TVCF: Career Discovery


May 30th, 2023

The Village Stamford

The Village Community Foundation’s (TVCF) mission is to create and share opportunities to help those with barriers to success discover and unlock their full potential. May 30th marked a milestone as we launched Career Discovery, an exciting program to introduce students to careers in media and entertainment, finance, and venture capital.

Executives from media and finance came together to help students learn about their industries, and how to get in.

The program is designed to help students discover their interests and passions; and empowers them to confidently identify and pursue careers within the most prominent industries and employers in the region.

“By bringing leaders, companies and emerging talent together, we have the power to change lives, create and share opportunity, and inspire the next generation. We’re excited to be creating a supportive ecosystem that empowers and uplifts everyone involved and builds a stronger and more connected community.”

Brent Montgomery, CEO, Wheelhouse and Founder, The Village

The day began with welcome remarks from Stamford’s Mayor Caroline Simmons. The program then opened with an executive fireside where Makeda Mays Green of Paramount and Alison Malloy of Connecticut Innovations shared their views on hiring, career development, diversity and inclusion, emerging talent, and more. Participants next attended breakout sessions with industry leaders:

Akira Dunham, Investor, CT Innovations

Liz Fine, SVP of Spoke Studios, Wheelhouse

Hagar Hajjar Chemali, Founder and CEO, Oh My World!

Megan Keith, AVP Employee Experience, Mirador

Jordan Lue, Investment Analyst, CT Innovations

Russ McCarroll, Founder and CEO, Pocket Square Productions

Mike Salerno, Principal, Wheelhouse 360

In the breakout sessions students learned about the specific post-secondary or early-career experiences that “got them in” to the industries and roles of choice. 

“It was INCREDIBLE!!! I absolutely loved meeting the students. From beginning to end, the program was extraordinary. From the mingling period to the fireside chat to the breakout session, every moment was well executed. The students were engaging, diverse and all around DELIGHTFUL. They had fantastic questions. I am honored to have participated in The Village’s Career Discovery program.” – Makeda Mays Green, SVP, Paramount

The Inaugural Career Discovery event worked with several area nonprofits to build a large, diverse audience for the program. Participating organizations included LiveGirl, Waterside School, The University of Connecticut, Digital Media Connecticut (DMCT), Future5, Intempo, and others.

“It was such a pleasure representing Digital Media Connecticut and UConn’s Digital Media and Design Department at Career Discovery. Our students had opportunities to interact with inspiring professionals, hear real-world stories about grit and determination, and make valuable connections with peers and future employers. We look forward to furthering our relationship with programs like Career Discovery that inspire, guide, and inform Connecticut’s next-generation talent.” – Matt Worwood, Associate Director, Digital Media Design, University of Connecticut

By building soft skills, a professional network, and gaining real-world experience, The Village Community Foundation helps set up participants for success as they prepare for and enter the workforce. Career Discovery events will be held each quarter, and there will be additional opportunities, including job shadowing, workshops, screenings, mock interviews, resume reviews, site visits, and more.

Jon Winkel, President of The Village Community Foundation, added, “The initial success of the Career Discovery program is a testament to our region’s prominence in the world of media and entertainment. And the vast network of leaders, businesses, and luminaries associated with The Village and Wheelhouse. We have the companies, executives, and talent right here. And with thoughtful, intentional programming, we can continue to inspire and create new opportunities for the next generation.”