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Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 25 Apr 2010, 12:19
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(documenting my post here for the career index. More to come when I get a chance)

Generally, M&E is split into 5 main areas:

- Films/Movies
- Music
- TV
- Entertainment/Games
- Social Media

For the first three, they don't generally hire many MBAs, and any job search will require you to do a lot of networking, unpaid internships, and having alums/professors/connections introduce you to the right person.

In terms of games (the area I'm going into), the traditional companies like EA, Activision, LucasArts, etc... all hire some MBAs, but not a lot. It's more of a recent trend with many companies starting their MBA hiring program in the last 3-4 years. At Activision, MBAs usually are hired as brand managers, with consumer packaged goods background. Electronic Arts hire their MBAs as product managers, doing a project management and marketing role. LucasArts has a few MBAs in marketing, production management, and business development.

Social gaming (Zynga, Playfish, etc...) and mobile gaming will have more MBAs, usually doing product management roles where they lead projects, design new features, and do a lot of metrics analysis to improve the game.

Social Media companies like Facebook and other smaller startups hire a few MBAs for product management, usually requiring some pretty good technical (software) experience or skills. There are some marketing roles in companies like that which require MBAs too.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2010, 10:24
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Another thing to keep in mind is that the cultures are VASTLY different between these sectors.

Video games and social media have company cultures that are much more similar to silicon valley tech companies. It is an engineering/technically driven culture -- the game level design, those who code the game engines, etc. are engineers. Also, the art department has a strong "comic book" culture so to speak - a lot of the artists traditionally were the comic book/fantasy kids growing up, and while their jobs are certainly on the "art" side, they are close cousins with the technical side in terms of personality and culture. Social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc. are also more similar in culture to other Silicon Valley tech companies - since a good number of them are venture funded and whose leadership are imported from other tech/VC-funded companies, so they are more similar in feel to Google, Yahoo and so forth (but obviously not as huge in terms of headcount).

Film, TV, and music is a completely different world.
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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 26 Apr 2010, 11:13
AlexMBAApply wrote:
Another thing to keep in mind is that the cultures are VASTLY different between these sectors.

Video games and social media have company cultures that are much more similar to silicon valley tech companies. It is an engineering/technically driven culture -- the game level design, those who code the game engines, etc. are engineers. Also, the art department has a strong "comic book" culture so to speak - a lot of the artists traditionally were the comic book/fantasy kids growing up, and while their jobs are certainly on the "art" side, they are close cousins with the technical side in terms of personality and culture. Social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc. are also more similar in culture to other Silicon Valley tech companies - since a good number of them are venture funded and whose leadership are imported from other tech/VC-funded companies, so they are more similar in feel to Google, Yahoo and so forth (but obviously not as huge in terms of headcount).

Film, TV, and music is a completely different world.


very very true. That's also another reason the Film/TV/Music industry don't really value (or even think much) about MBAs. A few of my classmates are trying to break into that area, and their best chance is in the digital media arena, where many Film/TV/Music studios are trying to add social media marketing, digital download areas (other than just Hulu, iTunes, etc...). Those areas do look for MBAs, but the groups are smaller and the openings are rare.
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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 28 Apr 2010, 14:31
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The biggest problem with MBA students looking to get into film/tv/music is that they're hoping to get jobs that don't really exist.

Most are interested in film/tv/music for the creative side. They're not interested in accounting, finance, hr, etc. but the reality is that is where most of the MBA type jobs are -- they aren't really any different than any other Fortune 500 office environment of cubicles, office parks, and so forth.

And so they look for jobs that straddle the creative and business sides - and frankly those jobs don't exist as traditional "jobs" so to speak.

The reason is, the majority of the creative or artistic work is done by freelancers and contractors. That's how the industry is structured. Whether it's a film, tv show/program, or music project (live tour, album, etc) -- everyone who works on the creative or production side is employed by the "project" and not by the company or companies funding the project. So the folks who work on the "project" are everyone from producers (some of whom straddle business and creative, depending on the type of producer), to the artists (directors, actors, writers, musicians, etc.) to the production/technical crew (sound engineers, camera operators, electricians, etc.) -- virtually everyone on the production is a freelancer or contractor. And their benefits (health, retirement/pension, wage/salaries, etc.) are taken care of by their respective guilds and intermediaries (agents, managers, lawyers). Moreover, since film/tv/music is so project-driven and is a marriage of freelancers and financiers (studios/labels) on a project-by-project basis, the heart of the "business side" lies with the agents and managers. If you want to be at the heart of the business and where the deals get made, you want to work at a talent agency - the thing is, most MBAs are scared away from having to work their way up from the bottom for next to nothing to do that.

