Published : Friday, March 20, 2015 | 2:10 PM
A group of 27 Upper School students gathered this past Wednesday for PolyConnect with documentary film maker Jenny Ewig ’98. Jenny currently writes, produces, and directs documentary films for Discovery, Travel Channel, History Channel, CNN, Animal Planet and more. Before embarking on her path as a filmmaker and writer, she received her BA in Math and Economics from Vanderbilt and, after graduation, swiftly transitioned to the corporate world of Los Angeles. Though math came easy for her and she enjoyed working with numbers, she realized it was not where her heart lay. She left Los Angeles and backpacked through Europe for awhile, settling in D.C. where she continued to make connections and talk to people across all networks. She landed a spot on the production team of National Geographic, and launched into the documentary world.
After five years at National Geographic, she became a freelancer and has since produced content for Discovery, Travel Channel, History Channel, Nat Geo Wild, Animal Planet, TLC, H2, CNN and G4 Network. Her work has taken her all over the world from researching hammerhead sharks in Darwin, Australia, to deadly snakes in the South of India, and the dangerous trails of our National Parks. Throughout the whole process, she used the confidence and skills that Poly had instilled in her. She said “after Poly, I always felt like I could do anything, or at least try anything. Because that’s the environment that’s cultivated here, whether you recognize it or not; that’s what Poly encourages.”
Jenny’s work now as a freelance writer and producer is based on creativity, filming, writing, and telling stories, something she has always had a passion for. Though writing wasn’t a skill that came easy for her, her passion for it continues to grow and motivate her. She left the students with three pieces of advice: 1) You always have a choice – nothing is permanent. You can change your mind, change your major, change your job. You have the power and you always have a choice. 2) If you have a passion, it likely won’t go away, so don’t ignore it – follow your gut, follow your passion and it will lead you to great happiness and success. 3) A quote from the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru – “The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all.”
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