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First Year Perspectives: Exploring an Entertainment MBA

About Michelle: Michelle is a life-long east coaster who moved to Los Angeles to pursue her MBA in Entertainment at UCLA Anderson. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College, she became a Page before working in Talent Management at NBCUniversal. Michelle hopes to pursue a career in entertainment strategy. She enjoys reading memoirs and watching documentaries.

When I was exploring the idea of getting my MBA, I asked many questions of myself – Is now the right time? Am I ready to go back to school? How is an MBA going to help me in my career in entertainment? Although these questions are all unique to the individual, I wanted to share my insights on getting an MBA in entertainment. 

Sure, you might not have come from a “traditional background,” and getting an entertainment MBA might not be a “traditional path”, but what I have come to quickly realize is that many people come from “untraditional backgrounds.”  Instead of thinking about how I could fit into a mold, I began to think about what are the skills and learnings that an MBA can provide and how can I use those as I grow my career. There are a multitude of classes you can take when getting your MBA marketing, finance, strategy, operation and many more. These subject areas apply to the business of entertainment (and to life generally). How do you operate the newest streaming service? In a world of consolidation, do the finances make sense when evaluating the deals? Can we find innovative ways to market and advertise different properties? Through the different classes, I am able to take these learnings and apply them to my area of interest. 

At Anderson, the Center for Media, Entertainment and Sports supports students in many ways including by providing entertainment specific classes, such as Entertainment Business Models and From Studios to Streamers: Radial Reinvention of Content Distribution Today. In these classes, I have had the opportunity to hear from industry leaders about the challenges they are facing in the industry currently. Hearing from these leaders allows me to spend time ideating on possible solutions to these challenges as I continue to grow my own career. 

In addition, I have also had the chance to visit many different entertainment companies here in LA through a partnership between the Parker Career Center and the Entertainment Management Association, such as Hulu, Roku and Disney to name just a few. Not only do I have the opportunity to connect with more entertainment professionals in this setting, but I also get to experience what working at these different media companies feels like. Plus, getting the opportunity to go on a studio tour and visit these icon landmarks is a ton of fun!

  • Student Blogger: Michelle Hernandez ‘25
  • Undergrad: Sarah Lawrence College ‘17
  • Pre-MBA: Talent Management at NBCUniversal
  • Leadership@Anderson:  Director of Professional Events – Entertainment Management Association, Director Admitted Events – Anderson Admission Corps, Director of Velocity Operations – Women’s Business Connect

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