Taylor Volkens '15

Taylor VolkensMajor: Cinema Television/Cinema Arts
Hometown: St. Petersburg, FL

Describe your current job role:

I am a Freelance Filmmaker and Photographer.

What professional experience(s) did you have prior to your current job role?

Before becoming a full-time freelancer, I was the Video Director for ASM at Palm Beach Atlantic Admissions for 3 years. I also worked at Gateway Church in Southlake, Texas for a summer, and was the Videographer for a Social Enterprise called Wanderer Bracelets.

What do you know now that you wish you had known about being a working professional?

I honestly wish I had known how difficult it would be emotionally to transition from college life to the real working world. Not in the sense that “working is hard” but that it’s just SO different from college. For me, as a Freelancer, I am often at home, sitting at my desk, working... Alone. I don’t have the luxury of the community that the average 9-5 job has. So, going from somewhere (PBA) that you are constantly surrounded by loving community and friends, to most of the time working alone, it was definitely a difficult transition!

"Give yourself Grace. The transition is HARD, and that's okay."

How did PBA prepare you for the world of work?

PBA did an amazing job at preparing me for the world of work, the film department specifically! Not only did our professors fill up our gear room with industry standard equipment, but they allowed and trusted us to use it, and more often than any other undergrad film programs that I have heard of! If it weren’t for PBA, I wouldn’t be able to book some of the clients I do, solely because they equipped us with experience as well as knowledge that we would truly need to cling to in the Film World. PBA also taught me to believe in myself, my gifts, my abilities, what it meant to strive for excellence, and how to work hard.

What advice would you give to current PBA students and/or young alumni who are about to start their first professional full-time job?

Give yourself Grace. The transition is HARD, and that’s okay. Failure isn’t failure so long as you learn something from it; everyone and everything is your teacher. Be kind to yourself in this process!

Have you been mentored by anyone in your professional field since entering the workforce? If so, what impact has that had on you?

I haven’t specifically been mentored by anyone in my field, but there are a lot of people from my PBA Film class that I keep up with and inquire about! I think that has been one of the most encouraging things since graduating… We’re still looking out for one another, and looking out to see how we can help each other succeed in this brutal industry! 

Spotlight posted in September 2018. For current updates from Taylor, visit her  LinkedIn or her website.