To use an analogy, if the technology/software industry were structured like the film/tv industry, none of the engineers or product managers would be full-time employees of any company. Rather, they would be repped by "agents" who would shop them around to different tech companies on a project-by-project basis, with the engineers' health/pension benefits and salaries/wages dictated by a "software engineers guild" or union. So an engineer wouldn't be working at Google exclusively, but could end up working on Google's Android phone 2.0 for a 6 month project, then on a MSFT X-box feature for another 3-4 months, and so forth.
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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 29 Apr 2010, 01:08
Awesome summary, Alex! Agree 100%. :)
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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 06 May 2010, 08:49
I'm interested in gaming and more so gaming's interface in the amusement and leisure industry. I haven't really come across b-schools with strong industry ties. For instance, when I attended the last trade show for the International Association of Amusement and Attraction, I saw an affiliate of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon and a vendor that connects with the center at USC, but no true b-school presence. Two vendors referenced NYU and Cornell. However to me the ties still seem minimal. Any recommendations for schools to check out? Btw my goal is to create dynamic leisure experiences driven by technology. I'm sure I'll be posting more to this thread.

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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 06 May 2010, 09:33
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I was about to start this thread. Glad someone did.

Anyway, here is a collection of links that might be helpful for people looking for Media & Entertainment careers through MBA & similar courses. I could only find these 3 schools (NYU, UCLA & USC) who have special Media & Entertainment courses & activities going on. Most of other schools only have 'clubs' or some small events. If I am wrong, please correct me.

Besides, after looking at the websites of these b-schools, in my opinion not many b-schools take these courses seriously. But that's probably because of demand. Not too many people want to go in these sectors.

I am one of those unfortunate people who have never stepped foot in America & still dream of being in Warner Bros. despite being alien to entertainment industry. :lol:
Anyway, I am interested in Film / TV industry only. Hence, consultancy is my back up option. :|

If anyone has any links to add to the list, post here. Mods or I can edit the post to put all links in the same post.

NYU EMT

NYU Full Time - http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/admissions/fulltime/

Student Activities - http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/studentactivities/

EMT basic - http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/emt/

Student Journal - http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/admissions/full ... _id=101753

A day in life- http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/admissions/full ... oc_id=7216

Student Info - http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/emt/student.cfm?doc_id=1771

MESA Club - https://nyustern-mesa.campusgroups.com/ ... =1&id=1927

TANG Club - https://nyustern-tang.campusgroups.com/ ... r=1&id=813

EMT - http://w4.stern.nyu.edu/admissions/full ... oc_id=6202

UCLA

Finding Internship at Disney - http://www.businessweek.com/bschools/co ... 722718.htm

Student Blog - http://mbablogs.anderson.ucla.edu/mba_students/

Center for Ent. & Media - http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/x27543.xml

EMA Club - http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/zone/clubs/ema

Basics about EMA - http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/documents/ ... um0806.pdf

USC (Marshall)

Entertainment Industry links - http://www.marshall.usc.edu/clubs/bea/links.htm

Berkley - Haas (addition by kryzak)

Digital Media and Entertainment Conference - >play
http://www.playconference.org/
(participants include some traditional media companies breaking into digital media, this is also one of the largest conferences at Haas and one of the 3 Dean's Focus conferences)

Digital Media and Entertainment Club: http://berkeleydmec.org/

Media and Entertainment course (I just took this, good class)
http://courses.haas.berkeley.edu/descri ... ring10.htm

Student Blog: http://berkeleydmec.org/dmec_blog/2010/ ... uary-2010/
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Last edited by alpeshvc on 12 May 2010, 22:38, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 07 May 2010, 14:38
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I would like to point out some Berkeley-Haas Media and Entertainment (mostly digital) offerings:

Digital Media and Entertainment Conference - >play
http://www.playconference.org/
(participants include some traditional media companies breaking into digital media, this is also one of the largest conferences at Haas and one of the 3 Dean's Focus conferences)

Digital Media and Entertainment Club
http://berkeleydmec.org/

Media and Entertainment course (I just took this, good class)
http://courses.haas.berkeley.edu/descri ... ring10.htm

Student Blog:
http://berkeleydmec.org/dmec_blog/2010/ ... uary-2010/
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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 18 May 2010, 16:55
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You should absolutely apply to the LA area schools. UCLA and USC will have the best ties to the companies that run the biggest amusement parks, and every one of them has an LA park:

