Publications & Media

Making It Big in 30 Minutes

A podcast for, by, and about the Emerson community and the many ways its alumni are making the world a little better, every day.

What does it mean to make it big? Having money, fame, world wide acclaim, climbing the corporate ladder or crushing it in your business. One thing’s for sure, there isn’t just one way to do it.

In each episode, you will meet an Emersonian who’s Making It. Making a living, making a difference and sometimes, making it up as they go along. As far as we’re concerned, if you’re making something, you’ve made it … big time.

Brought to you by the Emerson College Alumni Association:

Season 5

Thumbnail of Zach Kornfeld of the Try Guys for the Making it Big in 30 Minutes Podcast

Zach Kornfeld ’12 on Making it in Digital Production

October 11, 2022

Zach Kornfeld studied video production at Emerson, and now? He tries EVERYTHING. A member of the beloved YouTube channel turned multi-media franchise, The Try Guys, Zach uses his Emerson degree every day — but he’s not doing it alone, and in fact, recommends strongly against doing just that when the power of collaboration is immeasurable. Recorded July 25, 2022.

Thumbnail of Pamela Zapata for the Making it Big in 30 Minutes Podcast

Pamela Zapata ‘10 on Making it as a CEO

October 18, 2022

Pamela Zapata is a powerhouse who can do it all, but in running a business, she’s learned the hard way that just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. But before all that, she was Georgette’s supervisor at WERS. After a decade of not seeing one another, the pair catches up to talk about training a team remotely, finding the confidence to negotiate your salary and making the decision to let go of perfection for the sake of progress (AND saving yourself in the process).
Recorded on July, 27, 2022.

Thumbnail of David Yoon for the Making it Big in 30 Minutes Podcast

David Yoon, MFA ‘00 on Making it as an Author

October 25, 2022

David Yoon tells lies for a living. He’s been chasing the feeling of making his entire class laugh at a story in the 3rd grade, and with time, talent, and a little luck, has 4 different titles with his name on the spine in any given bookstore. Alongside his wife, Nicola, who he met at Emerson, the writer power couple has set forth on a journey to help other POC writers tell love stories for their imprint, Joy Revolution. Dave talks with Georgette about everything from the importance of taking a break, rejection, and being your own boss. Recorded on August 1, 2022.

Thumbnail of Dominique Bañas and Quinn Marcus for the Making it Big in 30 Minutes Podcast

Dominique Bañas ‘13 and Quinn Marcus ‘13 on Making it Together

November 1, 2022

For a Making it Big first, we have a dynamic duo who first became friends while at Emerson. From Boylston Street to Sunset Boulevard, Dominique and Quinn’s decade-long friendship laid the foundation for their creative, working relationship, as they embark on making a travel-dating show together. The pair discuss inspiration versus comparison, how to keep your creative fire lit when it feels like the world is trying to snuff you out, and what it’s like to create work with your friends after honing your industry skills for 10 years. Recorded on August 4, 2022.

Thumbnail of Shanaé Burch for the Making it Big in 30 Minutes Podcast

Shanaé Burch ‘13 on Making it in Public Health

November 8, 2022

Shanaé Burch is a storyteller at heart and is now using her roots in the theater to revive health and reconcile hearts while pursuing an EdD in Public Health at Columbia University. Her path may seem like a winding one but as she shares her experiences on the stage, in the classroom and as a co-editor of Poetry for the Public’s Health, you’ll find that this Emerson alum is a living embodiment of our motto, Innovation in Communication and the Arts. Recorded on August 2, 2022

Thumbnail of Dion Lim for the Making it Big in 30 Minutes Podcast

Dion Lim ‘06 on Making it as a Broadcast Journalist

November 15, 2022

After earning a reputation as a feel-good news anchor, Dion Lim found her serious side in the wake of the pandemic and the rise in violence and bigotry toward the AAPI community.  On the surface, she might have a perfect smile, hairdo, and face of makeup -- in addition to an aesthetically pleasing Zoom backdrop -- but make no mistake, Dion is so much more than the face you see on your TV. She and Georgette delve into her life as a reporter, her new role as author and how some of the most important things she learned at Emerson didn’t come from her text books. Recorded on August 10, 2022. 

Thumbnail of Alan Gwizdowski for the Making it Big in 30 Minutes Podcast

Alan Gwizdowski ‘09 on Making it as a Cinematographer

November 22, 2022

Alan Gwizdowski started out shooting skateboarding videos with his high school buddies before he found himself at Emerson College. It was there that he met some new friends, specifically Dan Perrault ‘09 and Tony Yacenda ‘10, who he’s continued to work with, mostly recently on the Paramount+ series, Players. Alan and Georgette wax poetic about the advice he'd give his younger self, his “holy shit” moment working in television, and lessons he learned the hard way. Recorded on September 19, 2022. 

Thumbnail of Donzaleigh Abernathy for the Making it Big in 30 Minutes Podcast

Donzaleigh Abernathy ‘80 on Making it as a Triple Threat

November 29, 2022

Donzaleigh Abernathy chose Emerson because she wanted to go to school where people would learn and know her name. Flash forward after many years as a working actress, activist, and writer, and people in airports know her name! She joins Georgette to talk about life as an artist, growing up during the Civil Rights movement with its creators, and the importance of the connections she made during her Emerson days. Recorded on August 9, 2022.



  • Kayla Carcone '19, Alumni Engagement Officer
  • Rebecca Glucklich, Associate Director of Alumni Relations

Host: Georgette Pierre, MA '09

Editor: Dalton Pate ’20