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Harvard Goes To Hollywood

Mia Riverton

Founder and President
Los Angeles, California

MIA RIVERTON, 30, is an actress/producer/writer who in 1999 cofounded a volunteer networking group for Harvard grads in the arts, media, and entertainment. The organization now has more than 3,000 members in chapters worldwide, including the class of 2013.

"It's mildly ridiculous that a 'world-class' institution like Harvard had little to no resources devoted to careers in entertainment. After graduation, I came to Hollywood without knowing anyone beyond a few friends who'd graduated ahead of me. I thought, Why don't I start a little email list of people I meet who went to Harvard? People posted jobs, apartments, and event notices. Then we began doing mixers, holding screenings, and hosting speakers. That has grown into events such as our annual 'Harvard in Hollywood' symposium and a student program called Harvardwood 101. It's a survey course that exposes students to the breadth of potential career paths, including grad school, the mailroom route, and independent filmmaking. About 70% of 101 alumni are now working in the arts."

A version of this article appeared in the April 2009 issue of Fast Company magazine.