Name: Kristen Hosack
Name/Nickname at SMC: Kris Hosack
Year of Graduation: 2001
Hometown: Sunnyvale, CA
SMC was an unexpected choice for me as a college. My father graduated in 1993 through an extension program in the Bay Area and because of that, I was able to receive a free application. I also participated in an overnight program, which consisted of spending the night with a freshman and attending their classes with them for a day. It was an incredibly unique experience and helped me create an instant connection with the college!
I really enjoyed the fact that during our orientation, we gathered in our respective majors, and were encouraged to join an activity within our field of study (i.e student newspaper, KSMC, etc.). I joined KSMC [the radio station] right away, and that was the beginning of my future career in the music industry that paved the direction my studies would take me over the next 4 years.
Oddly enough, I miss Seminar! There is something to be said about gathering in small groups and discussing the myriad of thoughts, assumptions, and connections we made within the literature we were reading.
"Looking back on Seminar, I appreciate the fact that the teacher took a backseat and let the students run each session. It allowed us to develop crucial characteristics that would later be put to use in so many real-life situations."
And I really loved my thesis class senior year. Most of my friends outside of SMC didn’t have to write a thesis as an undergrad, but for me this experience was very defining and challenged me in a way no other classes were capable of achieving.
I worked at KSMC as a DJ, and then as the Assistant Music Director my sophomore and junior years, and Music Director my senior year. Also during my senior year I interned at MCA Records, working as the label rep to various college radio stations around the Bay Area. I was fortunate enough to be connected with a family in Orinda to work as their nanny, and the father was a major player at Bill Graham Presents (now Live Nation) in San Francisco.
The summer before my senior year the father was able to get me an interview with the company to work as the publicist for a 2 day jazz festival called New Orleans By the Bay, which took place at Shoreline Amphitheater in the summer. I was hired, and the rest is history! I worked at BGP through my senior year and started full time immediately after graduation. I worked there for the next 5 years in the advertising department and helped develop and manage the media campaigns for all the shows that came through their venues: Shoreline Amphitheater, The Concord Pavilion, The Fillmore and Warfield, and so on. We also planned media for the major stadium and arena shows, including The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Bridge School Benefit, etc.
In 2005, I moved to Los Angeles and started working at a boutique ad agency as a Media Planner. I quickly worked my way up to Media Director, and in 2009 I left the agency and started working for Paramount Pictures as a Senior Digital Media Planner for their theatrical slate of titles. I helped shape the digital media campaigns for movies such as Star Trek, Monsters vs. Aliens, The Goods, Paranormal Activity, The Lovely Bones, etc.
In 2010 I moved out of media buying and started working with a digital agency called The Groop, which focuses on helping clients develop, strategize and shape websites and digital experiences for their target audiences. My role is Interactive Producer, and my key responsibilities consist of developing and managing the necessary teams (strategy, information architecture, design, development) to execute digital sites and online experiences. I’ve been fortunate enough to work on such accounts as the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution, Smashbox/Quixote Studios, the UCLA/Focus Project, and The Edible Schoolyard Project in Berkeley.
Philanthropy and giving back are a fundamental passion that I have maintained since being a student at SMC. In LA, I have been a part of thinkLA, a professional organization whose members are professionals working at agencies, media houses, and a myriad of other digital and traditional media companies. The focus of the foundation is education and networking, and connecting the industry through events.
From 2006-2009, I helped produce an event called AdJam, a battle-of-the-bands that consisted of advertising agency bands battling it off to be the best of the industry. My experience at KSMC and after college was a direct reflection of my ability to independently produce this event, and help raise money for the organization. It has become a staple event in Los Angeles, and one of the biggest revenue building events to-date.
Most recently I took on a breast cancer fundraiser called Beats for Boobs. The event has been happening in San Francisco for the past 8 years and this year I helped expand it into Los Angeles. It was an amazing evening celebrating local fashion, food, music and art, while we raised funds for local breast cancer charities. I’m so proud!
If I were giving advice to a current student I would acknowledge that it’s really hard to feel that your future needs to be defined when you enter college as a freshman. I know that for me I felt a lot of pressure to figure out what my career path was going to be right away.
The point of college is to explore all of the facets of your personality and character strengths that you feel you are good at and that make you happy.
Enjoy the process, try something new, and challenge yourself! The network of opportunity is so incredibly vast. Understand that and use it to the fullest capability!