Dreaming Big, Fulfilling a Dream: Recent PLNU Alumnus Gets Job Promotions at Dream Works

Monday, March 28, 2011


Point Loma Nazarene University

Contact: Nicholle Jaramillo

Point TV: Channel 23 Marketing & Promotions Mgr.

Advisor: Alan Hueth (619) 849-2358

Date: March 18, 2011

Written by: Nicholle Jaramillo




Dreaming Big, Fulfilling a Dream:

Recent PLNU Alumnus Gets Job Promotions at DreamWorks


            There is one thing that some college seniors spend endless nights losing sleep over: post college employment.  One PLNU graduate, Shelby Martin (a 2009 PLNU alumna) took matters of landing her dream job into her own hands, and this has led to two promotions in the last two years. 

Her first promotion came right after she ended her DreamWorks internship on December 11, 2009.

            Martin sought out an internship with DreamWorks Animation in search of a challenge. Without a PLNU course or curriculum on animation, she wanted to learn about the process and something she had never done before.  She submitted an application without thinking she would be picked.   

            “I submitted an application to DreamWorks and a couple of TV stations in San Diego,” said Martin. “I got a call back from all the news stations, but did not think I would get a callback from DreamWorks. With Jason Carter’s (PLNU, ’04) help and recommendation, it came through.”

            During her time as an intern, Martin fell in love with the company and knew it was the place for her.  However, when the internship was over, Martin was faced with the reality that DreamWorks was not offering any full-time positions for the interns after this particular semester.  So, she pitched an idea to create a new position that she thought the company was in need of:  a Production Assistant in the Show Development Department.   Without any knowledge of how her pitch would be received, the company’s executives saw her passionate drive and offered her a position with the company.  Promotion number one.

            “I was like ‘I love this company, I have a lot of heart and I want to be here,’” said Martin.  “God has blessed me so much with this.  Every door seems to open and seems to work out better than I ever planned.”

            As a show development production assistant, Martin was responsible for a slew of activities involving shows that are in the in-between stage: “not in development and not in production.”  Her department worked on script treatments, pitching ideas for movies to Jeffery Katzenberg, DreamWorks CEO, scheduling meetings, taking notes, handling artwork and much more.  Martin has been extended the opportunity a number of times to take notes during meetings with Katzenberg, who is known for producing movies like Shrek, Madagascar, How to Train Your Dragon and more.

            “Anything can go in those meetings, good or bad.  If you look at a lot of other P.A.’s they don’t get to work with him,” said Martin.  “It’s a neat experience to be in the room, you learn to appreciate what he’s done for the company.”

            Martin’s hard work and dependability soon led to promotion number two: an offer to be the Production Coordinator on Turbo, a film that tells the tale of a garden snail who hopes to become the fastest snail in the world.   With a background in figure-eight racing, Martin has brought some unique features to the film.

            “It’s been great to see an idea develop as an intern, and see that and see how everything has gone forward,” said Martin.  “This new position has been very challenging and I’m learning a lot of new things, so it’s been really great.”

            Regarding future career goals, Martin can see herself still working at DreamWorks 20 years down the road.  She hopes to become an associate producer or executive, but realizes that will be a long hard road to travel.  As per usual, she’s up for the challenge and any new opportunity that comes her way.

            “It’s hard right now. I’m 22, I’ve had a lot of opportunities that a lot of 22 year olds haven’t,” said Martin. “I feel grateful, excited and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else with any other company.”

            In a business that can, at times, be impossible to break into, Martin’s success is something other communication and theatre students can look up to.  For students looking to break into the world of entertainment, she has some simple advice.  Martin says it’s all about persistence and faith.

            “Have faith that God will provide,” said Martin.  “Think out what you want to do, stay committed, keep trying, be open and don’t be discouraged.  It’ll happen if you put yourself out there.”


For more information regarding Shelby Martin’s work with DreamWorks please contact her at smartin100@pointloma.edu.