Broad life lessons from Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer
    Photo by Jacqueline Tang / North by Northwestern

    This evening in Cahn Auditorium, Broad City stars Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson spoke in conversation with Northwestern RTVF professor Catherine Carrigan presented by A&O Productions and NU Hillel. Here are some of the nuggets of wisdom they imparted, very broadly. 

    Don't quit your day job

    Both Glazer and Jacobson "hussled" while taking improv classes before making it big. To seniors stressed about the prospects of having a job in their desired fields post-grad, the comedians argued that having life experience is just as important as professional experience. Carrigan agreed with the women, citing the fact that no one likes writers who only write books about being a writer. Having street-smarts that aren't necessarily tied to your passion will give you a grounding point of reference for whatever you choose to do. And it'll be that much more baller when you've made it in your field to tell your colleagues about your "husslin" days. 

    Nobody knows your life better than you do 

    Although Glazer and Jacobson both work in the creative field, their advice about owning your own story can apply to any discipline. In terms of performance, the Broad City stars cited the fact that they are constantly called in for parts that their agents think are "right for them," but argued that they are the only people who know their own stories best. On a broader level, taking an agentic stance in authoring your own life can be empowering regardless of whether you're looking for a role in a play or a job at a consulting firm. Carve your own path, and don't be afraid to be bold. 

    Think big picture the whole time

    Jacobson and Glazer have a hand in every part of the creative process on their show, from producing to writing to shooting to editing. Each of these aspects plays an integral role in creative a narrative on screen, and the two women spoke to having recently realized that the best approach for them is to always be thinking of the end product and simplifying the steps in between. For them, this means cutting unecessary scenes before they're shot to make their lives easier on set and in the editing room, but this could easily be applied to every day life. Any college student could be well served by planning ahead and thinking out a clear schedule to accomplish their goals before it becomes a problem down the line. Don't be that senior who has to take a 100-level Poli-Sci class because you forgot to fill out your distros. 

    Make NU friends; they'll be your collaborators later in life

    When asked what advice they'd give to themselves five years ago, Glazer and Jacobson offered a few pieces of advice – keep doing you and look around, because the people you meet here will be friends and collaborators for life. Though those career services presentations about the importance of networking can seem onerous and repetitive, finding a community of like-minded people who will influence the work you do in college can have an impact on your career in the future. This doesn't necessarily mean you should go adding your entire floor on LinkedIn right now, but make positive connections and stop thinking of your classmates as your competition. 


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