Disney - Disneyland
Warner Bros. - Six Flags Magic Mountain
NBC Universal - Universal Studios

Both UCLA and USC place at all three of these companies. Some UCLA students did an amusement park focused study on attendance (doesn't truly match your goals, but at least is in the industry). Argh and I can't post the link cause I'm new. Follow the Center for Ent. & Media link, and click research and research reports on the sidebar.
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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 05 Jul 2010, 21:14
What Alex describes is a lot like the UK IT Industry. Coders and PM's are contractors hired on an hourly or daily rate for fixed length contract to work on a specific project.
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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 06 Jul 2010, 16:16
theres a lot of IT contractors in the US too. its a huge business. my company has lots of contractors on hire whether b/c we couldnt fill the project needs internally or ppl with certain visa/work restrictions couldn't be hired on a fulltime basis. lots contractors who are foreigners who are unable to secure certain work statuses to be employed as fulltime.

probably not utilized to the extent in the media industry as described, but hiring contract employees is an easy way to quickly staff a project. for example when you win a $100 million project and need to put 300 people on the ground within a week. you won't be able to go through resumes, interview and hire that many people so a lot will come from staffing companies who will hire out on contract. sorry this is getting OT but the example was made as an analogy when in fact its actually quite true comparison
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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 07 Jul 2010, 05:33
AlexMBAApply wrote:
The biggest problem with MBA students looking to get into film/tv/music is that they're hoping to get jobs that don't really exist.


So perfectly put, though also applies to so many other different industries. The belief in the career switch or access from some MBA students is quite terrifying.
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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 12 Aug 2010, 12:37
What about the gaming industry? I am interested in it but i guess it is not that popular post MBA? I see Kryzak being into gaming... Anyone can answer some questions?

1. Do I need to have any prior gaming experience pre mba in terms of development etc? I am from an engineering/it background, i probably dont have the technical skills in game programming but I am not aiming to become a programmer so hopefully it wont matter too much?

2. Any B-school advice once one gets in? Like what kind of clubs/courses one should take to lean towards a gaming career?

3. Internships - I understand gaming companies dont really come recruit so is it best to seek them out for internship or go for a traditional fiance type of internship? Basically what internship can be most helpful?

4. Post mba job hunting? Is it pretty much mass send resume on monster.com etc.?
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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 15 Aug 2010, 16:26
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Traditional gaming is not that popular amongst post-MBA jobs (usually 3-4 people out of 240 at Haas go into gaming), but with the emergence of social and mobile gaming, I see more MBAs heading into the industry than before.

To answer your questions:

1. 1. Do I need to have any prior gaming experience pre mba in terms of development etc? I am from an engineering/it background, i probably dont have the technical skills in game programming but I am not aiming to become a programmer so hopefully it wont matter too much?

You don't need any prior gaming experience to get into gaming. Having it helps a lot of course, but if you have an engineering/computer science background, that is usually very helpful. A post-MBA gaming job is usually a product manager, producer, or product marketing manager, depending on the gaming company. So you'll mostly be working with developers, running projects, helping with marketing, and maybe helping with game design. Social gaming companies will generally also hire people with good consulting background (especially if you have strong analytical skills and have worked with a lot of metrics). Traditional gaming look more for tech background mixed with good project management skills.

2. Any B-school advice once one gets in? Like what kind of clubs/courses one should take to lean towards a gaming career?

Talk to your 2nd years who worked in gaming. Look for others on GMATClub, LinkedIN, etc... that you can do informational interviews with, do an independent study paper on a hot gaming topic, and take some digital media/entertainment courses or participate in your school's digital media conferences, focusing on the gaming aspect of it.

3. Internships - I understand gaming companies dont really come recruit so is it best to seek them out for internship or go for a traditional fiance type of internship? Basically what internship can be most helpful?

It's best to seek them out. Do a lot of informational interviews with people at those companies. Submit your resumes to their job websites, go to gaming conferences (Gaming Developer's Conference is a big one, as well as E3, SxSW, and other smaller 1 day conferences like the social gaming summit) and talk to as many people as possible. Your goal is to learn as much about gaming and can speak about the industry and strategies like you were an insider.

If you can get a gaming internship, that will open doors for you full-time. If not, working in digital media, social media, or even a job with some good analytics work (for social gaming) or marketing at a tech company (for traditional gaming), will give you some good stories to tell during an interview.

