Erin Flinn ’00

Erin graduated in 2000 from the College of Arts and Sciences. Her volunteer journey started as a young alumna and has continued by being involved with numerous Cornell organizations. Currently a member of Cornell University Council and a sustaining member of President’s Council of Cornell Women (PCCW), Erin has also held various board positions with the Cornell Club of Los Angeles. She currently enjoys time working with her Reunion class and the Cornell University Chorus Advisory board. From her time on campus to serving the local alumni community, Erin embodies the Big Red spirit.

My four years at Cornell were such a special time for me, and I believe they shaped who I am as a person.
—Erin Flinn ’00

What was your favorite class / extracurricular(s) as a student?

My favorite classes at Cornell were my creative writing workshops. I loved reading everyone’s stories and workshopping my own. I LOVED every type of Cornell Outdoor Education (COE) course, from ice climbing to kayaking, and I cherished my time in both the Chorus and in After Eight.

What do you do now? How do you spend your time these days?

I am currently the SVP of current programming for Maverick TV USA, a production company specializing in docu and competition series. In simple terms, I am the creative exec who oversees all of our company’s shows that are currently in production. I am working on Chrisley Knows Best and its spin-off Growing up Chrisley for the USA network; American BBQ Showdown for Netflix; and a new (and currently untitled) dating show for E! When I am not working, I am usually in Mammoth enjoying the Sierras.

What Cornell memory puts a smile on your face?

One of the best parts of being part of the Chorus was participating in many official Cornell events, from orientation week concerts to Cornelliana night at Reunion. I loved experiencing those events as a student, and now I can enjoy them as an alumna.

How has Cornell impacted who you are today?

Cornell helped to develop my leadership skills. I worked at the Hoffman Challenge Course and taught team-building classes, which helped me understand group dynamics and work well as a team. Also, since the CU Chorus is a student-run organization, I was able to help plan concerts and tours that directly transferred to my early jobs in television, where I was in charge of planning shoot days. I feel like Cornell was where I learned to write, which has been crucial in my career as a creative exec.

What makes you feel most connected to Cornell while living in Los Angeles?

Cornell Club of Los Angeles (CCLA) does an excellent job of always doing programming that draws us all together. I always look forward to Zinck’s Night as people seem to come out of the woodwork for that one.

Do you have a favorite place on campus?

Sage Chapel is my favorite place. So many great memories of rehearsals, concerts, and hours of doing work in the basement.

Is there a Cornell program or initiative that is near and dear to your heart, and why?

I love the work I did with the Cornell leadership center through COE, and I think the more students can experience that program, the better—as it helps build confidence and allows people to find strength they may not have even known they have.

Did anyone at Cornell have a positive influence on your life?

There are a lot of people who had positive impacts on my life. If I had to pick one, I would probably say my writing professor Michael Koch. He was the first to push me to explore my writing and a career in writing.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time as a volunteer?

One of my favorite volunteer moments was when I got to moderate a panel with Bill Nye for one of his recent movies. That was an entertaining event, and it was great to chat with him.

You’ve served in a variety of volunteer roles. Is there one that stands out as the most meaningful?

I am enjoying working as the Centennial Chair of the Chorus. We celebrate 100 years this year, and I am working with Nancy James to plan our big celebration during Reunion 2022. This is a favorite because we are working very closely with the student officers, and I find it always most rewarding when working directly with students. These current students have been through so much with COVID, so it’s inspiring to work with them.

Why do you give back to Cornell through volunteering? What excites you the most about your role?

My four years at Cornell were such a special time for me, and I believe they shaped who I am as a person. My answers above show that COE and Chorus were significant to me. I volunteer with both groups because I want future generations to have the same opportunities I had as a student to thrive within those organizations.

What do you like about volunteering?

Volunteering is all about connection. Being in LA, Ithaca can feel far away at times, but it always remains close through all of my various volunteering. I also really enjoy all of the people I meet through volunteering who I did not get a chance to meet while I was a student.

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