Know what you want, career advice for students

By Linsey Heiser
April 26, 2001

Linsey Heiser

by Linsey Heiser

staff writer

“When asked `What do you want?’ or `What do you think?’, have an answer,” Susan Carden, senior director of Comcast original programming told English/ communication students about entering the work force. Carden spoke about her career and gave tips to students looking to start careers. She spoke on Tuesday, April 10 in the Widener Center Lecture Hall.

Carden works for the Comcast Corporation, one of the largest full-service communications corporations in the world. It was created in Tupelo, MI in the 1960s. The corporation has over 21,000 employees and is considered a “family of companies.” Comcast owns such franchises as QVC, the E! Channel, Comcast SportsNet and the Philadelphia Flyers, 76ers and Phantoms.

Carden was told to go into business when she was younger and at first studied hotel and restaurant management. After two years at Bucks County Community College, she transferred to Penn State University-Main Campus, she became interested in radio and television. Carden enjoyed television and radio because the two helped her to express herself and to be creative. During her senior year at Penn State, Carden interned at the Manchester Communications Program in London, which is part of the British Broadcasting Company (BBC).

After graduation, Carden had no job prospects. Eventually, she held several jobs including selling cable in Quakertown, creating special events at the North Coventry Mall and being a reporter for local newspapers at township meetings in Collegeville and Phoenixville.

Carden soon landed a small job at Channel 10 in Philadelphia where she stayed six months. It was after that when she got her big break at Strawbridge and Clothier. There she was a senior executive for nine years. During this time, she produced about 400 commercials per year. Carden then returned to Channel 10 where she was the head of the creative services department. During this time, she experienced the channel’s changeover from CBS to NBC.

After her second stint at Channel 10, she landed her current job at Comcast. Since beginning at Comcast, Carden has seen many changes. “I have seen the restructuring of the entire marketing department, a logo change, the addition of Comcast SportsNet and CN8 and the overall development of original programming,” Carden said.

Carden’s job focuses mainly on entertainment with video. Tapes of Comcast original programming are sent out to sponsors. Included in the original programming are musical concerts and this year more money is being put into comedy shows.

At the conclusion of her talk, Carden said that she believes that many jobs in the future will be geared toward online businesses, graphic design and computer programming. She had several tips for job-seekers, including being able to present solutions to problems, seeking out mentors, having excellent writing skills, continuing education in business, and establishing one’s integrity and not taking a job just to get a foot in the door.

“Spirit, enthusiasm and commitment are certainly required at Comcast,” Carden added, “and it is important how you nurture these qualities in yourself.”

Carden is happy with her career choice, but has obtained a master’s degree in English and may like to teach someday.

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Linsey Heiser

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