4. Post mba job hunting? Is it pretty much mass send resume on monster.com etc.?

no, it's extremely focused. There aren't *that* many gaming companies that hire MBAs, so you have to be focused. Like I mentioned many times already, talk to as many people as possible, get people to help you submit your resumes (of course, you need to make a good impression first), talk to students and alums from your school who are in the industry (there has to be a few). Part of it is luck, the other part is how well your resume and your interviews tell the story of someone who will be a great asset in the gaming industry.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2010, 05:08
kryzak,

what kind on internship fits for a post-mba position in the gaming career? So it seems basically I have to ask around the school for leads and attend gaming conferences to get connections. Courses wise if the school doesnt have many entertainment/media courses related to gaming should i go for more general management and marketing courses?

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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 16 Aug 2010, 23:11
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shaselai wrote:
kryzak,

what kind on internship fits for a post-mba position in the gaming career? So it seems basically I have to ask around the school for leads and attend gaming conferences to get connections. Courses wise if the school doesnt have many entertainment/media courses related to gaming should i go for more general management and marketing courses?

thanks


Again, this depends on if you want to do traditional gaming or social/mobile gaming. The two fields look for quite different skills.

Traditional gaming:
- General management and marketing skills are highly looked upon, as PM roles generally work on marketing and PR stuff.
- An internship at a traditional gaming company will get you in the door pretty much. Companies to look for are EA, Activision (which only looks for brand managers), Ubisoft, and other smaller companies.
- Media and entertainment classes are useful for this.

Social/Mobile gaming:
- Having an analytical background is VERY helpful. Either an engineering/CS background or consulting/banking background where you did a lot of analytics or metrics analysis.
- Consumer Behavior, Pricing, Marketing Research, and media/entertainment classes are very useful for the job. Statistics and Excel skills are highly valued
- Having a traditional gaming internship will definitely help, or a consulting/finance internship. Other internships that are very numbers oriented will also get you an interview.

Hope that helps!
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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2010, 05:15
I see. Were you decided upon gaming when you started your MBA or you happen to take courses that led to it? I am very interested in getting into gaming but also know there probably wont be as many positions so am curious how much "devotion" the gaming route needs and what could be a backup? Perhaps consulting/ib route with media entertainment conc?
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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 17 Aug 2010, 19:42
shaselai wrote:
I see. Were you decided upon gaming when you started your MBA or you happen to take courses that led to it? I am very interested in getting into gaming but also know there probably wont be as many positions so am curious how much "devotion" the gaming route needs and what could be a backup? Perhaps consulting/ib route with media entertainment conc?


I definitely did not think about the gaming industry when I first started. I just wanted something tech related in the consumer product/service space (B2C). It was actually sitting in a brown bag with 2nd year students that I found out gaming industry hires MBAs. I was quite focused on the industry, doing a lot of informational interviews, an independent study paper, and going to conferences. But I did have a backup plan, which was to do PM in companies such as Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Adobe, etc... I think a consulting role in media and entertainment could work, if you're going mainly for the social gaming area. Traditional gaming could possibly look at you too if you are an expert in the industry due to your consulting roles. I'm not as sure about IB, but as long as you're either doing analytical stuff or researching the industry, you'll have a story to tell.

Another way to tell how much devotion I put into the route, I was pretty much known as the "gaming guy" on campus, even though others also worked in the industry for their summer internship. :lol:
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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 18 Aug 2010, 09:24
I think I will definitely try to focus on it through courses/conc. However, conferences might be a little harder (big ones like e3 etc.) since i am mostly looking at the east coast. How was the interview like?
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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers [#permalink] New post 22 Aug 2010, 11:18
shaselai wrote:
I think I will definitely try to focus on it through courses/conc. However, conferences might be a little harder (big ones like e3 etc.) since i am mostly looking at the east coast. How was the interview like?


Well, people have flown all over the country to attend conferences to look for jobs, especially in this economy. I've had classmates that flew to the midwest and east coast just to attend conferences that were related to their field so they can establish connections and get interviews.

That's yet another reason for people to factor into their school selection process. If you're looking mainly for digital media jobs, you probably want to be close to where all the "action" is. :)

The interview is pretty tough, but not like the consulting ones. Mini-cases, lots of "what would you do as a PM?" type questions, behavioral, and some brain teasers. Depends on the company, you may have 2-4 rounds.
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Re: Media and Entertainment Careers   [#permalink] 22 Aug 2010, 11:18
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