Meet Callan Langen:
Callan Langen graduated from the Marketing Management Co-op program at the University of Guelph in April 2020. While still in school, he started a video production business working with past co-op employers and other clients to gain traction. Despite having graduated and entered the professional world in the middle of a global pandemic, Callan’s entrepreneurial work ethic helped shift and grow his business, leading him to work on both commercial and documentary projects to tell the stories of organizations coping with COVID-19. Callan reflects on his time at U of G, in the co-op program, and how it has helped him get to where he is today.
Tell us about yourself! What were you involved with while at U of G and what have you been up to since you graduated?
“During school I was involved in on-campus organizations like Plant-Based at Guelph where I served as Marketing Manager. During my time at university, I also started a video production business and began working with businesses (including past co-op employers) and local artists to design and create video work for them. Since graduating, I’ve been building my business while working for a local production company!”
Where did you work during co-op?
“During co-op I worked for a few local corporations including Danby Appliances, Sheridan Nurseries, and Glen Dimplex Americas. I worked primarily in their respective marketing departments doing everything from social media to producing video content.”
Was there anything from co-op that helped you get to where you are today?
“Co-op was really instrumental in building my confidence in the workplace and making professional connections. Working in a real-world setting through co-op taught me how to navigate the professional world. Those experiences in those jobs still inform how I run my business, manage my clients, and conduct myself both digitally and on set.”
How has your business shifted, or altered because of Covid?
“For a few months after the initial lockdown last year, my business was put on pause. I had just graduated and was ready to throw myself into the professional world when my career seemed to be stopped in its tracks. After that period though, I was fortunate to be able to work on both commercial and documentary projects that told amazing stories of projects that were developed by organizations coping with COVID-19. One of these was St Mary’s Parish in Kitchener who donated their time and materials to build tiny homes for the homeless population in the city (you can read about it here!)”
“Fortunately, since then more traditional commercial video work has begun. Things look very different on sets with masks, sanitizer, and strict safety precautions but I’m happy that I’ve been able to get back to doing what I love to do.”
What is your favourite memory from your time at U of G?
“I have lots of them! But my most memorable is getting involved in on-campus clubs and making new friends. In my first year, it was a special experience to move to a new city and a new school and carve out a little community of like-minded people.”
What's next for you?
“Right now I’m looking to keep going in the video production world! I'm looking to move into working on larger productions and commercials - maybe even in a new city.”
What would your advice be to U of G students who have recently graduated, or who are graduating this year?
“My advice to students graduating this year is to find a job that you’re passionate about even if it doesn’t exactly fit into what your university major was. I know a lot of recent graduates who have found jobs that they are really excited about that aren’t the most common path for someone in their respective major. You can use the skills you built through your classes and co-op experience and apply them to something you really love. Don’t feel like your options are limited!”
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
“Just that I’m excited for Guelph’s current first-year students to get back on campus and experience the school’s community - it is really something special!”