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Press Release

Jonathan Potts

For immediate release:
January 22, 2003

Carnegie Mellon University Graduate's Work on Nickelodeon Is Focus of Job Fair

PITTSBURGH—Nickelodeon editorial director Paul L. Smith, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University's Creative Writing program, said studying poetry at Carnegie Mellon helped propel his success at the popular children's cable network.

Having a childish sense of humor hasn't hurt either, joked Smith, who will be the keynote speaker, during the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Career Forum. Students, faculty, alumni and regional employers will gather to talk about job and internship opportunities.

The Career Forum is scheduled from 1:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4, 2003, at the University Center on the Carnegie Mellon campus. During the first part of the day, students will be able to attend panel discussions led by employers and alumni in specific fields, including education, communications and government. Panelists include Ken Zapinski, vice president of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, and Philip Elias, an alumnus and president of Elias/Savion Advertising Inc. A reception following Smith's speech will give students, alumni and employers the chance to meet and talk.

Smith will speak at 4:45 p.m., when he plans to share with students his simple recipe for success.

"Don't be afraid to keep your radar up for anything that seems interesting. Not having a big master plan is not the worst thing in the world," Smith said. "I've never had a master plan at all. I've just pursued anything that seems remotely interesting."

Smith, a 1982 Carnegie Mellon graduate, also has written for MTV's "Remote Control" game show and the PBS children's geography game show, "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?"

At Nickelodeon, Smith helps to write and supervise on-air promotions, interstitials, short films, sweepstakes and channel-identity material. He said poetry workshops in the Creative Writing program have helped him write short, punchy material.

"The thing that was the least commercial of what I learned there has been the most applicable," Smith said.


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