creative Management) and his career continued to soar higher. He reached his current position at The Collective in 2009. At The Collective, Steven wanted to transition into management and become a bona fide producer.
Steven writes “the greatest challenge as a talent representative is being tasked with protecting your clients, but also preserving your reputation and relationships.” To be successful requires a mix of skills; innovation and creativity, decisiveness and assertiveness, detail orientation and organization, and strong interpersonal communication skills. The challenge is to remain calm as the captain of each client’s ship in “the sea of craziness that often surrounds you in this business.”
In recognition of his expert management (or captainship), Steven was recently featured on the cover of Variety, Hollywood’s leading industry trade publication as one of “Hollywood’s New Leaders.” He marks this recognition as his biggest professional achievement, “as it really felt like the culmination of all my victories along this journey,” from Blue Bell through Muhlenberg to Los Angeles. As a Co-Creator and Executive Producer of the popular VH1 series “La La’s Full Court Life,” Steven satisfied a lifelong curiosity “about those people whose names scrolled by in the credits. I never thought I would actually be one of them.” He works with a very diverse list of talent including: Perez Hilton, Kelly Rowland, Wilmer Valderrama, La La & Carmelo Anthony, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, Randi Zuckerberg, Eliza Dushku, Shannen Doherty, NeNe Leakes, etc.
Outside Steven’s professional success, he is married with a son (who keeps him busy) and has another on the way. He is a strong supporter of the Make a Wish Foundation and a former board member of JHRTS (Junior Hollywood Radio Television Society). Steven writes that “finding a work/life balance can be challenging as this business can easily consume you. That's always been a struggle for me, so I think that’s going to be my new goal for 2012. Hopefully now I can learn to make myself my own priority.”
Interview conducted by Jon Flint, '12