The first University Lecture Series (ULS) speaker got real with audience members while talking about her experiences on reality television.
Jill Zarin, an entrepreneur and TV personality from “The Real Housewives of New York City,” spoke to a crowd of about 100 people on Tuesday night in the Marshall Student Center’s (MSC) Oval Theater – about 400 less than what Kristie Gerber, director of student activities, anticipated Monday afternoon.
“Get on your texts and get all your roommates out here,” Zarin said. “I want to fill this place up.”
Her reality show followed New York housewives as they worked and dealt with the drama of friends and family.
Students based their questions off the show during the question-and-answer session at the lecture.
Zarin said she took part in casting nearly all of the other housewives on the show, originally titled “Manhattan Moms,” and helped to incite negotiations with producers and the other cast members.
When asked about her fight with former costar Bethenny Frankel, Zarin said the two would have arguments or conversations that were done for the show and would be resolved at a later time. Zarin believed the fight that ended their friendship was going to be resolved. However she confirmed the two are no longer speaking.
During her lecture, Zarin shared her experience as an intern with Jordan Marsh & Company, a Boston department store, and offered advice to students entering the workplace.
“My favorite part about going to college was my internship,” Zarin said. “Get as many internships as you can before you graduate. Never wear black on an interview because you don’t stand out. In fact, wear something that is something to talk about.”
Before the lecture, ULS hosted a small reception in the MSC Gallery for committee members and their guests. Zarin spoke to the group about their classes, housing and jobs.
Sheri Guvell, a junior majoring in athletic training, attended the reception and was excited to begin reading Zarin’s book, “Secrets of a Jewish Mother.”
“I was excited to meet Zarin,” she said. “When I found out she was coming, I started crying. I was so ecstatic.”
Because the event was paid for in advanced by student-paid Activity and Service fees, ULS swiped university ID cards to permit students into the lecture for free. ULS program director Nicole Kummer said satisfaction surveys that provide ULS with feedback about the lectures were unavailable for Zarin’s appearance. However, they would be available for students at future lectures.
Kummer thought that Zarin’s lecture was a great start to the program’s fall lineup.
“She was absolutely amazing. She was really easy to work with and really personable. She took a lot of time to speak with students,” she said.