IU Is Everywhere

From Bloomington to Bangkok, meet members of the IU family who are acting as ambassadors for the university.

Isabel Shanahan, Los Angeles

Isabel Shanahan waves her IU flag all the way from the West Coast, where she's coordinating experiential learning for Media School students and forging connections in Hollywood for Hoosiers.

Isabel Shanahan was raised in the world of academia. From as early as she can remember, she was taught the importance of universities and higher education while growing up in Ithaca, New York. Even though she studied film and television at Boston University, she is now following in her father's footsteps and working for a university -- Indiana University.

A few years after her parents relocated to Bloomington, Shanahan decided she wanted to do something different with her career. She wanted the opportunity to give back. The Media School had caught her attention as a school at the forefront of education for a career in entertainment.

"I love visiting my parents in Bloomington, and I love the mission of The Media School," Shanahan said. "IU is on top of what these students need to have in their background and education to get the job that they want in entertainment."  

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Isabel Shanahan, who's coordinating the Media School's Semester in Los Angeles program, participated in a similar program as a student at Boston University that helped her land a full-time gig with an artist management group. Photo courtesy of Isabel Shanahan

Coincidentally, The Media School was looking for someone like Shanahan, too. The school was hoping to hire a staff member who would be based in Los Angeles to help set up a semester-long experiential learning opportunity for IU students. Shanahan had participated in a similar program at Boston University that helped her land a full-time gig with an artist management group. After also working for a production company and in entertainment public relations, she felt she was well-equipped to help IU create a homebase in L.A.

In her new role at The Media School, Shanahan is making connections with IU alumni working in entertainment and keeping track of those interested in offering internships or speaking on panels. She helped secure an office space to plant the IU flag in the city and is working with four adjunct professors based in the area who are teaching the night classes that are part of the Semester in Los Angeles program. Shanahan said she's already noticing untapped resources in the region after only months of networking.

"It's so important for IU to tap into the alumni network because it's so expansive, and many of them are looking for a centralized program and presence to engage in," Shanahan said. "My goal is to host more alumni events to get the Hoosier network unified and boost the morale and school spirit in the area."

The students participating in the program, who will spend one semester working two part-time internships and taking night classes, will benefit by receiving mentorship from the strong alumni base in the area. If all goes well, these students will join the alumni base after graduation and mentor the students after them.

"Hopefully, after graduation, students will come out here and get jobs. Then when they look for interns they'll hire more Hoosiers," Shanahan said. "The entertainment business is based on who you know, so having those IU connections will really give students a leg up."