The Career Services Office held its final event of the spring semester on the evening of March 18 – a Tech/Entertainment Panel Discussion for MBA students and alumni interested in entering or transitioning into these competitive industries. The evening kicked off with an hour-long reception where students had the opportunity to network and make new connections over drinks and appetizers.
Moderated by Lesley Adams, Assistant Director of Career Services, the panel featured four LMU MBA alums who each brought their own unique perspectives on what it’s like to work in the tech/entertainment industry. Panelists included:
- Arya Alexander, MBA ’13, Curbstand
- Sanford Anderson, EMBA ’10, Warner Brothers
- Naomi Hall, MBA ’13, Screen Engine
- Max Lebowitz, MBA ’12, Pogoseat
Each panelist started off by introducing themselves and talking a little about their backgrounds, how they broke into the tech/entertainment fields and what their roles are at their respective companies. When asked what the current dynamic is like between Silicon Valley and Silicon Beach, the panelists said Los Angeles will always be the top spot for entertainment and it’s quickly gaining momentum as a major hub for tech startup activity. In other words, you don’t have to move to Silicon Valley to get a great tech job – there are plenty of well-known firms and up-and-coming startups stretching from Santa Monica to Playa Vista.
All four panelists agreed that the most important thing to take away from your MBA experience is network, network, network. Even if you hate networking, try to ease the pressure by attending events with a friend who’s more sociable or by giving yourself a goal that must be achieved by the end of the event (i.e. I must obtain at least five business cards). Another suggestion is to strike up a conversation that doesn’t focus on careers first; figure out what you have in common and it’ll be easier to bring up business after you’ve established a connection.
For those interested in switching careers and making a transition into tech/entertainment, panelists advised reaching out to people who already work in those industries and find out what it’s like from an insider’s perspective. You’ll be able to get a clearer understanding of what direction you may want to go or whether this is the career path you want. It’s also important to make sure you fit within the company culture – this is oftentimes the deciding factor between two equally qualified candidates.
The Career Services Office is always available to answer any career-related questions or concerns. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment with Mark or Lesley.