Interview with Brian Greene, C'01

How has your liberal arts degree been influential throughout your career?

My liberal arts education has been most beneficial in the scope of knowledge it gave me.  Having taken classes in subjects as varied as psychology, legal studies, and art history, I have a lot of flexibility in the types of writing work I can do.  It certainly came in handy when I was writing for "Cash Cab," which requires trivia questions on a wide variety of topics.

 

What is the value of the Penn network, and how has it played a role in your career?

The willingness of the Penn community to help its own is unmatched in my view.  Many times early in my career, I would use the Penn network to reach out to more experienced grads in the entertainment field, asking for advice - and sometimes for jobs. In almost every instance, I received a reply and an offer to help. Now that I've established myself and my career, I try to do the same whenever current students or recent grads reach out to me.  

 

How do you stay connected with Penn Arts & Sciences, and why is it a priority for you?

I keep in touch with members of the staff to get updates about what is happening on campus.  
I have come to the Penn campus to speak with current students about the entertainment industry.  
I try to attend local networking / happy hour events in new York City when my work allows.  
And as I said in the previous answer, I happily respond to students who reach out to me.  
Penn has given so much to me, it only seems right for me to give back.

 

How do you stay connected with Penn Arts & Sciences, and why is it a priority for you?

It sounds like a cliche, but I would tell students to go with their gut and not worry about failure, at least initially. These days, it's so common for people to switch career paths.  It's worth it to try and succeed in a field one is passionate about, and then come up with a new plan if it doesn't work out.  My other advice would be that internships are incredibly important, not only to get a taste of the work and see if you actually like it, but to get that initial foot in the door and begin to make contacts.
Especially in the entertainment industry, networking is key.

 

What was your favorite course at The College and why?

My favorite class was Communications 362, with Professor Messaris.  It was a "lab" class in which students created an original film, handling all aspects of production themselves (with the Professor's oversight, of course).  I can't think of a better way to actually experience what it's like to produce content.