Max Mines ’10 Ventures West
It is well known that college career centers use technology to help their like-minded graduates connect in their professional pursuits, and social media tools like LinkedIn help individuals find those with skills, knowledge, and information to advance their career development. Yet are these career connections happening among elementary school alumni? While this cohort is perhaps a less likely group of professional peers, opportunities for connections abound among Miquon alumni, all who draw on their common unifying experience here in our classrooms and in our woods. The result is an immediate recognition of a fellow graduate who will undeniably possess the creativity, problem-solving skills, and out-of-the-box thinking that so many employers seek today among Millennials in the workplace today.
Such is the case of Max Mines ’10, who recently seized the opportunity presented by a Miquon connection for his required month-long independent project at Germantown Friends School. Interested in comedy writing, Max sought out fellow Miquonite Kara Vallow ’75. Through Kara, an executive producer, Max was able to secure an internship with the animated television shows, American Dad and Family Guy. Serendipitously, another Miquon connection enabled Max to find a host family for his stay in Los Angeles.
During his time there, Max was able to “shadow” and observe all of the various roles and functions of the studio–everything from the writers’ room to character design.
“I saw the production process from start to finish,” he says. “ I attended meetings and table-reads (script read throughs), watched the writers brainstorm ideas, sat in the voice recording booth–everything.”
When asked about his biggest take-away from the experience, Max explains: “I was blown away by how much goes into each episode. There are multiple steps, with time budgeted for multiple revisions. I watched a series of episodes being worked on in January, and most of them won’t air until early 2016.”
As a result of his experience, Max feels he has much more of a sense of what it means to be a comedy writer–a longtime dream of his. Yet he remains true to his Miquon roots of being a person with multiple, varied interests, and he doesn’t want to commit himself to any specific career just yet. That said, he was thrilled to have the opportunity to not only witness comedy in the making, but also, try his hand at independence on a whole new level, exploring a different part of the country.
“I saw some things I’d never seen before, like the Santa Monica sunset, and also smelled some things I’d never smelled before, like a Metro Bus on an 80 degree day,” he says.