University of Washington Alumni Association
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Meet the Contacts - Jacob Fenton
Name: Jacob Fenton
Current position: Talent Agent, United Talent Agency
Location: Los Angeles
UW degrees: B.A. Business, 2001
What activities were you involved with at the UW?
I was the chair of the Senior Gift Council and rowed with the IMA crew. I worked as a campus tour guide and was undergraduate president of The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, as well as an officer for Program in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Why do you volunteer with Husky Career Network?
It's a great way to learn more about specific industries that soon-to-be-grads are interested in. Also, the entertainment industry is a difficult field to break into, to find your way. Hopefully, I can help make it more accessible to fellow Huskies. Not to mention that L.A. needs more "northwest-type" people down here to help balance it out.
As a talent agent, what are your job responsibilities?
We're responsible for negotiating all the terms of deals for actors, actresses, producers, writers, and directors when they get a job. We also set up auditions for clients, all sorts of meetings, etc.
What do you find most challenging about your work?
Hollywood can be a very daunting place at times. There are amazing people here, but there are also a lot of phonies. You just have to be able to distinguish between the genuine ones and the fakes, which can prove challenging.
Has networking played a key role in your career development?
Networking is everything in this business. A UW professor of mine once said to our class, "Finish this sentence: It's not what you know...", and the entire class answered in unison, "It's who you know," to which our professor replied, "Wrong. It's who knows you." That always stuck with me.
Do you have any advice for students and alumni using Husky Career Network?
I'm a big proponent of getting out of your hometown after you graduate. You should do it when you're young and don't have anything tying you down because, truthfully, when will you have the opportunity to do it again? Home will always be waiting for you when you return.