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Not Slowing Down

"The decision to not take it easy this quarter seems to have paid off thus far"

Intrepid readers, I write you now just over 24 hours after my completion of the winter quarter at UCLA'S Anderson School of Management (Anderson Full-Time MBA Profile). Academically, this term was less frenetic than last, which I fully appreciated (as did my parents, who may have had a heart attack if they had to live through another quarter of incredibly short, stressed phone calls that went something like this: Parents ask, "Are you alive?" I respond, "Yes, gotta run and do an obscene amount of work, talk to you sometime in the future…probably"). In part, I like to think the relative ease arrived because I've become better adjusted to the pace at business school. But also, I must admit, we've been given a bit of a break. As you may recall from previous posts, five courses were packed into 10 weeks during the fall quarter, while during the winter, we only had three required classes: Marketing, Operations & Technology Management, and Corporate Finance. The courses were all helpful in building on the skills learned from the previous quarter and providing us with the tools to use those skills in business environments. And again, we were presented with professors who were more than willing to go the extra mile to assist us in those endeavors. I was rather shocked on the first day of class when I introduced myself to my operations teacher as our section academic vice-president, and he already knew that I worked at MTV in my prior life (I have relatives who have no idea what I did). During each case discussion, he'd deliberately call on individuals whose previous work experience he thought may apply to the topics at hand. Such engagement and concern from all our professors have most certainly enhanced the learning. Movie Marketing

In addition, I took a fourth class at UCLA's Producers Program (we can take up to three classes outside of Anderson for credit). This course was called Feature Film Marketing, and it was helmed by the CMO at New Regency. Each week, he invited his colleagues and friends who worked in different aspects of the feature film marketing world, and they would speak about their functions and take questions from the business, film, law, and producing students in the class. The course culminated in an examination and executive summary of a recent movie's marketing campaign. And since I'm apparently a glutton for punishment and didn't want to make my life easier this quarter by factoring in some free time, I accepted an internship at Twentieth Century Fox in its Feature Film Production Dept., where I work three days a week. The position involved my writing coverage on movie scripts submitted to Fox (how some of that material gets on the desks of executives boggles the mind), but more important, it afforded me the chance to chat with alumni and friends of friends who also worked on the Fox lot. I probably had one or two such meetings a week, be it a lunch at the studio commissary or a quick coffee. These talks have been incredibly important because, as I've written before, I'm interested in returning to media and entertainment post-school but in a more business-oriented role. Unfortunately, media and entertainment companies don't come to campus very much, and if they do, they are recruiting for more finance-type jobs, which I'm not interested in. Accordingly, the impetus is on entertainment types like me to constantly check company job sites and set up informational interviews to drum up summer internship opportunities. Of course, our career services center is accessible to answer any and all questions that can come up. They are there for mock interviews, putting you in touch with a lead, or just giving you advice in general. You name it, they do it. Also, the Entertainment Management Assn. (EMA), the professional organization with which I am affiliated, has great relationships with recent alumni and the companies for which they work. As a director of the EMA's Career Night in February, I helped organize an event that had students mingling with more than 50 high-level executives from all corners of media and entertainment. The event was headlined by a talk from Variety's Peter Bart. The EMA also set up a trip to visit New York companies and alumni in January, during which we Californians learned that there is, in fact, a world outside Los Angeles. The trek revealed opportunities to return to New York, if I decide I want to get back home in the near future. Summer Opportunities

The decision to not take it easy this quarter seems to have paid off thus far. One of my meetings with an old colleague's friend who works at Fox yielded a summer internship interview and even though my internship is now complete, I still have several appointments set up with alumni and their acquaintances on the lot, which could also lead to opportunities for the summer or beyond. Also, this very journal has proved to be a unique job magnet. My first post regarding my Columbia pedigree and love of the New York Mets elicited a response from an executive at the ball club and I've since had an interview with the organization. All in all, I feel pretty good about things. The summer isn't that far off, but I'm not worried or stressed about what's to come. I've already had some positive responses and I know if I utilize the resources here, there's no need for concern. However, I do reserve the right to freak out and disavow everything I've written here if I'm proved wrong; it's not like this post will stay on the Internet forever, right?

Jonathan Stern is enrolled in the full-time MBA program at the University of California at Los Angeles' Anderson School of Business with an expected graduation of 2011. Earning his undergraduate degree in U.S. history at Columbia University in 2003, Stern was laid off from his journalism job at MTV Radio in December 2008 while he was already in the process of applying to graduate business school.

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