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CORNELL CLUB MEMBER PROFILES

Would you like to be featured?  We plan to have a new profile of a Cornell graduate on our Home Page every week, and maybe it will be you.  All you have to do is answer the questions at the bottom of this article  and send those answers, along with a picture, to Nancy Mills at NLM5@cornell.edu.  All profiles can be accessed here:  http://www.cornellclubla.com/featured_members.html  

 

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Tanya Bentley '92

Senior Director, Health Economics

Tell us about how your experiences at Cornell influenced your path. How did you come to live in Los Angeles and what you are doing now?

At Cornell, I fell in love with social psychology when taking Psych 101 — even though it was in a huge auditorium — and reading about the social experiment where a person faces backwards in a crowded elevator and gradually everyone turns to face backwards also.  This interest eventually to my work in public health education and subsequent Master’s and PhD degrees in health policy. I came to LA for my post-doc and now do research with a small consultancy in Beverly Hills.

How did Cornell help prepare you for your post-grad life?

At Cornell, I fine-tuned my study skills while also developing social and networking skills that would last me a lifetime.

Tell us a favorite memory of your time at Cornell.

I loved so many aspects of Cornell (all of them!) that it’s hard to identify just one favorite memory. A few key ones that stand out are:

Living in the dorms for the first time, freshman year, and meeting lifelong friends.

Studying in the music room, curled up on a cozy chair (and taking the occasional naps!).

Hiking up Libe slope in the cold and ice — it was always difficult and yet was strangely fun! That may be due to the bonding it allowed between us freshmen, or the great feeling one had when arriving at one’s warm classroom, or the simple strength one gains from exercising in the fresh air.

Tell us a favorite memory shared with another Cornell alum in L.A.

Two other alumni and I attended a CCLA lecture on climate change; it was life-changing and helped me realize the impact that even one person can have on this climate change issue.

What advice would you give, personally and professionally related to your line of work, to Cornell grads looking to come to L.A.?

Network. Talk to people, even if you don’t think they can help you. Moreover, talk to them as if they cannot help you, but just to learn about their experiences and how they got where they are. The less one asks, the more one often ends up receiving. Ask for informational interviews, and at the end of every one, ask if they can refer you to anyone else who may have insights on career paths. 

Be comprehensive, and always follow-up. When applying for any job, always send a cover letter along with the resume/CV, and always followup every week thereafter until you receive a response. There’s also almost never any harm in going to an office and asking to meet with the hiring manager or boss; be prepared and willing to wait, but if you wait long enough you may land yourself a job. 

Dan Harrison '91

EVP of Strategic Program Planning for Fox Broadcasting

Tell us how your experience at Cornell influenced your path:

I can’t say I had the greatest time at Cornell, which was my father’s alma mater as well.  When my parents dropped me off for senior year, my dad asked my roommates to “please make sure my son gets more than an education this year.”  I did spend way too much time in my books.  A lot of what happened at Cornell was, for me, some happy accidents.  I thought I would be a government major – I found the intro class so boring I couldn’t stay awake and I dropped it, the only class I dropped in my 4 years.  I wound up as a econ major because Jennifer Wissink made the subject come alive.  I did an honors thesis on the formation of the Fox network and I now work at… the Fox network.  I went to Cornell with my best friend from growing up, Sanjay Mani, and then I made some incredible friendships with Michael Karangelen, Rob Lynch, Jeff Bershad and Michael Krawitz.  I’m still close with all 5 today.  Those relationships are the most significant things to come out of Cornell.

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How did you come to live in LA and what are you doing now?

I spent all 4 summers working for Fox’s syndication business doing marketing, so I always knew that I would come to LA.  I loved television, so majoring in econ wasn’t a natural fit.  I went to Harvard Law after Cornell – I didn’t practice law, either… and today I’m EVP of Strategic Program Planning for Fox Broadcasting Company.

How did Cornell help prepare you for post-grad life?

Cornell did a great job getting me ready for Harvard Law.  Law and economics go together very well for a career in business, although I probably would have been better served doing the Cornell 5 year MBA, which Rob Lynch did.

Favorite memory of time at Cornell:

I would say the memories that are the best are the ones that last the longest – and for me, it is those 5 great friendships – Sanjay, Michael, Rob, Jeff and Michael.  There are a lot of things I should have done more of at Cornell – basically having more fun – but I left there with a great foundation for my future professional endeavors and some lifelong friendships.

Favorite memory shared with another Cornell alum in LA:

I’ll share two.  I didn’t know Jill Pflaum (’91) at Cornell, but we met in LA shortly after I moved here and dated for a while before she went back to Cornell to get her MBA.  More recently, Michael Karangelen, Jeff Bershad and I have started a new tradition of going to the MLB all-star game, so in 2016, it was in San Diego and Jeff brought his son Josh and I brought my oldest daughter Stephanie (in photo above).  So the five of us had a great time in Southern California.

What advice would you give to Cornell grads looking to come to LA?

I’d say follow your passion and look for good people, personally and professionally.  It is more important to work with good people and have a boss who is empowered within an organization than to worry about the prestige of the company.  A boss who is empowered and is growing their organization will look for high-performing members of their team to grow.  Personally, it is important to find people who share the same values as you do and to cherish relationships – having fewer but deeper relationships is ultimately more rewarding than many acquaintances.

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TO BE FEATURED IN MEMBER PROFILES, PLEASE ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS AND SEND THEM TO NANCY MILLS AT bartandnancy@verizon.net 

 

Tell us about how your experiences at Cornell influenced your path. How did you come to live in Los Angeles and what you are doing now?

How did Cornell help prepare you for your post-grad life?

Tell us a favorite memory of your time at Cornell.

Tell us a favorite memory shared with another Cornell alum in L.A.

What advice would you give, personally and professionally related to your line of work, to Cornell grads looking to come to L.A.?

 

ALL MEMBER PROFILES CAN BE VIEWED HERE:

 http://www.cornellclubla.com/featured_members.html