Key Takeaways from the 2015 Entertainment, Media & Technology Focus Forum

Our 7th industry-specific Focus Forum, co-hosted by Comcast NBCUniversal in Philadelphia, brought together leading career service professionals and employers of MBA & Masters degree students in the Entertainment, Media and Technology (EMT) industries and functions. Together, we discussed current challenges, identified solutions, and developed strategies to address the expanding leadership talent shortage in these industries.

Here are some of the key takeaways from the group discussions and moderated panel:


MODERATED GROUP DISCUSSION #1: Connecting Candidates & Employer within EMT Industries & Functions


  • JOB REALITY: Often, candidates must be educated on available EMT roles versus candidates’ perception of their employer brand.
  • ADVOCACY: Some of the best advocates for an EMT company on campus are recent MBA hires that can speak first-hand to their experience.
  • VIRTUAL RECRUITING: When there aren’t enough resources to recruit on campus, connect with career services to create virtual opportunities to present information to candidates.


  • THE PERFECT CANDIDATE: Career Services should help candidates navigate the overlap between their strengths and interests. A love for movies & TV doesn’t automatically translate into a good fit. EMT employers are searching for candidates that are:Ambitious, yet humble
    • Leaders, yet team players
    • Creative, yet pragmatic and analytical
    • Passionate and committed to EMT, yet flexible in their roles
    • Risk tolerant
    • Willing to travel
    • Fluent with technology, or have an undergraduate degree in IT
  • INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE: Recruiters and hiring managers are searching for students who can have an intelligible conversation about their industry, demonstrating their understanding of what lies below the surface of the company’s opportunities. Entertainment, media and technology are increasingly crashing into each other. They can no longer be separated, and candidates need to have a working knowledge of each industry.


MODERATED MBA PANEL: Career Preferences & Experiences of Recently Hired Students

Featuring MBA students and recent graduates from the follow business schools:


  • MBA vs UNDERGRAD: Media companies are more apt to lump together their graduate and undergraduate hiring processes. Unlike undergrads, MBAs typically have several years of full-time experience under their belts, and are specifically in search of an MBA-required or MBA preferred opportunity. Media companies need to target their recruitment efforts and direct their job posting descriptions to MBAs, ensuring MBA appropriate level challenges and opportunities.
  • CULTURAL FIT: MBAs searching for EMT roles will be most attracted to a company based on the relationships, people, and company culture that they observe, both during their internships and the recruitment process.
  • COMPANY VISITS: Candidates appreciate senior leadership that is not only intelligent, but involved, supportive and representative of the company’s values. If an intern and/or recruit is able to interact with a large and diverse group of current employees, and hear consistently positive feedback about the company, it will resonate with them much more than exposure only to a sliver of the corporate hierarchy.


  • EMT INTERNSHIPS: Compared to consulting and financial companies, EMT companies tend to have a smaller pool of summer interns. This allows their interns to have a more unique experience with diverse leadership opportunities. It is crucial for students, especially career switchers, to gain internship experience that is directly related to an EMT field.
  • READING LIST: MBAs should stay up to date on the EMT industries by reading magazines & blogs including: Variety, DSLReports, Gizmodo, Fierce Telecom and the Hollywood Reporter.
  • NON-OCR JOBS: Candidates rely more heavily on networking, career services and alumni to connect with EMT companies that are not doing traditional fall recruiting.
  • FACE-TO-FACE TIME: Career services should facilitate informal company presentations, to provide their candidates with unique opportunities for casual networking. Students can have their questions answered at the source and have one-on-one conversations with recruiters.
  • STUDENT CLUBS: EMT related student clubs should work to increase their presence on campus and keep open communication with career services. This could help to maximize each party’s connections with employers, as well as better inform the student population about opportunities with EMT companies and how their unique recruitment process works.


MODERATED GROUP DISCUSSION #2: Perspectives on Diversity Recruitment in EMT Industries & Functions


  • EARLY BIRD: EMT companies struggling to recruit diversity should begin their recruiting process earlier in the year. A large portion of diversity talent is recruited by high-volume employers at consulting and financial firms in the fall, leaving a smaller number of these candidates for EMT companies to connect with in the spring.
  • IT’S NOT WHAT YOU SAY: Employers demonstrate authenticity in their diversity recruitment when it’s based on year-round strategic engagement, rather than an inconsistent tactical engagement. When a company says they “value diversity”, it’s not going to be proven simply by attending “pay-to-play” diversity recruiting events once a year. It’s going to be demonstrated in their on-going community service efforts, grass root recruitment activities, internal affinity group activities, etc.
  • CREATIVE STRATEGIES: What are some of the ways that EMT companies strategize their diversity recruitment? Partnering with student diversity clubs, personally reaching out to group leaders, co-hosting summer diversity forums on campus, and creating diversity special interest groups in their company.


  • STARTS WITH ADMISSIONS: A large international population creates a diverse student population, but not always a diverse recruitment funnel for U.S. companies, whose hiring efforts are hampered by U.S. Visa challenges and other limitations. MBA admissions teams need to work to recruit diverse students across the board, by marketing themselves as an attractive institution with an abundance of resources for all populations.


Lauren Kleban

Lauren joined MBA Focus in the summer of 2013, to help plan, produce, and implement both industry and product-related communications. Primarily responsible for copywriting, Lauren creates consistent and strategic messaging throughout marketing and sales material. By applying creative marketing concepts, she helps MBA Focus to build and maintain its brand, while promoting its exclusive network, recruitment technology, and career management tools. Lauren graduated from The Ohio State University in 2013, where she obtained a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a specialization in Marketing.

To enable comments sign up for a Disqus account and enter your Disqus shortname in the Articulate node settings.